Endless Lake Game Review
Our first thought on Endless Lake when we first tried playing it was “What a cute-looking game!”. And then our second thought was “This is harder than it looks”. And true enough, this game, which has been described as “the prettiest of the Instant Games” on Facebook, is a game that’s easy to learn, but hard to master. Here’s our review of Endless Lake.
The design elements of Endless Lake are reminiscent of the Award-winning game Monument Valley, with its landscape (or should we say lakescape) randomly dotted with castle towers topped with banners and stairs that lead to nowhere.
You control a little white cube-headed character named Ubik, whose plastered smile can be a little unnerving, especially when it doesn’t go away even when he falls into the lake and dies.
Or maybe he’s still smiling because of how pretty the lake is, and falling into it just lets him take a closer look at the floating water lilies that bloom as he passes by them.
The game instructions are easy enough to understand at one glance: Tap once to jump over short gaps on your tracks, and tap twice in a row to perform a somersault over wider gaps. No need to swipe or tilt the screen to change directions — Ubik automatically follows the orange tracks wherever they lead.
Your objective then is to just prevent him from falling into the water by jumping over the gaps (and collect coins along the way). Sounds simple enough, but it gets quite tricky since the gaps are all different sizes, and they occur at random points throughout the game.
And to complicate things, you get magical doorways along your path that split your character into duplicates when you enter them. You enter as a single entity through a purple door, and you exit out through pink doors as two versions of yourself.
Each version of yourself takes a different path now, and this is the point when you panic a little because your eyes can only follow one character at a time, right?
You are mistaken if you think that you’ll only ever get to deal with two characters at once. We’ve experienced up to 5 characters on our screen so far, and every time it happens, it’s only a matter of a few milliseconds before all of them die (at least they’re all still smiling).
The trick is probably to just focus on getting only one of the characters safely across the gaps, but our multi-tasking brains wants to save them all, which of course means we save none at all.
Sound and Music
The Start screen music has an oriental vibe to it that makes you think of a Japanese zen garden, while the ambient electronic music that plays in the background as Ubik makes his run has a subdued kind of upbeat.
Ubik utters little “Hyah!” sounds when he jumps. If you didn’t know, practitioners of Japanese martial arts like aikido and judo call this kiai, and it has a number of functions, including “harmonizing of ki energy”. Bet you didn’t know that!
Fun Factor and Replayability
There’s no doubt that this game has the fun factor down pat. As one game designer puts it, “the crucial gem of endless-runner design [is] the ‘just one more run‘ factor.”
Like any well-designed endless runner game such as Temple Run, Endless Lake makes you want to go for another run over and over, if not to try and beat your friends on Facebook messenger, then just to see how many Ubiks you can possibly handle at any given time. This makes the game have a potentially good replayability factor.
Contributing to that are the different characters that you can unlock in the Shop by earning enough coins. There are 9 characters that you can purchase for 2000 coins each. So far, we know of Ganesh, Robo, Bengal, Bunny, and Crowy (elephant, robot, tiger, rabbit, and crow, respectively).
The game’s long-term replayability would be improved if it had achievements that can be unlocked, similar to the objectives of Temple Run or the missions in Zombie Tsunami.
Endless Lake is an eye candy of a game, with a good amount of challenge that makes a player want to go for “just one more run.” It’s a game that you would enjoy trying to beat your friends at, or playing by yourself to beat your high score. We give this game a 7.5/10 rating.
What is the maximum number of Ubiks that can appear on the screen? Who are the four other characters that can be unlocked in the Shop? We haven’t been playing long enough to find out, so please let us know in the comments below!