Lili is a short, casual, visually exceptional 3D adventure game that's heavy on atmosphere and charm but light on story and variety.
- Visuals are gorgeous. It does not look at all like a mobile port and has some of the best visuals I've come across in an indie game.
- Fully 3D world that you can wander around in at your own pace.
- Nice atmosphere. The island is populated with lots of whimsical characters and the game oozes charm.
- Non-violent, suitable for children old enough to have a fair degree of reading comprehension but also accessible for adults. (I realize this may be a con for some who are looking for a more meaty sort of game)
- Unique. It's a bit different than pretty much everything else out there.
- Not the greatest value considering the price to length ratio. I like short games but $20 for a few hours play feels a bit steep to me.
- Game play is rather repetitive. You do the same few things for the entire game, namely collect items and play the same sort of quicktime mini game in lieu of actual battles. This is somewhat forgivable given the very short length of the game however.
- The 4 zones are small and there's not much interaction with the environment.
- Story is rather thin and there is no intro; you just get plopped in.
- Only partial controller support. The developer states full controller support is in the works. At present you can run around the world, collect items, check your map and talk to npcs with the controller but going into menus and playing the mini game battles requires keyboard and mouse.
- Full controller support has now been added. Sort of. They basically did a virtual mouse pointer that the left analog stick controls but it feels very shoehorned in as an afterthought rather than controls designed around a controller. Control directions in the UI still don't reference the controller when you are using it either.
- RPG elements are quite lite. That's not a con. The game is what it is, but calling the game an "RPG hybrid" while not technically incorrect, may give an inaccurate impression. There's some very minor leveling and skill progression but don't expect hitpoints, skill trees and such.
- No voice acting. The game is fine without it but I feel it would have added that extra bit to draw you in even more. Also it would allow for younger children to play. As non-violent games are somewhat rare, it seems especially suited for young children but the amount of reading creates a bit of an age barrier.
- Feels like a missed opportunity in some ways. The visuals and atmosphere are excellent and the game well done as is, but part of me feels like it could have been so much more with more variety and length.
- A couple of aspects still feel like a game created around touch input, namely the mini game where you pull flowers which is a major part of the game. Also the level up menus with the big wide buttons to hit and just the general sort of largeness of the UI. These do work just fine with a mouse though.
- The battle / mini games on the keyboard and mouse have a totally different feel than on the controller. The former has a more tactile almost Angry Birds type of feel with pulling while the latter feels more like DDR. I'm not sure which I like better. They're very different.
I enjoyed Lili for what it was, a unique, short, charming and visually stunning adventure game but part of me wished it to be more than it was, that it were much longer, the quests more complex, that Lili had companions, there were more choices etc. The game does end leaving future adventures for Lili a possibility so perhaps a sequel could be based around the PC platform from the beginning this time and more complex. It's a fun possibility to contemplate.
This isn't to say that Lili is incomplete. It's not, it's just a short and casual game. Sometimes it's nice to have those as a break or when you don't want to get into huge commitment with a new game.
The $20 price point I feel is a bit high for the short length of the game but if this sort of game appeals to you I'd recommend it when it goes on a sale.