Taking a look at a light adventure game that came out last year. Enjoy!
Three hour long game and I make this long of a review. Might have made it a slight bit too long but I guess you can decide that. I hope to have the monthly update out later tonight but it might get delayed to tomorrow if it takes too long.
A Paladin’s Steam Review: Lili: Child of Geos. Picking Flowers With the Sun Flares in my Eyes.
- Genre: 3rd Person Light RPG
- Developed & Published by: Bitmonster Inc.
- Platform: Windows, Mobile
- Business Model: Base Game
- Copy Purchased by Myself
Overall Gameplay Thoughts
Lili: Child of Geos is a 3rd person casual adventure game about picking flowers and exploring a strange, colorful and cartoony island. Said island is under the tyrannical ruler of the Mayor of the wood spirits. So, what’s a girl to do? Pick flowers off of their heads until she viva la revolutions the entire island. Duh. I mean, using a sword/gun is so 2012 anyway. Well, the non-voice acted characters in this game are happy enough to greet you upon your arrival. Some have side quests and others just want to chat. The side quests are amusing (and sometimes eye-raising) but are pretty much busy work fetch quests. The exploration is reasonable but a bog standard affair of finding keys and opening locked doors/chests to locate the multitude of artifacts in the game. What’s rather interesting about the key system is that you can buy a skeleton key pretty early on and it makes a key vendor completely pointless before you even get the chance to encounter him. That wasn’t well thought out. Otherwise, this is a fairly standard and mechanically light adventure game. So, let’s talk about the flower picking.
Flower Picking Mechanics
The main mechanic to fight the wood spirits is picking a certain amount of white flowers plus the final red flower from their heads within the time limit that Lili can hold onto the spirits. You have to sneak up to them or catch them in a run in order to start the flower-picking mini-game and this isn’t very difficult to accomplish. Picking flowers is done by click and holding a flower and then dragging them away from a spirit’s weaving head as they run around. Lili must do this while avoiding accidental clicks on thorns or allowing bombs to explode. There are also green flowers that extend’s her grip time and gold-coin flowers that give Lili, well, more gold. There are also “bonus rounds” where the head may be covered with bombs, gold coin flowers or thorns. Upon completing the level, the game will rate your score, giving you one to three stars for how well you did. You can then replay each spirit to get a better score, if you wish. This is repeated for every wood spirit “fight” and the only thing that really changes is the difficulty and amount of grip time Lili has.
This mechanic isn’t the most interesting I’ve stumbled across. It definitely feels like it was designed for touch screens first and it doesn’t make the best transition to the mouse. Its passable when using the mouse but I think you’d find it more entertaining on a tablet. The flower picking is certain different from what I normally see. However, I will say that It’s good that the campaign is as short as it is. Since it really starts to run out of steam towards the end. I can’t imagine a longer campaign sustaining itself on the back of this idea.
While Lili claims it’s a RPG hybrid, it’s an extremely bare-boned one. The only things you can customize when you level up are your running speed, time under stealth and grip aka how long you can hold onto forest spirits. Which are certainly helpful to progress through the game, there’s not a lot of in-depth choice to any of these stats. The other things you can customize are Lili’s clothing, floating companion and hat she wears while running around the island. There’s a decent amount of selection but they only affect how Lili looks.
The story is pretty straightforward. You’re Lili, a student at some school who’s on assignment to this island to find flowers for some research project. Upon arriving to the island, she sees how the wood constructs are being oppressed by the wood spirits and their mayor. Though he’s not very good at stopping you from achieving your goals. The wooden constructs request that she helps them out. So, she does. What follows is an amusing, light-hearted exploration of the island. Littered with references, jokes and quirky characters. The script is pretty well done, especially when it comes to some of the descriptions of artifacts she’ll find along the way. Though some of the character growth dialogue that Lili has feels forced or out of place. The whole subplot of Lili being unsure whether she wants to continue her degree at the college or if she wants to do something else. It just kind of comes out of left-field.
PC Settings, Audio/Video and Controls
Originally developed for mobile devices, Lili was ported to PC later on to mixed results. Lili’s settings menu is horrendous and lacking a lot of features that should be here. There’s a casual-normal-hardcore difficulty slider. Graphics can be changed but only with a quality slider low-medium-high that gives you very limited control on how the game looks. For resolutions, I could only select 1280×800 and 1680×1050 (my native resolution), with full or borderless window. Windowed mode doesn’t seem to exist. The amount of options you have are inadequate, even if it does run rather well. Music can be turned on and off but there’s no slider to adjust the volume of the music or sounds.
It does get worse with the keybindings. You can’t change them. The game simply displays a keyboard showing you what they are and that’s it. This is where Lili shows her mobile roots the worst. You can get by with what it has and the game is short enough to prevent it from being annoying. However, I’d prefer to see the devs make the settings menu more comprehensive and customizable in the future.
Probably the biggest problem I had with Lili was the control scheme. Lili has two different input schemes: “FPS” and “MMO”. It seems that the MMO style was designed for touch screens while the FPS style was intended for regular PC gamers. The difference between the two is mainly how the camera can be changed in regards to your moment. MMO has you click and dragging to move the camera while FPS’ camera stays with your mouse. Regardless of which style I picked, I was never entirely satisfied with how Lili controlled. She felt largely unwieldy to move around the island. Especially as you started getting movement speed items. It took playing around with my mouse’s DPI setting, the in-game mouse sensitivity and input scheme before I could get it to a place where I was reasonably ok with it.
The graphics are colorful and well detailed. It’s a pseudo realistic look with a cartoon flare to everything. Everything has a shiny look to it, too shiny in some cases as the overuse of lens flare threatens to blind you. Well, exempting those of us that took way too many Instagram photos of lens flares. The soundtrack is a reasonably done light hearted adventure theme.
I liked my short time with Lili. However, I’m having a hard time deciding whether I should recommend this to anyone else. With the main mechanic being just about picking flowers, there’s really not much to this title. Even the flower picking is only really fun at first, then it loses its appeal towards the mid-to-late end of the game. There aren’t any puzzles or platforming or any other ideas to sink your teeth into. So, it’s a bit lacking. I’m also aware that this is a more casual adventure game. As such, I’m willing to let a lot of this slide because I knew what I was getting into. Additionally, there are control and PC settings menus that are just…extremely lacking. That all said, if you’re just looking for a casual adventure experience to break things up, Lili is a title to give a look. Otherwise, I’d recommend looking somewhere else for something that has a little more depth and content. Do not expect something on the level of Legend of Zelda or a more involved RPG because it will disappoint.
Thanks for reading!