Lorelei and the Laser Eyes: In-Depth Review

Lorelei and the Laser Eyes Review – A Mastery of Illusions

Lorelei and the Laser Eyes, developed by Simogo, is a psychological horror puzzle game that stands as one of the studio’s finest achievements. Expertly interlocking cryptic puzzle design with a chilling narrative, it offers a gaming experience that masterfully blends storytelling with design. This review delves into the intricate details of why Lorelei and the Laser Eyes is a monumental success.

A screenshot of the main character exploring the eerie, monochromatic hotel in Lorelei and the Laser Eyes.
Image Credit: Polygon

A Journey Through Labyrinths and Mazes

Before playing **Lorelei and the Laser Eyes**, I had never considered the differences between a labyrinth and a maze. A labyrinth, as it turns out, is a single path that twists and turns, invoking the illusion of being lost, yet always leading to the center. A maze, conversely, has multiple paths filled with dead ends and wrong turns, requiring trial and error to navigate. The former can be meditative, while the latter demands patience and perseverance. Lorelei and the Laser Eyes cleverly combines these concepts through its mechanics, themes, and narrative, creating a gaming experience that is both challenging and rewarding.

Immersive Psychological Horror

Set in a black-and-white, neon-red-accented hotel, **Lorelei and the Laser Eyes** plunges players into a dense, puzzle-laden world. The game’s narrative blurs the line between fact and fiction, making players question their perceptions. The story is not handed to you; instead, it unfolds through exploration and puzzle-solving, leading to a heart-wrenching conclusion that feels earned.

Also Read:- Biomutant Switch Review

From the outset, the game provides no setup or direction. You control a stylish, 1960s mod-inspired woman in sunglasses, standing alone in the woods at night outside the historic Hotel Letztes Jahr. Like the protagonist, you are thrust into this world with no knowledge of who or where you are, or why you’re there. The game’s manual, found within the world itself, simply states that the goal is to find the truth. This direction, or lack thereof, sets the tone for the entire experience—everything must be discovered and understood through your efforts.

Intricate Puzzle Design

The game’s puzzles are intricately designed and interwoven with the narrative. Every piece of information you find serves a dual purpose: it advances the story and provides knowledge necessary to solve puzzles. Whether it’s news articles, books on numerology, or the Greek alphabet, these elements act as tools to progress further into the hotel. Unlike many puzzle games that create their own language and style of puzzles, Lorelei and the Laser Eyes uses real-world concepts and logic, making the puzzles feel grounded and accessible, yet challenging.

One of the game’s strengths is its nonlinearity. The manual, for example, is locked away and requires a key to obtain, but the game can be completed without ever finding it. This design choice instills a sense of trust in the player to discover things independently. While not every piece of the story is necessary to complete the game, those who take the time to explore every corner of its world are deeply rewarded.

A World of Enigmas

Renzo Nero, a larger-than-life artist with a taste for theatrics, invites you to participate in an artistic project. The hotel is both a maze and an intricate puzzle box, with each area requiring a solution to progress. You explore its labyrinthine halls, uncovering the story piece by piece. The game uses fixed camera angles and vector-style 3D graphics to create a cinematic, monochrome world that is both eerie and captivating.

Every door, drawer, gate, and passageway requires a solution to be unlocked. Some are locked from the other side, others need a specific key, and some are padlocked with a code that must be discovered. Solutions often come from the environment around you, requiring keen observation and cross-examination of gathered information. This approach ensures that the game is dense but not overwhelming, as it paces out information and provides the tools necessary to solve puzzles logically.

Also Read:- Endless Ocean: Luminous Review

A Test of Patience and Perseverance

There were moments when I felt stuck, having found puzzles that seemed unsolvable. These instances added hours to my journey, as I experimented with different approaches and revisited clues. It was frustrating but also a valuable lesson in patience and perseverance. Once I realized that not every puzzle needed to be solved immediately, the game became a more meditative experience.

The difficulty of the puzzles is balanced by the game’s nonlinear nature. If you’re stuck on one puzzle, you can move on to another, keeping the experience from becoming stagnant. During my 34-hour playthrough, I filled 31 pages of my notebook with notes and symbols, often involving Roman numerals, lunar phases, or astrology. This reliance on note-taking made the experience immersive and satisfying, blending my real-life habits with the game’s challenges.

Meta-Narrative and Art

Lorelei and the Laser Eyes excels in using the medium of video games to tell its story. Its biggest themes center around the relationship between art and technology, and the artistic medium of games. Simogo uses game development as a narrative throughline, guiding players through different eras of gaming, from the low-poly horror of the PlayStation era to the lo-fi charm of 1-bit adventure games. This meta-narrative enriches the experience, rewarding players familiar with gaming history and Simogo’s previous works.

The game’s horror elements are emphasized by its use of various graphic styles. At times, it employs PlayStation 1-style graphics to evoke a sense of nostalgia and unease. This contrast with the game’s modern visuals creates a jarring, unsettling effect that enhances the horror atmosphere. Simogo’s clever use of gaming conventions and history adds depth to the narrative, making it a truly unique experience.

Also Read:- Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles Review

The Importance of Breaks

Playing **Lorelei and the Laser Eyes** requires patience and often stepping away from the game to process its puzzles. Taking breaks to clear your mind can lead to eureka moments when you return with a fresh perspective. The game’s reliance on note-taking and cross-examination of clues means that having a notebook is essential. This necessity for a physical notebook parallels the protagonist’s photographic memory, making the player feel more connected to the character.

