Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lilly Looking Through Review

Lilly Looking Through was one of the most intriguing adventure games to be crowd funded during the 2012 Kickstarter adventure game craze. The lovely art style and intriguing time traveling puzzle mechanics sounded like this would be an adventure game that would stand apart from its peers. The material shown during the Kickstarter campaign certainly set the bar of expectation high for Lilly, but luckily, this is a game that manages to live up to its hype.

The game follows a little girl named Lilly who soon finds herself having to travel across rocky terrain, solving mechanical puzzles to open up passageways so she can rescue her little brother.  She also can travel through time, thanks to a pair of goggles that had appeared just as mysteriously as the apparatus that took her brother away.  The basic game play is reminiscent of many different adventure games from the past.  locations and mechanical puzzles are very reminiscent of Myst, and the single click action to perform tasks is reminiscent of Gobliiins, especially in the scenes where Lilly has to work with her brother to solve puzzles she can't reach.  The time traveling mechanics are the real jewel of the game, as Lilly will find herself having to wear the goggles to walk on passages that have been ravaged through the passage of time, or do an action in the past that will have repercussions she can utilize in the present.  The puzzles are leveled off well, with the first few scenes containing basic puzzles, with the more thought requiring puzzles coming later in the game.  If you aren't sure what to do next, there is a helpful hint button that will highlight the most likely hotspots that you should click on to proceed.

As I mentioned before, the art style of the game is just lovely.  The animations of Lilly and her brother capture the innocence of childhood, and the almost otherworldly mountainous landscapes Lilly has to traverse seem to capture the imagination of childhood as well.  The game is just beautiful, and I found myself just immersed in the scenes, taking in the art style while I thought upon a solution, and not realizing that hours had gone by.  The sound design also compliments the rest of the game well.  The music fits the atmosphere well, and while there isn't much voice work, the few lines that Lilly and her brother have are performed really well and add to the feeling of childhood innocence that the game exudes.  The game is not long, but the elegant presentation and gradual ramping up of puzzle difficulty made the game feel like I had played more through more stages than I had.  The increase in puzzle difficulty also never feels like an artificial extension of play time since the increase in difficulty is also reflected in the art design. Lilly's travels feel more perilous as she goes on, making the change in difficulty fit in the game naturally.

Lilly Looking Through is a really charming puzzle adventure game that is well worth playing at least once.  It's not long, but it's definitely worth it's current price.  The art style and sound design is charming, the puzzles ramp up in difficulty naturally, and the whole game seems to capture the feeling of childhood amazingly well.  It does end on a cliffhanger, making you want more.  So, hopefully there are more adventures in Lilly's future.  If her next journeys are as captivating as her first, they'll certainly be welcome.

Final Verdict:

4 out of 5

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