Lake review – a small-town drama about delivering post in a picturesque place


Keza MacDonald

PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S (version tested), PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch; Gamious/Whitehorn Digital
This peaceful circuit is perfect for the kind of person who tries to observe traffic laws when playing Grand Theft Auto

When Meredith Weiss – a 44-year-old computer programmer with a demanding job and a pushy boss – returns to Providence Oaks, the small lake town in which she grew up, she thinks she’s only going to be covering her father’s mail route for two weeks. But actually … no, wait, that’s exactly what does happen. There’s no big twist in this gentle slice-of-life game about driving around a beautiful, entirely unremarkable American environment in a post van. I kept waiting for something a bit Twin Peaks to happen, or for some small-town drama to bubble up into something more exciting, but it never did. You deliver the post, you talk to residents, you gently examine Meredith’s life choices. Once you abandon expectations for some action and sink into the daily rhythm, it’s a relaxing time.

I am a terrible mail person, though. I drive on the wrong side of the road, crash into things constantly, and park in the middle of the street. Thankfully, nobody really cares; the van can’t get damaged, you can’t drive into the lake, and you can’t run anybody over. If you’re the kind of person who actually tries to follow traffic laws in Grand Theft Auto, this will be your vibe. Set in 1986, the game keeps things to a very small cast of characters – Meredith’s childhood best friend, the farmer who’s also local radio DJ, a lumberjack, the owner of the new VHS store in town – and the rekindled relationships between them. Supporting actors such as Meredith’s boss and her parents are only ever heard over the telephone.

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