Alrighty students, if you want to graduate then I’m looking for the best report possible. You’ve only a limited amount of time to complete your greatest challenge yet: pick me some really nice flowers! That’s one of the main things you’ll be doing in Lili: Child of Geos but there’s way more to this title than meets the eye. After all, there’s more to a game than its box art or err, digital screenshots.
Lili is the heroine on this outing to the strange island of Geos, home to a wide range of goofball characters. She initially sets out to find some rare flowers for her final exam but gets dragged into helping set the inhabitants of Geos free from the nasty Mayor. The entire journey is fairly relaxed with prompts reminding you that you’re free to explore at your leisure or just chat with the wooden folk around each area. Oh yeah, the citizens of Geos, officially known as constructs, are actually living creatures mostly made of wood save for a certain flying mailbox. They each have their own quirkly personality complete with collectable cards briefing detailing their backgrounds.
It wouldn’t be an adventure without some enemies and the pesky spirits running around the island are the main nuisance you’ll encounter. None of them are particularly tough, assuming you’re quick enough to catch them. Once you’ve pounced on one, the camera shifts to their back which sprouts flower, bombs and thorns. You’ll want to keep your hands away from the latter and quickly pick off the bombs so you can throw them away. Flowers are definitely what we’re after and it’s as simple as dragging them to the side of the screen in order to pick them. Once you’ve picked enough flowers, a rare red flower will finally appear. You can only obtain one from each spirit and you’ll been needing them if you’re going to give that pesky Mayor the boot.
The citizens won’t mind giving you a hand on your quest, provided you help them out in return. The dialogue is a large part of what gives the game its charm, with some lines ranging from complete gibberish to surprisingly dark for what at first glimpse, merely seems to be a kids game which I can assume you, it isn’t. It’s the sort of game that anyone of any age can probably pick up and enjoy while still throwing in a few references here and there that may bypass some and delight others. Initially, it actually started life as mobile game but you wouldn’t really know it. The developers spent about half a year polishing it up for re-release on PC. There are a few minor typographical errors here and there but overall, they did a fairly nice job.
Ultimately, I suppose Lili: Child of Geos is a game about just enjoying your stay. There’s no real rush to complete your objectives and plenty of distractions along the way. Many new friends are waiting to meet you, doors are sealed away to those with the right key and uhh, there’s a bunch of steam achievements to strive for. You wouldn’t know it but it’s fairly ironic that the developers, all of whom worked on the gritty Gears of War trilogy, would go on to create a colourful game about a cute girl.
Developer: BitMonster, Inc.
Released in 2012 (iPhone) / 2014 (Steam)
Platforms: iPhone / PC