Today GameCritics is happy to present this video covering Loretta from guest contributor Arlyeon. For more from Arlyeon, you can check out their YouTube channel or their Discord.


Hey folks, If you’re looking for an in-depth review, You’re in the right place! As for today, I’ll be talking about developer Yakov Butzoff’s point & click narrative adventure, Loretta.  Specifically, whether they managed to craft a tense thriller, or whether this femme fatale feature was a fiasco?  I’m your host Arlyeon, Let’s find out together.

The man had introduced himself as Chambers- said he was looking for her husband, that he owed some substantial debts to some significant people. Loretta – well, she couldn’t help him- She hadn’t seen him in some time.

And given how large the countryside was, with its endless fields of wheat, the only thing she could do was wish Chambers good luck on his hunt.

Now, As for whether she had any regrets about her husband’s disappearance? The jury’s still out.

Now, I hate spoilers, a fair deal – which makes Loretta a bit difficult to talk about since the real meat of the experience is the game’s story, providing the player with a legitimately interesting experience to navigate.

That said, it actually does tackle things in such an interesting fashion, that I do at least want to talk a bit about the writing itself. See, I’ve tackled dialogue heavy point and clicks before- and a recurring theme is that the strength of the writing can heavily impact how enjoyable the experience is.

And, I actually came away from this game feeling impressed because it does a solid job of embodying both thrillers and noir at large. In fact, the initial conversation you’re thrust into does an absolutely stellar job at establishing the mood, as you’re tasked with dealing with an inquiring stranger you’re given very little reason to trust.

While playing a character, who you can’t help but feel isn’t on the level, either. It’s honestly delightful, and the game does a delightful job at building tension- not only with the possibility of characters discovering our titular characters secret, but of the looming threat that she herself represents.

Because, as much as Loretta might try and frame things in such a way that she seems sympathetic – the truth of the matter is a -lot- more complicated, and her own role as a reliable narrator can be put into question, especially if you’re paying sharp attention to the dialogue. That said, her overall unreliability is… well, if you play -really- close attention to things, there’s definitely moments where the game -feels- like a horror game.

Especially if you cause the situation to go further off the rails. You can, in fact, divert the story entirely- exploring both literal and figurative dead ends, and alternate paths- some of which drastically change the tone of the game for a time – and helping to add some degree of replayability to the narrative. That said, while you can explore the tangents that would cut the game short- you’ll actually find yourself redirected onto the main route once they’re resolved.

Which, I suppose means, I ought to address the process of actually -making- choices. While exploring around the areas can certainly help to clarify certain story elements- What actually directs the story down certain paths is, mainly, whether or not you indulge your base impulses and commit crimes. Options that are helpfully highlighted in red, just so you don’t get accidentally murder-y.

There’s actually a fair amount of permutations to be found over the course of the game- 4 main endings, and one which builds off the others, requiring that you were a bit more diligent.

All in all- I actually had enough fun with it that I did two full playthroughs (Both Psychotically & otherwise)- with a little bit of finangling with the games chapter selection options, in order to change a few of my choices at the end. That, and some fiddling about to check out other earlier permutations I’d missed.

Which- yeah, that sums up the narrative half of things, insofar as the gameplay- there’s nowhere near as much to address. Simply put, Loretta really is straightforward as a point-and-click adventure. Most of the chapter segments will mostly hinge on you navigating a scene, engaging in dialogue, and maybe interacting with an object or two. All of it feels pretty organic to do, and the puzzle solving doesn’t tend to be too complex, since if you have the item needed for an interaction in your inventory, it’ll be automatically used.

In fact, the most challenging gameplay mechanic in the entire game is the segments which tend to herald the chapters, as you’ll encounter some oddly artistic novel gameplay segments, which don’t really tell you how they function and just leave you to your own devices in order to figure them out. Overall, they’re not too challenging, and failing them simply allows you to try again, so they’re simply neat things to do, which don’t really slow down your momentum too much.

Oh, and there’s a -very- brief stealth sequence- but, honestly, failing that wasn’t that problematic. This game is -very- generous with its auto-saves (Despite its lack of manual saving).

And that brings me to the visuals – and overall, I thought that Loretta provided a solid, stylish experience. It’s a game that has some really nice detail to the world itself, and a sort of stylish cinematic take for when characters are introduced onto the scene. In fact, the detail given to the introductory portraits of the characters actually made the weird facelessness of them when normally seen a little bit… weirder. There’s a lot of odd visual quirks- and when paired up to the detail placed in the world, in the segments preceding stages. It all just feels very intentional. Very much akin to when certain details disappear, or crop up.

Admittedly, that’s part of why I’m not as keen on the game’s Noir mode. While it’s certainly interesting, and apparently makes the novel segments more difficult-  I found myself missing what had been there.

Likewise, the sound design is overall good. Whether it’s the caw of a crow, the minute ticking of a clock- the dreadful absence of anything, or the various bits of music used throughout the game. . . . It’s all done quite well. Just… so complimentary to the storytelling.

And it’s on that note that I suppose I should sum things up- because simply put, I think Loretta is quite good, as a story. I will admit, if you’re going into this looking for a challenging, cerebral point and click- you are probably going to wind up disappointed.

Narratively, though? If you’re looking for a cleverly told story, that has some absolutely great pacing, a flawed, but fundamentally interesting protagonist- and all the twists and turns you’d hope for from a good noir story? You’ll be in for a treat. In fact, There were a number of details I got to appreciate on my second playthrough of the game that I’d missed on my first time round. Not just due to the wildly different way in which everything unfolded, or the -weirdness- I’d failed to engage with the first time around, but also because there were certain bits of foreshadowing that I’d missed the first time around, and elements.

It’s legitimately a solid enough experience that I actually would warrant dubbing this game a solid HIT.

Anywho, Thanks for tuning in. If you agree, disagree or just have something ta’ say to me, feel free to comment. For the Discord-Savvy folks, There’s a link to my community (above) The Crit Hit Cauldron.

That said, I’ll catch you on the next episode of Crit Hit. Take Care till then, Folks.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments