Saturday, 27 December 2014

Lili: Child of Geos

It's a game about a girl picking flowers on an island.

No, I'm serious, someone made a pretty decent game about picking flowers.


Lili: Child of Geos
She's definitely not being a hipster. She needs those to see.
The game told me so.


Okay, so basically Lili: Child of Geos is what happens when you take the towns from The Legend of Zelda (I got a Majora's Mask combined with Wind Waker feel), quests and all, and put them in a game of their own. Then you put in enemies that you defeat by running after them, jumping on their backs and picking their flowers while avoiding thorns. Add in a few RPG elements and a little player choice whether they would rather do the quests or deflower (hue hue hue) their enemies and you are set. Meanwhile you also get to collect a bunch of new costumes and masks to dress up Lili.

No really, picking bloody flowers!


The game references other video games and pop culture regularly and is very humorous about it. As I said, it is clearly inspired by and a love letter to The Legend of Zelda. They aren't even at all subtle about this fact. You often collect items straight from those games (including the Master Sword and a piece of the Triforce), one of your pets is Navi (excuse me, "Nobbi") and as costumes you can unlock Link's tunic and his hat. So yes, if you so choose you can essentially play entirely as a female Link, although you'll probably have finished the story by the time you are able to do so.
In this regard, Lili: Child of Geos is rather like a foil to Ittle Dew, another funny game which also takes heavy inspiration from the Legend of Zelda. Except Ittle Dew goes with 2D Zelda and focuses on dungeons, puzzles and outdoor adventuring, while Lili goes with 3D Zelda, quests and town interactions. So if you see someone complaining that Link should be a girl for once, you can point them in the direction of these two games. They go great together.

Not subtle at all.


Our protagonist is the titular Lili, a school girl who arrives on Geos to do a report on flowers. Pretty soon however she gets sidetracked into becoming a freedom fighter saving wooden Constructs from their oppressive masters, the Spirits, particularly from the regime of their leader, the Mayor. You do this by, again, picking flowers. Lili's character development lies in that over the course of the game she goes from being overly concerned with pleasing the professor (who is also her father) with her report to being courageous enough to forge her own path, wherever it might lead. 
Lili is basically the straight girl to all the weird inhabitants of Geos (although occasionally they get to point out some of her weird behavior too). She has the habit of being a kleptomaniac like Link is, with the joke being that Lili really has no use for half the stuff she picks up as they are just mostly humorous references to other games and pop culture. She also picked up Link's tendency to be the scourge of all surrounding pottery.


Girl has priorities.


So the characters, even the villains, are likable and funny (humor is subjective though so no guarantees whether you like them there). It does mean the story is essentially just a lengthy chain of jokes rather than having any sort of consistent narrative. Your end goal is to dethrone the Mayor and his presence is felt throughout the adventure, but that's really just the framework for the humorous situations Lili keeps getting into.
The graphic design is absolutely gorgeous and imaginative. Every corner of every area is stunningly crafted. Geos might not make a lot of logical sense, but it's definitely a place you'd want to visit just for the sights alone. Heck, because of Lili's optimistic nature regarding her adventure, you'd almost be tempted to step outside your door in search of adventure yourself (yes, I tend to enjoy protagonists who are also enjoying the game themselves).


There's a pot in the background. It must be destroyed!


There are really only two major flaws with the game. First is the length. I nearly completed it 100% in less than 5 hours (all what's left is "Break 1000 Vases" and "Scare 500 Birds, which I'm not overly concerned in getting). Just completing the game won't get you over 3 hours. Once you figure out how everything works, finishing all the challenges probably won't give you much of an issue either.
The second is that the game still shows some signs of being made for mobile tablets, specifically the menus and the controls which take some getting used to. It's not a deal breaker, I figured everything out just fine in the end, but the first half hour of the game was really a confused wrestling with the controls.

The entire, kinda small, map.


The game is definitely fun, funny, beautiful and worth at least checking out. However because of the short time you get to spend with Lili you may want to wait for it to be on sale. I definitely hope this isn't the last we've seen of Lili. I would love to go on an adventure with her again.

What a very nice stalker shrine you have there.


Links & References


STEAM - Lili: Child of Geos - Complete Edition
Images from Lili: Child of Geos - Complete Edition

Lili is on the Female Protagonist List