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Preview: Lorelei and the Laser Eyes is deliciously bizarre — and utterly brainteasing

Lorelei and the Laser Eyes screenshot
Image: Simogo/Annapurna Interactive

Revealed today during the Nintendo Indie World showcase, Simogo’s Lorelei and the Laser Eyes is set to release on 16th May, landing on PC and Switch. The upcoming game from the Sayonara Wild Hearts developer, it’s a hyper-stylish, mysterious and intriguing puzzle adventure — and it’s one you’re going to want to get your hands on next month. How do we know? Well, we’re lucky enough to have spent a few hours with it already.

You won’t have a clue what’s going on in Lorelei and the Laser Eyes. It’s sort of the point, really — at least initially. You’re in control of a woman whose car has broken down in the woods. She’s got some weird documents in her glove box, and a mysterious hotel looms in the background. Right from the off, this is a game that has its hooks in you. You won’t be quite sure why; you won’t be quite sure what exactly you’re doing. But you absolutely won’t be able to stop pushing forward.

This is the sort of experience that unravels itself, mystery by mystery, with new oddities and obscurities revealing themselves as you progress. Just when you think you might be starting to understand something, another big question mark will raise its head. But for us, that’s the joy of Lorelei and the Laser Eyes, so far at least. You’re fuelled in part by your own curiosity, which is kept satiated by how deliciously bizarre this game is.

Lorelei and the Laser Eyes screenshot
Image: Simogo/Annapurna Interactive

The noir-inspired art style helps set the tone, too. Much of Lorelei and the Laser Eyes is black and white, with splashes of colour — usually red — when it’s called for. It adds a new layer of intrigue to just about everything you come across as you explore, making the world you’re in as ominous as it could possibly be.

Related: Botany Manor review – Simply perfect puzzles

Lorelei and the Laser Eyes is absolutely laden with puzzles. From the moment you enter the hotel, a place that forms the backdrop for much of the action, you’ll come up against locked doors, cupboards with combinations, mysterious objects that you seemingly can’t do anything with and a whole lot more. Initially, there’s not much you can do. But as Lorelei and the Laser Eyes’ narrative unfolds, you’ll be given morsels of information that will slowly but surely let you begin to solve puzzles and make sense of the weird and wonderful world around you.

Lorelei and the Laser Eyes screenshot
Image: Simogo/Annapurna Interactive

Maybe you’ll find a phone number, for example, and dialling that into a phone might lead you down a particular rabbit hole. Elsewhere in the hotel, another clue might lead you in a completely different direction. This is a non-linear adventure, and we very much expect everyone’s experience will be slightly different. That’s part of the beauty, though. It’s a game that’s very — very — cleverly woven together, with branching paths, difficult puzzles and brainteasers everywhere you turn.

It’s safe to say you’re going to need your brain in gear to puzzle your way through Lorelei and the Laser Eyes. It’s not the type of puzzle game that holds your hand and it expects you to have certain real-world knowledges, like a good grasp of Roman numerals and even the Greek alphabet. We like that, though: it’s a game that treats you like an intellectual without being patronising or talking down to you. Sure, we’re a little worried that, as we progress, we’re going to come up against a brick wall with a puzzle that we just can’t figure out. But so far — touch wood — it’s all going well.

We can’t wait to experience more of Lorelei and the Laser Eyes. This is a puzzle adventure like no other we’ve played before. It’s bizarre, mysterious and beautiful, and it raises just as many questions as it expects you to answer. If you like to have your grey matter tested, be sure this is on your radar when it launches on 16th May. Trust us: puzzle fans are not going to be disappointed.

Editor in chief // Kim's been into video games since playing Dizzy on her brother's Commodore 64 as a nipper. She'll give just about anything a go, but she's got a particular soft spot for indie adventures. If she's not gaming, she'll be building Lego, reading a thriller, watching something spooky or... asleep. She does love to sleep.