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iPad  header logo

Lili

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Girl power

Product: Lili | Developer: BitMonster Games | Publisher: BitMonster Games | Format: iPad | Genre: Adventure, RPG | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Lili iPad, thumbnail 1
It's no longer front page news when an iOS game has amazing graphics. Console-quality visuals are fairly ordinary now, and the Unreal Engine has made it easier than ever to do detailed models, atmospheric lighting, and all sorts of shaders and visual tricks.

But that won't stop us yapping about Lili's looks from the off. They're a different kind of beautiful, with colourful, bouncy, Pixar-like graphics that help conjure up a magical world that begs you to explore it.

That world is the island of Geos, and the explorer is Lili - a tweenage Lara Croft with enormous hipster specs. She lands on the island to pick flowers and further her botany degree, but quickly ends up entangled in a political uprising between the isle's spirits and the sentient robot servants they've built.

Look around you

The actual gameplay of Lili is hard to pin down. Much of the game sees you milling about the island, doing things that would be simple side-quests and extracurricular endeavours in a more substantial game like Zelda or Skyrim.

So you'll chat to the island's residents, pluck flowers, play mini-games, wander about in random houses, and amass a collection of trinkets and knick-knacks. It's all a bit inconsequential.

There is a central storyline, of course, and each chapter sees you taking down an arbitrary number of spirits who are wandering about the game's four areas. You'll do this by chasing them down and then leaping on their backs.

This kickstarts an action sequence where flowers, thorns, and bombs will randomly sprout from the spirit's back. You're latched on, like a decidedly less ambitious take on Shadow of the Colossus, and you've got to pluck the plants - while avoiding the nasty stuff - before your grip slips.

It's a rather fun mini-game - it's tactile and touch-friendly, like Fruit Ninja in 3D, and makes a nice change from the usual swords and spells combat of fantasy games. It can be very finicky, though, and not quite varied or nuanced enough to stop it feeling like a chore towards the end of the adventure.

My summer vacation

The island of Geos is stunningly beautiful. It's got big bouncy trees and constantly perfect weather and a rustic charm. The residents are utterly delightful, too - a particular favourite is a talking mailbox who literally vomits letters into Lili's lap.

This all makes Geos a joy to explore. But there's no hiding the fact that Lili is a rather slight and flimsy game. It feels like a beautiful world that's waiting for exciting things to happen in it. You'll enjoy your visit, but you probably won't want to stay for long.

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Lili
Reviewer photo
Mark Brown | 20 September 2012
Lili is a gorgeous game with lots of personality and bundles of charm. But as a game it's rather insubstantial and struggles to hold your attention for long
 
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