Land of Screens Review

One of the advantages of being an indie developer is the freedom to choose topics that tend to be binned by more mainstream game studios and publishers. This autonomy can lead to some interesting themes and experimental gameplay that attract many players. Indie studio Serenity Forge is dedicated to creating narrative and meaningful games intended to expand players’ horizons. The developer chose to take an unconventional route with Land of Screens, a point-and-click story-driven game that tries to remind people that it’s useful to put down their devices and notice the world in their surroundings. Land of Screens follows protagonist Holland as he tries to deal with the sudden end of a five-year relationship. Thanks to a series of random events, Holland kept finding himself unable to use his phone to check social media and ended up disconnected from the online world for days at a time. Not reading people’s comments about her recent breakup turns out to be a blessing in disguise because, without constant feedback from her friends and semi-friends, Holland is able to think about other things. and enjoy his life for the moment. This is somewhat untrue, as Holland embraces being unplugged more easily than most people these days. land of screens breakup holland Land of Screens’ art style is arguably the game’s greatest strength, but it may just be its strongest point. The game is rendered in an attractive vector style with a semi-mute color palette, and most of the images are pleasant to look at. But, really, that’s about it. The music is forgettable, the story is forgettable, and so is the main character. It’s not a game that will stick in people’s memories for long. The characters in the Land of Screens also get a slight nod. While none of the people Holland encounters are particularly noteworthy, they stand out in a game that desperately needs something to pique the player’s interest. All the characters are stereotypes, unfortunately. There’s the couch-embedded uncle who watches sports, the selfie junkie, the ardent fan of a niche TV show, the passionate rock band devotee, the social butterfly who needs a party, and at least three carefree youths. Even though Serenity Forge has done a wonderful job of creating a cast of characters with unique personalities, they’re pretty cookie cutter at the end of the day. land of screen concerts Land of Screens has an important message that most people already know. It’s a good idea to disconnect sometimes, put away devices and social media, and spend quality time with real people. Throughout the game, Holland visits a high school friend he’s lost touch with, makes some new friends, hangs out at a concert, visits with family, and goes on a fun hike in the woods. Seeing Holland’s unexpected “adventures” and their positive impact on his outlook can be inspiring, but it’s doubtful that it will ultimately lead anyone to actually disconnect for a while. And it cannot be ignored that Serenity Forge tried to deliver its message through a game that required people to be on their PC or Switch for hours. Ironically, the Land of Screens will struggle to hold the attention of many people. While the message is good, it is unfortunately not very exciting. Although Land of Screens is categorized as a point-and-click adventure game, it doesn’t quite live up to that moniker. Instead, it’s a lot of dialogue reading, a bit of switching from person to person to initiate said dialogue, and then more dialogue reading. It wouldn’t be so bad if the conversations were interesting, but there are almost none of them. Instead, players are driven to mundane interactions that would not be enjoyable in real life, especially in a recreational game. land of screens cody holland social media There is a small amount of what could loosely be called gameplay in Land of Screens. The game is divided into five chapters, and Holland’s goal in each chapter is to get everyone to put down their devices and interact face-to-face. For some people, it requires a little more thought. For example, in one chapter, Holland has to convince his friends to play volleyball. In order for Julia to participate, the player must notice the dog in the backyard, find out through conversation that Holland’s new acquaintance is a dog lover, and then tell her that there is a dog outside to meet. That’s really about as complicated as it gets. And every player will have the exact same experience. There is only one set path to complete each chapter, and none of them require much brain power. Fortunately, Land of Screens doesn’t overstay its welcome. Serenity Forge correctly gauged how long it could keep most people playing and then pulled the plug. The game can be completed in a few hours, which would be the tolerance threshold of many people. And when the players start to get restless and decide they want to do something else, the game ends. In the end, Land of Screens may serve as a useful reminder for some gamers, but most people already know that it’s important to look at their devices sometimes. As a non-developer, it’s hard to see how Serenity Forge could have delivered its message in a more engaging way, but there are developers who have successfully implemented society’s call to action in their games. This is often done by focusing on the gameplay first and sprinkling the message throughout for people to discover for themselves. Instead, Serenity Forge made Land of Screens all about the message and only slightly focused on anything else. This resulted in a flat experience that lacked the ability to inspire. Land of Screens is available on PC and Switch. Today Technology was provided with a Steam code for this review. MORE: 13 Video Games That Will Help You Relax

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