Lil Gator Game is a feel-good indie that'll take just a few hours of your time to get through. You play as the titular little gator, on a quest to convince your older sister to close her laptop and enjoy some fantastical playtime — just like in the good old days. It's not exactly subtle, but the game's all about growing up, and what that actually means to a person. Does that sense of childlike wonder really evaporate once you step into the 'real world'? And should you be accepting of such a thing to begin with?
Fortunately, Lil Gator Game doesn't grind you down with verbose dialogue — a weakness of many an indie project that's trying to hit on an emotional level. It's a nice and breezy experience from start to finish, with a clear focus on exploration. You're given two fully 3D islands to traverse — one much bigger than the other — and for most of the game, you're tasked with tracking down and recruiting friends for your fantasy adventure.
Cardboard monsters litter the islands, and bashing them with your cardboard sword nets you scraps that you can use to craft new equipment or tools. To be clear, this is not some kind of crafting-based sandbox — it's more like an open-zone platformer, with paper scraps being your collectible currency. You'll essentially wander around the environment searching for buddies, and then complete simple (often humorous) quests so that they'll join your cause.
Super smooth controls and a range of fun traversal options — including shield surfing — make Lil Gator Game a satisfyingly tactile title. Granted, there's no real challenge to be found — there isn't even fall damage — but that's obviously not what the release is aiming for. As such, it's a great shout for younger children in particular, with its colourful style and straightforward design.
Lil Gator Game's an easy recommendation if you're looking for a neatly crafted, stress-free adventure. Charmingly cute and fun for players of all ages.