Go on a feel-good adventure with a brother and sister as they explore dreamscapes and befriend magical creatures. Lost in their imagination, Toto and Gal must stick together and solve puzzles to journey back home. This whimsical puzzle adventure game will make you feel like you’re playing a cartoon!

Publisher: Joystick Ventures
Reviewed on: PC (Ryzen 5 2600, RTX 2070 Super, 32GB DDR4)
Also available for:
Nintendo Switch

Developer: Happy Juice Games
Game Design: Yuval Markovich, Oren Rubin, Alon Simon
Music: Alon Kaplan, Naor Hazan

Cast: Jonathan Magon, Eliana Magon

The gorgeous early morning cartoon art direction grabbed me from when I first saw Lost in Play. This point-and-click adventure game is filled with as much charm as its vibrant colour palette would have you think, and for fans of the genre, this is a must-play afternoon adventure.

You control both the protagonists, siblings Toto and Gal, as they go on a fantastical journey featuring goblins, dragons, and giants. None of it’s real; however, as the title states, the siblings are lost in play. The game taking place entirely in an imaginative world of role-playing may be a turn-off for some players, and there are some downsides. There are certainly no stakes to what’s happening; neither of the siblings is really in trouble, and any villains are simply creatures of their design. However, developer Happy Juice Games has gone for their studio’s namesake, opting for a feel-good adventure rather than one that explores any hardship. 

For the most part, I did enjoy having a whole game I happily kept playing in one sitting. Still, because of the game’s direction, you never grow to know anything about either Toto or Gal, and the voice-acting is a mumbled dialect rather than one of understanding. It means the two characters aren’t near as memorable as the world they create, inhabit and bring you on the journey for, which is a disappointing factor in the genre.

 Most of the game’s puzzles are simple point-and-click genre staples, but there’s enough mixed up to keep you scratching your head sometimes. You’ll have to trade and find items between characters and locations to progress, but when you trigger a significant point in the level, you’ll often find yourself involved in a new type of mini-game. These start as simple as lock-picking, but as the game progresses becomes a full-on card game and several problem-solving puzzles that had me stumped for a time. The mini-games significantly help with the pacing of a game in this genre while adding difficulty to what is otherwise a relatively straightforward adventure game. I appreciated the choice to put the difficulty in these mini-games more than the main objectives. 

Lost in Play is a beautifully realised dreamworld that’s well-worth experiencing for yourself, especially if you’re a fan of the genre. If you need help, there’s even an as-always appreciated hint system, but however you play the game, just enjoy yourself.