Lonesome Village Review (Nintendo Switch)

Published on February 23rd, 2024 by Kirsten G.

Lonesome Village Review (Nintendo Switch)

Puzzles have been a mainstay element of games for almost as long as the medium has been around. Survival Horror often relies on them, from Silent Hill to Signalis, and entire games have been made around them like the Professor Layton series. One genre that has often neglected the use of puzzles is the social sim. Lonesome Village, a crowdfunded title from Ogre Pixel, has set out to combine the two genres into a fun adventure game.


Players take on the role of Wes the Coyote, a young adventurer who has come to the village known as Lonesome, once called Ubhora. What used to be a bustling area became a ghost town after an evil cult trapped the villagers inside a mysterious tower. Wes must now navigate the tower and rescue all the residents while befriending the locals and making the place his home. Along the way, players will learn more about the villagers, the area they made their home, and even the cult that started everything.

Wes, a coyote wearing a blue tunic and carrying a green backpack, stands in front of an ominous purple tower.
Wes discovers the mysterious tower in the empty village.

The game keeps its story really simple, which can work to its detriment at times. If you’re playing for the social side or the puzzles, you’re not likely to be bothered by the lack of meat in the narrative. This helps make the game more easily accessible for younger players. It also matches with the simple yet cute art style the game uses. However, if you’re wanting something more nuanced, you’ll likely find this game lacking.


Lonesome Village is a game that’s part puzzle and part social sim. When Wes is in the tower, he must solve a variety of puzzles to rescue the villagers trapped within. Once the villagers have been rescued, he can then interact with them and fulfill their quests, purchase from their shops, and befriend them. Along the way, players can customize Wes’ look, decorate their house, cook recipes, grow plants and more.


As Wes traverses through the tower, he will encounter a puzzle on each level. After beating the puzzle, Wes will rescue at least one villager. The tower’s puzzles vary in difficulty, with some being memory or pattern based while others are more physics. None of them are particularly hard for seasoned puzzle fans, though some of them require quick thinking and good reflexes which have the potential to be a bit challenging to more casual gamers. Even though they might be simple to solve, they are still fun and provide a nice break from the social sim side of the game.

Wes the coyote uses a large purple mirror to reflect a blue laser
Puzzles can include reflecting lasers, pulling levers, matching tiles and more.

The Magnifying Glass

Before Wes gets too far in his journey, the fairy companion Coronya gives Wes a magical magnifying glass. Players can use it inside the tower to uncover secret messages that can assist them in solving the puzzles. Some puzzles require the use of the magnifying glass while others are just made easier. Outside of the tower, Wes can use it to discover special items buried around the village. Often these are specially requested items by villagers to fulfill their quests. These items are few and far between, however, and the fact that most of the puzzles can be solved just fine on their own leaves little justification for the magnifying glass to exist. Adding in a few extra ways to use the magnifying glass would make it feel like a more deserved mechanic than just a tacked-on way to change up a few of the puzzles.

Meeting Villagers

After Wes has rescued a villager, they will return to their rightful place in the town. This can range from hanging out in their home to reopening a shop which will allow Wes to purchase goods such as food, flowers, and outfits. There are a nice variety of real and fictional critters that make up the villagers, and part of the fun of the game is seeing what the bear family is up to post-tower rescue or finding out what kind of shop the unicorn has opened. Players can interact with all of them to some degree, and many will ask Wes for an item they are looking for. Occasionally one or two villagers will provide guidance to the player on where to go next for the story to progress or how to locate more of the history of the village. Outside of these tidbits, however, many of the villagers will only say hello or repeat the request item. It’s devastating to have a world with such adorable designs and well-thought-out story quests to only be filled with husks of creatures who only smile and wave ad nauseum.

Wes the coyote stands in the middle of an empty town square in front of a fountain
Players must rescue the citizens and bring the town back to life.

A great example of this issue is the scouts Wes will encounter. Over the course of the game he can rescue members of a Boy Scouts-like troupe which he can then get to accompany him. However, there is no real reason for this to happen. There are no puzzles that require two people to solve, and the companions do not talk to Wes on the journey. In fact, after being rescued, Wes can’t really talk to them at all; the scouts never need quests fulfilled and they are never involved in any story moments. According to the game’s Kickstarter page, the scouts were the final stretch goal added to make sure Wes didn’t have to adventure alone. It seems like a missed opportunity for some fun, heartwarming dialogue, which is the biggest problem that plagues Lonesome Village as a game.

