I would like to state up front that I love Lake, the recent indie title by Gamious. Although it can be a bit slow at times, it is within these slow sections where it perfectly mirrors what life is mostly really like. Although there are moments of surprise, joy, irritation, introspection, and rumination, there are also extended stretches of dull nothingness — simply moving from one point to the next in order to experience the next moment of something. 

But for as much as Lake seems to perfectly encapsulate the human experience that we know, it is also rooted in its own reality. Starting with its setting: To the best of my knowledge there is no Providence Oaks, Oregon. At least, nothing shows up in a Google search other than the Providence Oregon Medical Facility.

There are also variations of brands of products on the shelves of the general store that both mirror and poke fun at the naming conventions of some of our nation’s most treasured brands. Instead of Ding Dongs, they have Big Dings; Instead of Hi-C they have Hi-A. Mr. T’s cereal, which was a popular brand in the 1980s (Lake is set in 1987), is instead Mr. X’s, and the microwave popcorn brand Pop Secret is replaced by Pop Song.


This even carries over to the local video rental place, The Flick Shack. Before you even walk through the front door, you are met with a poster for the movie, Back to the Present, a cheeky send-up of the popular Michael J. Fox movie, Back to the Future (although in this version Marty is a teenage girl).

And it doesn’t end there, the store shelves are littered with incredible spoof versions of classic American movies, both in title and box art. So much so that at first glance I thought developer Gamious must’ve actually cleared the rights to feature the real box art until I realized these were gags. And hats off to whoever designed these; that person has a bright future.

Some of my favorites are TSARFACE (Scarface), The Bee (The Fly), The Brunch Bunch (The Breakfast Club), The Friendly Dead (The Evil Dead), and The Thermomator (The Terminator). I suggest checking out the rest of them as well, since they are all so good.


The problem is, there comes a point in the story, should you befriend the video store clerk, where you are asked to deliver a mobile VHS player and copies of select movies in order to entice people to frequent the video store more regularly. But the movies you are tasked with delivering are actual real-world movies — titles, box art, and all. These include The Love Bug, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Jaws, and The Dirty Dozen. Gamious did, at the very least, avoid spoofing these titles so as to not completely break the fabric of the spacetime continuum, thus plunging all of reality into an endless abyss of life imitating art and vice versa for all of eternity. And for that I thank them. 

But in what world can spoof versions of movies exist with real movies? In what world, I ask you?

Of course, this in no way diminishes the enjoyment of playing Lake as a whole. But for all of the well-devised spoof versions of real-world products that are peppered throughout Lake, I think it would’ve better served the overall immersion of my time spent with Meredith Weiss if Gamious would’ve just spoofed the aforementioned real-world movies instead of using the actual versions. 

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1 year ago

Why does this article even exist??
I love the fake movies existing with the real ones

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