The game’s simple control scheme allows for comfortable play, especially on the Switch, where you can use a single Joy-Con while holding a pencil or cup of coffee in the other hand. This design choice makes playing on the Switch an ideal way to experience the game.


Lorelei and the Laser Eyes is a monumental achievement in the puzzle game genre. Its masterful integration of narrative and puzzle design creates an experience that is both challenging and rewarding. Simogo’s use of real-world concepts and logic, combined with a dense, immersive world, makes for a game that is as intellectually stimulating as it is emotionally engaging.

The game’s meta-narrative, exploring the relationship between art and technology, adds depth and richness to the story. Lorelei and the Laser Eyes is a testament to the power of video games as a medium for storytelling, using its unique mechanics to convey a narrative that could only be experienced through interactive play

For those who enjoy a challenge and appreciate intricate puzzle design, Lorelei and the Laser Eyes is a must-play. It’s a game that requires patience, perseverance, and a love for mysteries, rewarding those who take the time to delve into its cryptic world. As one of Simogo’s finest achievements, it stands as a shining example of what can be accomplished when storytelling and game design are seamlessly intertwined.

Lorelei and the Laser Eyes: FAQs

What type of game is Lorelei and the Laser Eyes?

**Lorelei and the Laser Eyes** is a psychological horror puzzle game. It combines intricate puzzles with a deep and immersive narrative set in a black-and-white, neon-red-accented world. The game emphasizes exploration and critical thinking, requiring players to solve puzzles to uncover the story.

Who developed Lorelei and the Laser Eyes?

The game was developed by Simogo, a studio known for its innovative approach to game design and storytelling. Simogo has a reputation for creating unique and engaging games that often blend different genres and styles.

What platforms is Lorelei and the Laser Eyes available on?

Lorelei and the Laser Eyes is available on multiple platforms, including the Nintendo Switch and PC. The game’s design makes it particularly well-suited for the Switch, with its comfortable control scheme and portability enhancing the puzzle-solving experience.

What is the main objective in Lorelei and the Laser Eyes?

The primary objective of Lorelei and the Laser Eyes is to uncover the truth behind the mysterious events occurring in and around the historic Hotel Letztes Jahr. Players must explore the environment, solve puzzles, and piece together clues to advance the story and ultimately discover the protagonist’s true purpose.

How difficult are the puzzles in Lorelei and the Laser Eyes?

The puzzles in Lorelei and the Laser Eyes range from moderately challenging to quite difficult. They require keen observation, critical thinking, and sometimes a deep understanding of real-world concepts like numerology, the Greek alphabet, and astrology. The game’s nonlinear structure allows players to tackle puzzles at their own pace, often encouraging breaks and fresh perspectives.

Also Read:- SaGa Emerald Beyond: Review

Is there a linear storyline in Lorelei and the Laser Eyes?

Lorelei and the Laser Eyes features a nonlinear narrative, meaning the story unfolds based on the player’s exploration and puzzle-solving. While there is a central plot to uncover, the way players discover and piece together the narrative can vary significantly, offering a unique experience for each playthrough.

Do I need to take notes while playing?

Taking notes is highly recommended while playing Lorelei and the Laser Eyes. The game provides numerous clues and pieces of information that players need to cross-reference to solve puzzles. Keeping a notebook handy can greatly enhance the experience and help in tracking progress and understanding the story.

How long does it take to complete Lorelei and the Laser Eyes?

The completion time for Lorelei and the Laser Eyes can vary widely depending on how quickly players solve the puzzles and how thoroughly they explore the game’s world. On average, a complete playthrough can take anywhere from 20 to 40 hours, with more thorough explorations extending that time.

Is Lorelei and the Laser Eyes scary?

As a psychological horror game, Lorelei and the Laser Eyes contains elements designed to create an eerie and unsettling atmosphere. While it may not be as overtly frightening as some horror games, its use of psychological tension and unsettling visuals can be quite impactful, making it more suspenseful and mentally engaging.

What themes does Lorelei and the Laser Eyes explore?

The game explores themes related to art, technology, and the nature of reality. It delves into the relationship between these elements, using its narrative and puzzle design to create a rich and thought-provoking experience. The story also touches on concepts of memory, identity, and perception.

Can you replay Lorelei and the Laser Eyes?

Yes, Lorelei and the Laser Eyes can be replayed. Given its nonlinear narrative and complex puzzle design, each playthrough can offer new insights and discoveries. Additionally, players might find different pieces of the story or solve puzzles in new ways, making replayability a rewarding aspect of the game.

Does the game provide any hints or assistance for puzzles?

Lorelei and the Laser Eyes does not provide explicit hints or assistance for puzzles within the game itself. The design encourages players to rely on their own observational and deductive skills. However, players can take breaks and return to puzzles with fresh perspectives, which can often lead to new insights and solutions.

What is unique about Lorelei and the Laser Eyes compared to other puzzle games?

Lorelei and the Laser Eyes stands out due to its integration of real-world concepts into its puzzle design and its deep, immersive narrative. The game’s psychological horror elements, combined with its nonlinear structure and reliance on player discovery, create a unique experience that challenges players both intellectually and emotionally. Simogo’s artistic approach and the game’s meta-narrative on art and technology further distinguish it from other titles in the genre.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top