It’s a game about picking flowers and overthrowing an oppressive slavery-based system of governance.
I picked up Lili: Child of Geos, on Steam a couple of months ago, after hearing about it on reddit a few months before that. I’m always up for a good adventure game, especially ones whose colourful and outlandish visuals remind me of the Monkey Island games that I used to watch my mother play when I was small.
Originally a mobile game, the PC version of Lili was released on Steam over a year ago (oops). Supposedly this version has more features and updated graphics over the original version, and there’s a comparison page linked to from its Steam store page. And there ought to be improvements in this version, because it’s priced at $9.99, compared to the mobile version’s $2.99.
For a ten dollar game, Lili really isn’t bad. You play as a grad student named Lili who arrived on the mysterious island of Geos in order to work on her final project, only to find out almost immediately that the island isn’t nearly as abandoned as she first believed. The story quickly takes on a couple rather dark turns and has a few dark themes to go along with it. These work really well juxtaposed against the bright and colourful game world. NPC names and dialogue is chock full of references to other aspects of pop culture, including two NPCs named Wedge and Biggs and another NPC that spits out quotes from other video games.
The gameplay mostly consists of running about, exploring and collecting things, and battling spirits, the villains of the game, who grow magical flowers on their backs. ‘Battle’ is done through a mini game that probably worked a lot better on a touch screen than it does with a mouse. Collect flowers by clicking and dragging them off of the spirit’s back until the stems break. As you progress through the game’s main story these fights get more difficult, although I never found any of them to be so hard that I had to try them more than once. Easy on frustration, but not so good if you’re looking for challenge.
There’s also a certain amount of character customization that can be done to Lili. By completing quests or just by talking to new NPCs the player can acquire new wearable pets and hats and recolors of Lili’s outfit can be purchased from the shop.
Visuals are stunning. Now, maybe that’s me talking from the standpoint of someone who’s been gaming without a graphics card or current gen console for the last few weeks, but I had Fraps open and taking screenshots before I even decided that I would be reviewing this game. Not only is there an amazing and consistent visual style, but the technical bits are also all in order. The lighting and colours are en pointe and sometimes you just have to stop and look at something for a few seconds before continuing. Character design is brilliant and the world looks very carefully designed.
- Easy enough to be enjoyed by children. Humorous, intriguing and relaxing enough to be enjoyed by adults.
- God damned beautiful.
- Lots to look at.
- There are lots of collectibles to keep you busy, some of them are cosmetic additions to your character.
- Engaging story with interesting characters.
- For players wanting a bit of a challenge, even the ‘Difficult’ setting isn’t that hard.
- Graphical and content additions aside, you can still tell that it was a mobile game, designed for weaker machines with less storage room and memory for features.
- Short. It’s a decent length for the price, but the end still leaves you wanting more.
Oh, and the birds poo rainbows.
You can even get them to poo rainbows all over you with a little careful positioning.