Lost in Random is the marriage between Alice: Madness Returns and Slay the Spire you never knew you needed

I always love to try and imagine what the initial pitch for a game would have been while I’m playing.

For Lost in Random, I can definitely see some obvious influences on its aesthetic and style. There’s a dash of Nightmare Before Christmas in here, with a large helping of Alice in Wonderland. And undoubtedly there’s a few nods and winks to Slay the Spire and the LEGO games.

Yet one thing becomes abundantly clear early on is that this really does feel fresh, different and stands very much apart as its own thing. Lost In Random, then, is one of the bravest, most experimental games this year and it sticks its landing extremely well.

The world around feels atmospheric and enchanting. You’re not always altogether sure what’s happening but as you unpick more and more of the story, you find yourself becoming more and more invested in its quirky charms.

Solo characters trying to sell you potions and enchantments while they bicker and argue with another aspect of their personality, all while gradually trying to fight off knights in shining armor and flying treasure bots that really aren’t friendly.

As Even, you are in search of your sister Odd, and have to travel between the realms in order to find her. The trouble is, you’ve come into possession of a dice which has been outlawed by the Queen and one hasn’t been seen in the kingdom for…well a very long time.

So you’ve got Queens Guards and minions chasing you as you progress, but thanks to the power of the Dice, you can accumulate crystals, and roll the Dice in order to play certain action cards. Some are pretty simple like giving you a health increase and even reducing the value of a card meaning you can play more.

Others are a lot more powerful, though, like summoning a giant hand that can slap at enemies and ones that turn Dicey into a mini bomb. Some have higher values than others, of course, meaning you’ll need to be careful how to play your hand and be aware of what you do each turn.

For instance, if you don’t summon some form of weapon with your hand, then you’ll have to wait to fill up your dice again and mostly just dodge until you do. You see, the slingshot you’re equipped with is only useful for smashing pots or catching crystals on enemy bodies. The ammunition doesn’t actually hurt your enemies. At least, not right away.

The combat system is really unique, then, blending a platformer with the likes of Gwent or Hearthstone, but it can also be a source of frustration as enemies often huddle up on you and the numbers get more and more overwhelming as you progress, really limiting your window and opportunity to build up your crystals.

Sometimes battles also take far too long and surprisingly, this is an issue with the game early on which, undoubtedly, slows the pacing of the whole game and can make some of the action a bit of a slog. A shame, considering how creative and dynamic the whole UI actually is.

But I loved the way in which you could mix up your attacks and the way you approach situations. You also never quite know what you’ll end up with as hands are random and so you could have a dud as much as you might have a real winner. Fortunately, you can build up your card collection using the currency you pick up from pots, which can make sure you have better cards to play the deeper you get into the game.

And there’s a really interesting story bringing this all together, with each of the six towns looking and feeling very different from the other as you try to make your way to the Queen and get back your sister.

Lost in Random certainly finds itself admist a treasure trove of creative indies and despite the backing from EA, still has potential to get forgotten about and lost in the shuffle when we come to end of year awards.

But despite some pacing issues and some issues around its combat and navigation, I really got sucked into this fascinating, creepy world and its enchanting story and mostly found myself enjoying what the game itself has to offer amidst its side quests and unique activities. Definitely worth a peek!


+ Wonderfully Atmospheric
+ Really well-told story
+ Creative use of cards to diversify combat


– Combat can sometimes go on for too long and feel repetitive at times
– Enemies really swarm you in number, making pacing a bit of a slog early on

Lost in Random is now available on PC, PS4, PS5, and Xbox

Played on PS5

Code kindly provided by EA

About the author

Sally Willington

Sally is relatively new to gaming since a newfound addiction to Nintendo Switch. Now they just can't stop playing, anything and everything. Sally especially loves a good RPG and thinks that Yuna may just be one of her favourite characters ever.
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