“This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” – Alan Watts
Lil Gator Game is an adorable adventure game that follows the titular alligator on a quest to entice their big sister to play with them! Players can explore a delightful island setting, meet eclectic NPCs and help create the best game ever!
Released: 14th December 2022
Lil Gator Game’s narrative focuses on the relationship between the protagonist and their big sister. They used to play an epic game she created – The Hero of Quest; but when she had to go to college, things changed. She is currently visiting but is too busy working on a school project to play. It is up to the protagonist and their friends to create the best game ever so that the big sister will see how much fun it is and want to join in!
The narrative is delivered mostly through dialogue but also through memories and the gameplay itself. It is a gently moving story about love, respect and growing up, complete with well-written, believable characters that grow and learn as the game progresses. There are also a plethora of eclectic NPCs with their own little stories, interests and personalities that really make the experience as well-rounded and enjoyable as it is.
Lil Gator Game features casual and varied non-linear gameplay that encourages exploration. Players can climb, glide, slide, and swim around the island making new friends to help create the best game ever!
There are quests to embark on, mini-games and puzzles and completely laid-back combat since all the enemies are inanimate and made of cardboard! Smashing these enemies creates confetti which can be used as currency or for crafting new items. Decorating the park to bring the game to life is key, but each new addition requires currency and friends to help. Befriending people usually requires doing a quest for them, these are usually pretty simple but all tasks in the game are unpunishing and can be retried infinitely.
There are solo races dotted around the island where the player can track their personal best, as well as treasure chests and pots full of confetti that need to be smashed and sibling memories to be found! There is a lot to encourage the player to look around thoroughly and this open-world adventure is highly movement focused, even boasting some casual platformer aspects adding to the variety of the gameplay.
Lil Gator game has a colourful, low-poly art style depicting the different characters and areas of the island. From the snowy mountains, sandy beaches and autumnal forests, everything has a whimsical and jolly feel to it and really matches the tone of the gameplay. The animations are especially adorable and have a delightful clumsiness to them, this is particularly apparent in the protagonist’s movement.
The music is upbeat and relaxing, consisting mainly of acoustic guitar with other instruments such as drums or a xylophone as an occasional accompaniment. This makes a fitting soundtrack to the experience and has enough variety to avoid becoming repetitive.
Lil Gator Game will take between 3 and 5 hours to complete and has a lot to offer with exciting quests and mini-games, interesting and plentiful NPCs, an emotive narrative and vibrant stylised visuals. The open-world gameplay is designed for exploration and discovery and is a lot of fun.
The game clearly draws from a number of titles but wears its Zelda (BotW) inspiration particularly proudly with subtle nods to the Nintendo game throughout! Lil Gator Game is an entirely wholesome and family-friendly experience that will appeal to a wide range of players due to its highly varied gameplay. The lack of challenge may not be for everyone but I’d highly recommend this to anyone looking for a relaxing narrative adventure that doesn’t keep the player on the rails!
For more wholesome games, check out these reviews:
Hello Goodboy – A Wholesome and Emotive Adventure – Calico – A Wonderfully Wholesome Community Sim with lots of Cats! – No Place Like Home – Wholesome Farming Game in Early Access Now!