Best Day Ever

The spectrum of Video Games can span as far as the imagination can go.  It captivates so many people across so many loves and interests.  Whether you use video games to be a fearless warrior taking on thousands, a daring protagonist taking on a brave new world, or maybe a big brave shooty man taking on a buncha big bads.  OR OR OR a gallivanting knight treading day and night to find their imprisoned princess!  OR, OOH, why not find a magical sword that can beat anything it faces?!

Games let you take those childlike ideas and flesh them out as vividly or intricately as you can.  Where Lil Gator Game shines is that that is its whole premise: taking those adolescent dreams of grandeur and making the coolest day ever with your friends!  You play as the little brother, nickname subject to your choosing, as your sister is back in town and it’s time to catch up and play all the games with her!…but she’s stuck working on her computer and won’t get off it.  So now lets get ALL the townsfolk together to make the bestest game ever so she’ll have to get off her computer and play with us!

The gameplay is as simple as its premise. Your lil’ gator can perform all your old school platformer bits: run, jump, climb (with the help of some magical bracelets), float, slide, ragdoll at ludicrous speeds.  These combined with hacking and slashing cardboard foes will help gather paper bits that can be used in numerous ways.  Use bits to craft weapons and shields and a fully functioning digital camera, or trade them in to barter with the island residents and fulfill an aging (16 year old) raccoon’s dream of gathering enough trash to make it big in the world.  Buy the paint gun.  Do it for him.

To build the bestest castle fantasy town thing ever, you’re going to need help.  Strewn about the island are various goers of different animal varieties.  Embark on a quest to retrieve a shark’s retainer, or get a blood black cherry sorbet with a bat, or roll explosive bowling balls with a mole rat: kid stuff!  Helping these friends in whichever way they’re needed will add them to your friends list and will help in building even bigger pieces of the castle puzzle.

Everything about this game puts a smile on your face.  The light and fluffy color palette to the goofy characters and their chuckle-inducing dialogue to the freedom to do some stupidly funny things (ever cannonball ragdoll off the side of a cliff and have one of your buddies be super stoked about it?) makes playing the game just a treat throughout its 4-6 hour runtime.  Collecting different pieces of clothing change the way you rummage around the island as well: using mini-trampolines to bounce instead of slide, or donning the Ninja Headband to, and these are MegaWobble’s words, “run like a weirdo.”  It’s all a nicely put together package.

Though there are some problems within the island, none are enough to push me away.  The quests, elementary in nature because these are kids just making stuff up, tend to all be solved in the same fashion (find a thing, break a thing, do a thing) and get a little same-y as you reach the latter half of the game.  I also found myself getting lost sometimes due to the lack of a map.  This could entirely be on me being directionally challenged at times, but thankfully if you’re trying to 100% the game Lil Gator Game provides some helpful cues to use to aid you on your journey.

This little nugget of joy and passion was a great start to my new year.  There’s so much to love in Lil Gator Game and you can feel that love built into every portion of MegaWobble’s foray into the pre-teen age of wonder and freedom while quietly supplying a potentially auto-biographical slice of retrospective nostalgia.  This Lil’ Dude’s quest to be the Legend of Hero is a love letter to the soft and charming platformers of our youth, and worth every goofy gator step you can take around the island.