See You Later… You Know The Rest 

HIGH A funny and sweet adventure.

LOW Getting emotional. 

WTF Let’s get the devs on a new Conker

When I was younger, I would often draw or invent pretend scenarios for my brothers and I to play through, inspired by the cartoons and videogames we had — I’ve got vivid memories of running around my backyard and going on quests. Lil Gator Game aspires to capture that same sort of feeling in a comedic, yet heartwarming adventure. 

Developed by Megawobble, Lil Gator Game is a third-person adventure platformer in which players control a young gator. He and his older sister have grown up playing different games together on their island, but after she leaves for college and comes back, the young gator notices his sibling is now more focused on schoolwork than playing. Worried he might lose her forever, he decides to recruit his friends to craft a large-scale game to win her attention. 

The structure consists of exploring the island and completing various tasks that NPCs will give the player. The story is very meta in that it parodies tropes from RPG and action-adventure titles, and that humor bleeds into gameplay. The main point of comparison is definitely The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as many of its concepts make their way to Lil Gator Game. For example, players encounter an NPC who gives them a bracelet that allows them to climb surfaces. Obtaining more bracelets nets the player more stamina which helps them climb longer. Not only is this like the stamina system in BOTW, but there’s even a similar green circle in the UI that lets players know if it’s draining. 

Playing and exploring the world is a treat. The controls are intuitive and platforming is enjoyable, with climbing adding some depth (or height?) to exploration.

Quests incorporate the meta tendencies, such as contextualizing certain tasks and relating to the aforementioned framing device of a child-constructed adventure. Early on, a character gives players a “fetch” quest and has them run to a spot in close proximity to pick up a pot lid, used as a shield. The whole setup claiming that “everyone loves fetch quests” was hilarious, and I’m glad the quest itself was short and sweet. 

here aren’t a lot of truly funny games out there, and the few that attempt meta humor generally point out gaming annoyances before making the player participate in the thing that’s annoying, Gator Game feels a lot smarter. If anything, it’s the best parody of games I’ve played since Conker’s Bad Fur Day.

Aside from the humor, other aspects of the presentation were also nice. Its colorful visuals and simple designs are charming, and I loved how expressive every character was. The open-world environment is wonderful, and there’s so much to explore. There’s even an optional “low poly” filter that makes it look like a GameBoy Advance game. 

Despite being mostly humorous, the story ended up being quite emotional and warm. Being the oldest of three siblings myself, I was surprised to see how this story resonated with me, and made me wish I had an older sibling — but regardless of someone’s personal sibling situation, it’s a wonderful coming-of-age story for anyone who doesn’t want to grow up too fast. 

Lil Gator Game is a short but sweet experience about the importance of holding on to childlike wonder, in addition to being a solid open-world adventure and having one of the funniest scripts around. For players looking for something that harkens back to a simpler time and delivers delight in spades, they can’t go wrong with this one. 

Score: 8.5 out of 10

Disclosures: This game is published by Playtonic Friends and developed by Megawobble. It is available on PC and Switch.This copy was obtained via publisher and was reviewed on Switch. Approximately 8 hours were spent in singleplayer and was completed. There is no multiplayer mode. 

Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated E. There is nothing objectionable here, as all the violence is very mild and never towards any actual living things.

Colorblind Modes: Colorblind modes are not present in the options menu.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Gamers: There are subtitles present in the game, as well as visual cues during gameplay. While the subtitles cannot be adjusted the game does not rely on audio cues, and is fully accessible. 

Remappable Controls: The controls can be remapped.

Cj Salcedo
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