Lake: Season's Greetings


The lovable Lake has your Christmas-themed gaming sorted.


Lake was released last year and we rather liked it. A gentle driving & walking game set in a town called Providence Oaks that sits on the edge of the titular lake, Lake was a heartwarming tale that featured Meredith Weiss, who'd returned from the big city to house sit, and ended up filling in for her postman dad while he was on vacation.

Season's Greetings is a prequel, set in 1985 that sees you playing as Meredith's Dad Thomas, and introduces a few new characters. The story starts the day before Christmas Eve, with Meredith expected home for Christmas...

Thomas goes about his job, delivering a mixture of letters and packages which are delivered to the door or occasionally handed directly to the recipient.

Lake's gameplay is simple, undemanding and fun. Just about anyone who can hold a controller can play Lake, and it's hard to imagine anyone not enjoying its gentle gameplay. There are no guns, no death, no violence, no time limits... You can't even run anyone over or get run over (by accident or design.)

The gameplay consists of guiding Postman Tom around Providence Oaks and putting letters in the right mailboxes (these are sorted automatically as long as you walk up to the correct mailbox) or selecting the correctly addressed package from the back of the mail van. It's nice and easy driving, the van handles well, the map is excellent and you can set a waypoint if needed.

Lake: Season's Greetings has a sweet nature and a keen sense of humour. The work that's gone into designing all the various stores' spoof products; foods, candies, videos, books etc is impressive and several made us chuckle. The game does have some adult themes, but they're never rammed down your throat.

While it hardly strains the Xbox Series X/S's graphical muscle, Lake's beautiful scenery is easy on the eye, with nice touches like footsteps and tyre tracks in the snow.

If I have to criticise this charming game, I'd say that the van has too much grip and it really doesn't feel like you're slithering around on snow-packed roads. Thomas's animation is also a bit suspect, as he walks he constantly has his left hand on his bag strap, which looks like it's on his hip, so it looks like he's trying to sashay like a catwalk model. Unfortunately his gait is just as suspect, and he waddles like he's possibly pooped his Government issue postman pants.

Season's Greetings has little in the way of side missions, and while it's not really a concern for me, the fact that no achievements are allocated to it will be a disappointment for many. And finally, the story, while gentle and charming and interesting enough to keep me playing for 4 hours or so (you can drive around as much as you want as there are no time constraints) isn't quite as good as the core game's, and felt a bit lightweight in comparison. The Season's Greetings plot rather underuses the map, and doesn't use the camera as a game element as in the original story. Finally, in a game that has you delivering stuff, some hidden collectibles would have been a nice touch…

For Lake veterans Lake: Season's Greetings is priced at £8.39, while if you like the sound of the simple life in Providence Oaks then Lake: Special Delivery is priced at £20.99 and contains the Lake core game and the Season's Greetings DLC.

Many thanks to Whitethorn Games