Lilly Looking Through
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 8

Lilly Looking Through manages to captivate without being dragged down by some of the more cumbersome aspects of the genre. The beautiful artwork and animations will draw you in while the clever puzzles are a challenge without ever becoming too obscure. I only wish there was more to experience as the adventure ended all too soon.

Gameplay: A nice take on the point & click adventure genre.

Graphics: Beautiful backgrounds and outstanding character animations.

Sound: Atmospheric and relaxing

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Lilly Looking Through

Developer: Geeta Games | Publisher: Geeta Games | Release Date: 2013 | Genre: Adventure / Indie | Website: Official Website | Format: Digital Download

Lilly Looking Through introduces us to Lilly, a charming young girl with a bit of a predicament. Her brother, Row, managed to get himself entangled in what appears to be a magical red scarf which whisked him away to parts unknown. Lilly immediately sets out to rescue her sibling and while there are numerous obstacles in her way she does have a rather special set of goggles to help her out.

In the rush of AAA titles vying for your attention this Christmas season it would be easy to overlook something like Lilly Looking Through. It would also be a huge mistake as this game is quite amazing. I was a big fan of point & click adventure games back in the Lucasarts heyday but nothing managed to draw me back to the genre in recent years. To be accurate, Lilly Looking Through is actually more of a puzzle title than a pure adventure game but this is definitely not a bad thing.

The first thing that caught my eye about the game was the absolutely stunning animations. The hand-painted environments are equally great, but the character animations really stole the show for me. Lilly and her brother barely speak during the game but thanks to their excellent animations there is never any doubt about what they are feeling. This is quite an achievement and shows the wonderful attention to detail that has gone into the making of the game. The only downside is that the animated characters stand out slightly from the hand painted backgrounds, but this just adds to the storybook look and feel of the visuals.

There are only ten areas to explore (although each has a present and past version) with restricted areas of interaction which might seem limiting. It does mean that the game is a bit more accessible for younger players. Gamers who don’t want to spend hours squinting at the screen to figure out how to combine obscure objects will also appreciate the simplified interface. There is no inventory management and everything you need to solve a puzzle is shown on the screen so there is no tedious backtracking. You can’t die or misuse items either, but the puzzles that mostly involve switches, levers and pressure plates can still pose a challenge.

The game also has a trick up its sleeve in the form of a magical pair of goggles that Lilly discovers early in her adventure. The goggles transport Lilly back in time when donned, revealing the past splendor of the usually dilapidated present environments. You use the goggles extensively for puzzles as objects broken in the present might work in the past or obstacles might be missing altogether. The time switching mechanic provides some great puzzles that I don’t want to ruin with examples. A helpful hint button highlights all spots on a level that can be interacted with which removes some of the frustration, but can make the game a bit easy if abused.

Experienced gamers can testify how annoying a bad soundtrack can get if you are stuck on a puzzle and are forced to listen to the same looping tune. Fortunately the audio in Lilly Looking Through does not suffer from this problem and complements the adventure nicely. The soundtrack is soothing with a touch of melancholy that resonates with the lonely environments Lilly finds herself exploring. Geeta Games also used two siblings to provide the voices for Lilly and Row but the limited dialogue means you are never subjected to hearing the same phrases repeated ad nauseam. I’m sure phrases such as “I can’t do that” or “That doesn’t seem to do anything” still haunt the dreams of point and click adventure fans.

Lilly Looking Through is a delightfully imaginative title with a story that is never spelled out or explicitly explained. This provides the game with an aura of mystery, but some gamers might mourn the absence of dialogue choices or interaction with other characters. Personally, I would have liked to see more opportunities for Lilly to interact with her environment, if only to showcase the wonderful animations. Not being able to move unless it is to interact with something can feel a bit restrictive, but it does eliminate the need to wander around aimlessly.

The game had me captivated from start to finish and I definitely found myself wishing for more at the conclusion. The team at Geeta Games did a marvelous job and hopefully we don’t have to wait too long to experience more adventures in the unique world that they have crafted.

*Review originally published November 2013.

System Requirements

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