Lost Ember - Hawk Vision, Human Eyes

Exploring Lost Ember's enchanting world

A game in which you can be a wombat and eat berries! Or dig burrows, transforming into a mole! Or, forgetting about the problems of silly mammals, joyfully splash around in river rapids as a fish! We never thought we needed it – but, honestly, the opportunity to literally step into the animal’s skin (even within the framework of a video game) is sometimes sorely lacking. Enough with the two-legged and furless characters, how much more can we take.

And finally, we are given the opportunity to explore the world on four paws or with the help of wings – in the game Lost Ember by Mooneye Studios.

Soaring through the skies

One ancient (and long extinct, apparently) civilization believed that people who lived according to the law and deserved proper burials ascended to a happy place called the City of Light after death. Those who were unworthy remained below and were reborn in a “dirty” form – as animals. Our hero – or rather, heroine – is one of those unworthy ones, trapped in the skin of a wolf, and her companion, a lost soul-spark who for some reason cannot find her way to the heavenly City, meet by fate – and set off on a journey.

Through the ruins of destroyed settlements, overgrown with moss and vines, between the shattered columns of cyclopean structures, across plains and hills, over lakes and streams. Their path will be guided by the red smoke of memory fires, which will help the she-wolf remember what happened to her in her past life. And of course, other animals will help them in their wanderings. Our heroine possesses a special talent – she can move from body to body, and this is invaluable, considering that a wolf, despite all its maneuverability, simply cannot go everywhere. Only a small wombat can squeeze into a narrow burrow, only a mole, or rather, an armadillo, can dig a path under a stone wall, and the local birds are simply irreplaceable – even the low-flying and blatantly lazy local ducks. Not to mention the hummingbird, which can travel any distance at a speed of 80 km/h. (By the way, a real fact. And the fact that they can fly backward too.)

Meeting a friendly creature

Actually, all the puzzles in the game are about finding memory bonfires and animals to inhabit in order to continue the journey. Otherwise, it’s a classic linear walking simulator. You can accidentally fall off cliffs and ledges (which can be frustrating, as it seems like a wolf wouldn’t be harmed by jumping from a height of a couple of meters), but we immediately respawn where we were a second ago. There are no fights or any aggression – at least not in real time… memory is a different matter. Small animals are afraid of the she-wolf, but not too much, they just run away. They don’t touch or scare each other, no one hunts anyone, it’s all friendliness.

Lost Ember is very beautiful. All these vast spaces, diverse and magnificent, clouds, night sky with stars, jungles, savannah, lilies in the pond – and the opportunity to be an animal living in this world, flying with the flock, diving in the river, running on strong paws through the grass. Atmospheric and magnificent.

Embarking on a journey in a fantastic world

Alas, there are also downsides. The game is not very polished – I haven’t gotten stuck in walls so often in a long time, for example, even without experimenting with going beyond the map, just trying to return to the wolf skin in a narrow passage. (It’s good that the game autosaves frequently, so nothing critically scary happens – we just load and lose a minute of progress. But it’s still unpleasant.) The plot is quite specific – some people will like it (there are many reviews on Steam saying “I cried for an hour, couldn’t calm down”), some won’t. I think it would have been better without it at all, like Journey, and definitely without the talkative companion-light and his comments like “oh, these people have spears, they must be fighting”. Sometimes, as they say, it’s better to be silent.

But the animals, of course, are beautiful. Animals are always beautiful.

Lost Ember
PC, PS4, Xbox One
Action, Adventure
Mooneye Studios
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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