The title of this bizarre indie game is actually an Afrikaans term translating to “a lost mind”. And I have to admit that this demo certainly left me feeling rather lost. And I can’t tell whether or not that’s a negative or simply to be expected, as this game has us exploring a strange and nonsensical world of dreams.
I use the world “exploring” loosely, however, as I feel a lot of people who called this game a “walking simulator” were correct. The demo has three locations, a barren field with a single tree in the center, a labyrinth of hallways, and strange floating ruins decorated with winged skeletons. It all made very little sense, and the ruins in particular were extremely tedious, as they meandered all over the place, and it felt as if they were simply making the path long and tiresome for longevity’s sake rather than for the sake of actually entertaining gameplay. While this game also features platforming and puzzle-solving, the platforming was minimal and the “puzzles” largely involved me walking up to a lamp so that it would turn off or having to locate and walk through flames.
Further research taught me that the game is about 6 hours long, costs roughly $14.99, and contains 18 stages that cover only a handful of locations, with the goal always being to reach the tree. I have no idea if the game makes any more sense by the end, and I might have been willing to forgive the game’s ambiguous nature if it was actually fun to play. But during the 30 minutes I spent with the demo (at least half of which was dedicated to aimless wandering), there was very little fun to be had. Truly, not all games can be gems, and ‘n Verlore Verstand is definitely not something I can recommend.