Lake Season's Greetings is the perfect way to unwind and get into the holiday spirit

Lake: Seasons Greetings
(Image credit: Whitethorn Games )

Christmas has come to Providence Oaks, the idyllic small town in Oregon that sets the scene for Gamious' indie gem, Lake. After playing through the base game back in 2021, I once again find myself back behind the wheel of a mail truck thanks to the release of the holiday-themed DLC, Season's Greetings. And just a few minutes in, I realize I couldn't be happier to be back. I feel like I'm driving through a quaint little winter wonderland. Snow covers the streets like a pretty white blanket everywhere I look, and snowflakes lightly dust the tree tops that frame the roads just outside of the town center. 

Pretty lights shaped like reindeer decorate the shops, and as I go from post box to post box delivering letters and parcels, I notice everyone's wrapped up warm with bobble hats and scarves. When I drive past the big lake at the heart of Providence Oaks, which is now completely frozen over, a mellow Christmas tune begins to play on the radio. What could be better than this right now, I think to myself. This is just what I need to get into the holiday mood. 

Lake, the original game takes place in 1986, has you playing as Meredith Weiss – a 40-something woman who returns to her hometown from the big city to take over her dad's delivery job for two weeks. But as a prequel to Lake, Season's Greetings rewinds time back to 1985 and sees you take on the role of Meredith's father, Thomas Weiss. As the soon-to-be-retired mailman, you set out in your van and deliver the post to the residents in the leadup to Christmas and New Year's. With the chance to meet some new faces Meredith never encounters, and learn more about this sleepy little town, Season's Greetings is a wonderful addition that's well worth checking out if you're looking for something that delivers some Christmas cheer. 

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Lake: Seasons Greetings

(Image credit: Whitethorn Games)

For me, returning to Providence Oaks is like coming back to a cozy holiday destination I only hold fond memories of. Driving around the same sleepy town is as lovely and laidback as it ever was, only now it has a touch of holiday magic thanks to its snowy makeover and sprinkling of Christmas lights. But come rain, or well, snow, mail still needs to be delivered, and Thomas has plenty of stops to make on his rounds to see that all the mail reaches the right recipients. 

As a big fan of all things '80s, one of my favorite locations in Lake is PO's own version of a Blockbuster-like VHS rental store. With spoof movie posters that riff off of well-known movies of the decade, I immediately smile from ear to ear as I catch sight of one decorating the outside wall next to the shop door: A Christmas Barrel. In homage to Dickens' classic, the barrel even dons a top hat in true Scrooge fashion. 

Beginning on December 23, you'll be driving to markers on the map, dropping off parcels and popping letters in mailboxes before and after Christmas. Following the story of what happened just before Meredith arrived, we get to experience the town from Thomas' perspective, which gives you the opportunity to spend more time with the locals and get to see more of Meredith's mother, Emily. 

Lake: Seasons Greetings

(Image credit: Whitethorn Games)

As a slice of small town America, everyone in Providence Oaks knows each other, and as the mailman, you have a position that allows you to immerse yourself in the local community and gain insight into the residents as you go about your deliveries. What I always loved about Lake was the way it would naturally open up a window into the daily lives of the people in the town through your role, with you striking up conversations as you pass over a parcel, or learning more about someone thanks to the order they're taking off your hands.   

Of course, you don't just supply the post, either. On several occasions, you'll have encounters that present you with dialogue options to offer someone advice, or perhaps get to the bottom of a problem someone is seemingly having. I particularly enjoyed how Seasons Greetings introduced me to some fresh faces and even gave me the chance to play the role of cupid for two visitors who were clearly taken with one another. Throughout, little stories thread together day by day, and by the end of it, you really feel like you're a part of this town, just as you do as Meredith in the base experience.

With Christmas just around the corner, Season's Greetings delivers a welcome helping of seasonal cheer and warmth, all wrapped up in Gamious' delightfully picturesque take on small town life. While you do need a copy of Lake to play Season's Greetings, both are well worth picking up if you're looking for a laid back game you can unwind with and get lost in. And if you've already played Lake and you're on the lookout for something with some Christmas spirit, the DLC is the gift for you. 

Lake Seasons Greetings is out now on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, and PS5. See what other games we've been enjoying this year in our Indie Spotlight series. 

Heather Wald
Senior staff writer

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.