Review: Loretta

“Whose side will you take in this story without heroes?”

By Elexis Angulo. Posted 05/28/2024 10:03 Comment on this     ShareThis
The Final Grade
1-Up Mushroom for...
Moody aesthetics; Compelling narrative; Cryptic puzzles
Poison Mushroom for...
Confusing gameplay; Slow pacing

A psychological thriller set in the 1940’s where you play as a housewife who murders her husband? I was so excited to get my hands on Loretta, and it did not disappoint!

As players assume the role of Loretta, a housewife who discovers her husband’s infidelity, they are pushed into a web of deceit and moral ambiguity. The game’s branching narrative allows for multiple paths and endings, ensuring that each playthrough offers a unique experience. The game threw me for a loop when I started, as it kind of thrusts you into the narrative, but it isn’t hard to get the hang of things after a while. Central to the experience is the branching narrative, and how certain actions have immediate consequences, such as death. Visually, Loretta embraces its noir influences with a stylish aesthetic that evokes the mood and atmosphere of classic film noir.

While Loretta excels in storytelling and atmosphere, it may not appeal to all players due to its dark subject matter and morally ambiguous themes. I, however, really enjoy games such as this, especially the cryptic puzzles and hidden secrets. From deciphering clues to uncovering Loretta’s murky past, players will need to utilize their wits and intuition to progress. I feel as though these features are well-crafted and add depth to the gameplay experience. The game as a whole is such a twisted, thrilling journey.

One of the things about the game that frustrated me, however, were the mini games. It seems as though the game forces you to replay some of them as there is no direction on what to do to advance. I chose not to look up any tutorials and I was able to figure them all out on my own anyways, but sometimes lack of instruction can be disappointing and pull you out of the immersion. Despite this, the way that the mini games convey different emotions and situations that Loretta is experiencing really adds to the narrative.

Of course, Loretta isn’t perfect, and I found the pacing to be really slow at times, which sort of takes you out of the immersion. It traps you in extended dialogue sequences, and it seems as though most of the dialogue options in the beginning don’t necessarily impact the game, apart from the ones that lead to immediate death, and by beginning I mean the first half or more of the game. The pacing is also pretty uneven for a thriller, with moments of intense drama followed by lulls in action.

I feel as though, for a psychological thriller, there is a lot of dialogue, and it isn’t necessarily intriguing at first, especially when you’re still navigating how to play. A lot of the back and forth from the past and present can sort of make the narrative muddy as well, and I found myself getting a little lost, wondering if I was still in the past or not. The story is compelling, don’t get me wrong, and I love ambiguity when it comes to thrillers, I just feel as though it could have been delivered a little more successfully.

Overall, I found that Loretta is a captivating and thought-provoking experience that explores the darker aspects of human nature. Whether you’re a fan of narrative-driven games or simply enjoy a good mystery, it’s sure to leave a lasting impression and have you constantly thinking about it. I believe it’s a must-play title for fans of interactive storytelling and psychological thrillers. I am eager to give it another playthrough to see what ending I’ll get next!

Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.

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