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Lili™ Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on September 20, 2012


Lili™
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Unique 'flower plucking' combat mechanic; frantic, easy to learn, but skillful all-the-same.
  • Gorgeous fantasy environments; a beautiful cross breed of styles that's perfect for adventuring in.
  • Plenty of side-missions to break up the basic gameplay.

CONS

  • Audio glitches; occasional bursts of white noise can be painful.
  • Story told in speech-bubbles; characters feel more like manikins/puppets than real entities.
  • Invisible walls block free-movement through corridors more often than it should.
  • iCloud support not working as intended; possibly an error with our equipment.

VERDICT

In a market dominated by might-makes-right mentalities, guns, blood and violence, Lili makes for a refreshing change that's not as passive as it sounds; as fun to play as it is beautiful to look at - a definite treat if you can happen to play it.


  • Full Review
  • App Store Info
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If you’re one of the handful of people who If you’re one of the handful of people who missed out on hearing about Lili by BitMonster, then you’re in for a treat. There was absolutely no question of how beautiful this game was going to be as it not only sports the Unreal Engine, but those who made it are ex-Epic and quite familiar with how to use it. However, what really counts isn’t the presentation, but how it interacts with the gameplay - and on this score the game stands out as something entirely unique.

Lili has traveled to the land of Geos to study its flora for her magical thesis. To her surprise the island is inhabited by Spirits and Constructs who live together, but not in harmony. The wooden Constructs are considered slaves by the mask-wearing Spirits, but with your help they’ll overthrow their shackles and be free once again.

Luckily the way to weaken the Spirits is to pluck out a soul-flower from their back - cue a combat mini-game that involves swiping to drag and pluck-out the flowers (which can subsequently be exchanged for currency). Thorns and bombs will make your life more challenging as they weaken your grip on the back of the Spirit while also resetting your ‘combo’ - get a high enough score and you’ll earn a ‘3-star’ bonus along with cash that can be spent in the shop for temporary boosts and permanent upgrades.

First, though, you’ll need to catch a Spirit - this is easier said than done as you’ll have to adapt to the game’s single-touch control system to get around the 3D environment. Tap and you’ll walk. Tap twice and you’ll run. Tap while moving and you’ll stop. Drag around and you’ll look and turn with the camera. Easy enough to learn, but collision detection is problematic at times, with objects in the winding alleys of Geos’ street regularly stopping Lili mid-run as you hit an invisible ‘corner’. The constructs themselves also get in the way, but due to their mostly sedentary nature this isn’t much of a problem to overcome.

You’ll explore, unlock brand new areas while unfurling the rebellious story, and upgrade Lili to make her a Spirit-crushing machine. Ultimately the game has an Adventure-game feel to it, especially thanks to the non-combat style of ‘confrontation’, though having all of the text played out in speech-bubbles does become tiresome (even if vocal grunts and burbles often accompany them).

Though iCloud is supported, we couldn’t seem to get it to work at this time, which is a shame as the latest devices are all supported (though iPod Touch 4G users are apparently out of luck - for now).

Lili is an evocative title that drags you along despite its simple story and mechanics thanks to the intriguing world of Geos and its strangely addictive ‘combat’. If you have the means and you’re in the market for something a little less ‘macho’, definitely pick this App up.

Screenshots

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