Collecting Hearts

At every level in the tower, Wes will have to have a certain number of hearts to continue his journey. The player can gain more hearts by hanging out with the residents of the village. Most of this involves fulfilling quests for them. Some quests go towards the overarching story, but the majority of characters have one to three quests Wes can fulfill to grow closer to that resident. Most of the time these involve retrieving a lost item, making a specific kind of food, or taking pictures of landmarks in the area. Once all of a villager’s quests are completed, Wes will receive a picture of them hanging out as a memento. Players can track the number of hearts with villagers and the pictures collected via the pause menu.

Wes, a brown coyote, is captured in a polaroid with a beaver villager
Wes takes a picture with a villager friend after completing all their quests.

The exception to this rule is for the critters who run a shop. While they might be part of a quest, they rarely ask for items themselves (with the bat and fox chef duo being a notable exception). The only way to gain hearts with them is to buy from their shops. In a game that already has so little dialogue, it’s disappointing to see some of the villagers get even more short-changed. Depending on which personal quests you prioritize, it can also result in getting all of one person’s hearts up very quickly and leaving the others completely blank. Having a little bit more of this fleshed out would make the social sim side of things feel much more complete.


Lonesome Village’s art style is easily the highlight of the game. The art style is simple and cartoon-like, which lends itself well to the story being told. Each villager’s design has a lot of love and care tucked into it, and the setting of the village and surrounding area accentuates the cute and cozy feeling the game provides. Even the user interface, such as the menu and the book that holds the pictures Wes collects, feels like one cohesive unit. The design of the tower also feels unique and fun, using a darker palette of blues and purples to contrast with the warm colors used elsewhere across the village. It’s an all-around adorable package to look at and it’s hard to avoid cuteness aggression when looking at Wes.

Wes the coyote saves his progress at a grey statue with a red heart
Wes can save his progress at various points in the village and the tower.


Since Lonesome Village does not have voice acting, it relies heavily on little sound blips in place of dialogue and the music to carry a lot of the emotion of the game. While the music isn’t a Nintendo-brand orchestral piece or anything, it does serve its purpose well. The background music that graces the scenes in the village is fun, carefree and whimsical. In contrast, the songs that play while in the tower swing from mystical to ominous depending on the situation. It can be difficult to strike a balance like this and keep the score feeling whole when the two sides are in such contrast with each other. However, Lonesome Village’s composer manages to pull this off. None of the tracks feel out of place, and players who decide to turn the sound on will be graced with quality songs that set the tone well.

Replay Value

The replay value of Lonesome Village is relatively low. Once the tower has been completed, the game lets you continue to play in an epilogue. You don’t have to have completed every quest or gotten full hearts with every villager to reach the endgame, so you can use this time to be a completionist if that is your goal. Since you can just continue to play, however, there is little incentive to start a new save. The game also does not offer any kind of New Game Plus. A player could certainly make a challenge out of it if they wanted to, such as setting a goal to gather all the hearts and photos before reaching the top of the tower or focusing intently on customizing their house. These are external goals however and not a result of the game itself spurring players on. Lonesome Village simply works as a short, sweet game to enjoy then set aside.

A puzzle with several blocks featuring animal faces is shown on a 6x6 grid
One of the many puzzles you will encounter in the mysterious tower.


While Lonesome Village has wonderful aesthetics and a unique story, it does suffer from a lackluster cast and fairly basic puzzles. As a social simulator, it’s hard not to compare it to the likes of Animal Crossing or Stardew Valley, who at least change up the dialogue of their villagers every time you speak to them. As a puzzle game, it pales in comparison to the DS days of the Zero Escape and Professor Layton series. If you’re looking for something complex and involved, the game is a clear skip. However, if you want “Baby’s First Puzzle Game” or just want something cute that doesn’t require you too much brainpower, Lonesome Village might be the perfect fit for you.

Final rating: 7.5/10.

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About Kirsten G.

Kirsten has been a fan of video games since she was a kid, though she tends to stick to visual novels and puzzle games. She lives in Texas with her sister and hopes to make games of her own one day.