We may earn a commission through product links on this page. But we only recommend stuff we love.

Flirt With the Cute Video Store Clerk and Deliver People’s Mail in Cozy Game “Lake”

Have you ever wanted to play a mail delivery simulator that moonlights as a wholesome version of Grand Theft Auto? Or maybe you need a remedy for nights when you can’t sleep and want a heartwarming story to sooth you back to bed? Well, Lake from developer Gamious might just be the game for you.

In Lake, you play as Meredith Weiss, a stressed out IT professional looking to get away from her life-draining job and exhausting boss. Her solution is to return to her familiar and quaint hometown of Providence Oaks for a couple weeks of R&R. Though, true to the nature of a workaholic, Meredith decides that instead of spending her time resting, her vacation will consist of delivering mail on her postman father’s route while he’s out of town.

A screenshow from Lake that reads "Its funny how a program designed to help organize your life is the reason why I can't be at the Labor Day party. But I'm glad we made the deadline. And I'm glad I can now spend two stress-free weeks in good old Providence Oaks.

Out of the many different types of games I’ve played, Lake has to be up there as one of the most peaceful. The main game mechanics consist of driving around in a mail truck delivering letters and packages to local residents. You’ll get to explore Providence Oaks and learn about some of its residents as you deliver mail each day and build relationships with them if you choose. Along the way you’ll meet some of the town’s eccentric residents and learn more about their stories. And in a delightful way, you’ll learn more about Meredith through these little interactions in the game.

A screenshot from the video game Lake, in which a woman named Nancy says "So now you're back huh? I know what it's like." from behind a cash register to another woman.

Additionally, Lake offers two love interests to court if that’s something you’re interested in. There’s no pressure to date as the game lets you pick the dialogue options that may or may not signal your interest in either Angie or Robert. Of course, being true to my own nature, I chose Angie, the video store clerk whose ending I liked best.

Angie the video rental store clerk says "Hold on, you're our new postal worker? Talk about not looking the part." to Meredith in the video game Lake. A poster for a fake movie called Back To The Present is behind Angie.

The game itself is set in 1986, but even if you didn’t live through that time, Lake still conjures up the right amount of comfort to make you feel welcome. There’s a meditative quality about driving through the winding roads of Providence Oaks and reliving Meredith’s memories that evokes a nice feeling of second-hand nostalgia. While Meredith goes about her mail duties, she’ll sometimes comment on a location and its meaning to her. For example, driving past a place where she had a first kiss or a cutscene about the spot where she got drunk with a friend. The scenic forests and the eponymous Providence Oaks Lake make for a fitting backdrop for the story of reconnecting with your roots.

Meredith stands in a Motel parking lot in the video game Lake.

While I enjoyed how calming and heartwarming the game was, I did have one qualm with it. My biggest hangup was how slow Meredith walks. Usually, a game will implement some type of sprinting mechanic for players to move their character faster. And the game does have one. But for me, it didn’t make that much of a difference, and I found myself on the edge of my seat praying she’d walk just a little faster so I could get my daily deliveries done quicker. The cutscenes between deliveries did help, and I feel as if the walking mechanics were trying to subconsciously tell me to slow down and enjoy the game. And I did! I think I’m just an impatient player when it comes to slice-of-life games like Lake.

As the premise of the game is to learn more about who Meredith is and her relationships to others, there isn’t much room for error as a player. Even if you drive your mail truck into cars and pedestrians, nothing bad happens. Yes, I did try it. There are no crumbling buildings or angry pedestrians — just you having to do a virtual three-point turn to atone for your driving mistakes. But if you’re the type that likes to play video games immersed, stopping at every red light to ruminate over each dialogue option, I’d download Lake as fast as you possibly can. It’ll definitely scratch that itch for a game with cozy vibes, cute dating options, and a wholesome story.

Lake is available for Microsoft Windows, Xbox, Playstation, and Google Stadia for $19.99.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!

Julie Gentile

Julie is a writer by night and marketing bot by day. She enjoys long video game playthroughs and pretending like she didn’t internalize every single episode of Glee. Contact her at julie[at]autostraddle[dot]com.

Julie has written 23 articles for us.


Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!