4.5 out of 5
Purr!

Purrr....

  • Casual adventure
  • Dialogue
  • Variety of equipment
  • Artistic design
  • Game and anime references

Hisss!

  • No map
  • No motion control for aiming

Platform
Switch, PC
Publisher
Playtonic Friends
Developer
MegaWobble
Genre
Adventure, Platform
Players
1
File Size (Minimum)
252 MB
Release Date (NA)
Dec 14, 2022
Purchase From


Filed Under

Lil Gator Game is a charming adventure indie game that anyone can enjoy, especially those who grew up with adventure games like The Legend of Zelda. While it’s not a long experience, it’s a solid one with which to jump into and smile along.

Sibling Love

Lil Gator Game - Screenshot

In Lil Gator Game, you play as a child gator who is trying to get his big sister’s attention. He wants to play a real-life adventure game with her that they used to play together before she left for college. She’s back home and hanging out with her brother at the park in autumn. Unfortunately, her attention is glued to her laptop screen, where she’s working on a school project.

To get her attention and join him like old times, the little gator and his friends set up their own adventure. The gator’s friends set up cardboard-drawn enemies all over the area along with ways to give quests and awards to the “legendary hero”, you, the little gator. It’s an adorable effort, but it still has no effect on big sis. The little gator doesn’t give up and more help arrives to help the depressed gator out. More characters join the fun to make a small adventure into a larger one.The goal remains the same for the little gator. Impress your big sister with how much fun you are having so that she wants to join in.

The game tells a heart-warming story between siblings. However, even after you reach the end of the tale, the experience is not yet over. Players can still play onward to complete the game at 100%. That involves finding every character to join you at the main playground and finding all the game’s currency, confetti. In all, players can complete the game within four hours, but it’s an entertaining four hours.

The Hotspot

Lil Gator Game - Screenshot

The game takes place on a couple islands. The smallest one, which is where you begin, is set up like a tutorial. The larger island, where you’ll spend most of your time, is quite large and is where your playground and 99% of the characters reside.

The playground, known as the hotspot for all characters you recruit, is the make-believe headquarters where everyone plays. After completing large-scale quests, you’ll have the option to upgrade the playground with a new look based on designs your friends made. All you need is enough helpers to help build it. This is why every quest you take on is essential, no matter how big or small it is.

The game’s characters are spread across the larger island and interacting with them is humorous and delightful. For example, the little gator must convince a character who’s dressed up as a vampire to join his adventure game, but he has to pick up ice cream in order to get the “vampire” to do so. Why ice cream? Because who doesn’t love ice cream? Another silly scenario is a court parody to persuade a character to turn the water back on at the splash pad. It’s never a dull moment.

The game offers many references to the classic video game franchise The Legend of Zelda, such as starting the game off with a sword, shield, and hat like Link. In addition, the game also has several references to anime such as Naruto and Dragon Ball Z. You’ll encounter a set of characters who live in the ninja village with headbands that represent the attire worn in Naruto. Going further, wearing a headband you earn by completing a quest will let the little gator run like the characters in that series.

Getting Your Feet Wet

Lil Gator Game - Screenshot

When you first play, you’ll get the grasp of the game’s mechanics on a small island. Earning rewards will give you the ability to create new items such as weapons and hats. After playing through the first quest, you can then swim to a bigger island where the fun begins.

Carrying a princess wand while wearing a cowboy hat sounds like a great combination! And it doesn’t stop there. There are various types of weapons to use such as a nerf gun to shoot at cardboard enemies, or balloons to float. There are a couple of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild references right away that players will recognize. There are also stamina rings, which are earned by purchasing ordinary bracelets. Also, the little gator can float across the sky using his shirt as a glider. It’s a fun and effective reference, since the glider is a huge help in your adventure.

The game’s currency is also comical. Instead of coins, you earn small pieces of confetti. When earning a reward or breaking pots, a slew of confetti pops out like a celebration. You’ll want to accumulate as much as you can because, between your attire, bracelets, and weapons, you’ll need it to purchase many items for your character.

Some weapons, like the nerf gun and paper shurikens, allow you to aim by placing a white dot on the screen. However, you have to use the game’s controller to aim, since the ability to move the dot by using motion-sensor controllers isn’t available. Bummer.

Missing Pieces for an Adventurer

Lil Gator Game - Screenshot

The game has no time limit and no health gauge. It’s an adventure you can start wherever and however you want. The only constraints are the specific quests that need to be completed within the range where they’re initiated, and the island itself. The main island is quite large and has many landscapes where you can easily distract yourself and suddenly find yourself in a new location. It’s too bad there’s no map to help you find your way to certain areas. You’ll just have to keep it all in your head.

When taking on quests, they aren’t saved in the game’s menu. Instead, they only show up when you are within range of where they started. The menu still offers a solid amount of data, but that’s mostly for creating attire, changing outfits, and selecting weapons.

A Creative Look

Lil Gator Game - Screenshot

The game’s visual design is simplistic but fun. Its use of cell-shaded shapes with simple character designs creates a unique visual style that stands out. The game even offers an additional setting to change the graphics from smooth, polygon shapes to a pixelated look to give it a more “retro” feel. In terms of the characters, some of them move differently, especially the little gator as he waddles, which helps with the visual variety. Like with the headband mentioned earlier, the gator’s movements can change based on attire.

The soundtrack overall is whimsical. The track changes depending on where you are located and crossfades into a new tune. Some tunes have similarities, but there are enough differences to let you know you are somewhere else. In a game without maps, the music will guide you to where you are on the island.

The Last Quest

Lil Gator Game is simple but entertaining, and will suck you in for hours of delightful, heart-warming, adventuring fun. Even if it’s missing a convenient feature or two, when all is said and done, you’ll wish you could play at the playground even longer. Hail, the lil gatoring hero!

A Nintendo Switch code was provided for this review.

Lil Gator Game - Gameplay Footage (Switch)

About Seth Hay - Editor-in-chief / Webmaster

When Seth is not designing or developing, he spends time with his family and his occasional dose of anime, sports and video games.

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