Lil Gator Game

released on Dec 14, 2022

The world is big when you’re a lil gator... Good thing it’s also full of friends!

There’s a buddy atop every hill in this open-world, movement-focused adventure and they all seem to need help! Bop cardboard baddies, brave serene hills and forests, and scale sheer rocks that only a kid would dare!

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Growing up sucks, but unfortunately it is inevitable. Wouldn't we all rather be playing outside with our friends, creating an imaginative role-playing experience populated with plywood monsters instead of being inundated with coursework? I know I would. And that is what is so smart and charming about Lil Gator Game, it knows adulthood looms so why not just enjoy our free-spirited childhoods while we still have it! Take a break from assignments and use that imagination. Embracing fantasy but never shying away from eventual adult responsibilities.
Super engaging writing with genuinely humorous and meta dialogue. Incredibly relaxing exploration as you complete purposefully menial quests while cutting through hordes of plywood enemies. Lots of different outfits to craft, including weapons, shields and hats. Memorable friends to recruit for your playground town. Just the whole vibe is pleasantly chill, and sometimes we need that in a game.
It is short, only really taking three hours to fully complete. But that's kinda the point, perfect for a tranquil Sunday afternoon.

Lil Gator Game
[Thoughts before starting/buying]
I saw this game on a Skurry stream, I kinda watched some gameplay in his video but stopped watching when I realized I probably want to play this myself!, it looks really fun so I wanted to get it.
I think I liked this even more than A short hike?, I just wish it was longer, it only took me 6 hours to finish, as soon as either of the devs for this or A short hike makes another game… I’ll be buying it.
There’s not much else to reflect on. I knew what I expected…? obviously it could have been longer, more emotionall developed or have more content but it doesn’t really need to. That’s not why I’m playing these kinds of games.
But yeah awesome😎
Favourite Characters:
Eva :3 (because she used ”:3”)
2023-03-17 - Midnight trials
Started it for the first time, I like the main menu theme, it's pretty cute. I also enjoy how the settings menu looked. First thing about the humor that stood out is when I first got the pot lid and then it made me "get" it again but the name was changed to shield. That's the kinda humor I play indie games for :p, most of these "wholesome" indie game has the same kinda humor.
2023-03-17 - Afternoon Ventures.
I’m still enjoying the game, but it does feel very similar to A short hike, not really a bad thing. It puts it’s own spin on it.
I like the dialogue even more here than in “A short hike”, it’s even more discord-esque 😭
Favourite moment today: When I sat on the trash shop owners chair (and got an achievement), I really wanted it to give me n achievement and I was so happy when it actually gave one. I’m noticing a trend with indie titles such as this one, I’m not that into them at first but slowly something makes me love them?, atleast towards the end/middle.
The main quests are so fun, EVA USED ”:3”. Well that was quick, I already finished the game. The ending made me cry :(
Epilogue notes:
Ohhhh I love the items you get in the post-game!!, The honk horn… I love that you get infinite stamina!, a way to find all the scrap and and and yeah the baby mode? I wanna play more games nooow. This game brought me so much joy and once again reminds me how much fun these kinda games are.

this game is amazing. such a chill game and i was never bored for even a second even when roaming around doing nothing. so much charm, all the characters are memorable to the point i remembered 50 of their names without even trying. game made for me tbh

Great story, really funny platforming physics, engaging writing.
Yeah this one's a banger.

when discussing sable, jacob geller proposed it as the perfect Mid-Sized Breath Of The Wild, a comfortably sprawling point between the massiveness of BOTW proper and the bite-sized single-setting take on many of its aspects in a short hike. lil gator game sits between a short hike and sable on this imaginary scale and as much as i appreciate all these games (especially sable) this may very well be my fave of them all!! its kind of incredibly how expressively each game's runtime informs its overall feel but lil gator game is the absolute perfect Exhaustingly Joyful Afternoon, it somehow doesnt feel like a micro-anything it just feels like a real time day spent in exhilarating childhood antics. even more then breath of the wild or a short hike it reminds me of other works that concern themselves with Imaginative Play: the lessons in empathy across age gaps from spike jonze's where the wild things are, the whisperingly quiet melancholy of what drives reality into fantasy from calvin and hobbes, and the quiet radicalism re: the emotional and spiritual necessity of imaginative play from bluey.
it is very humble and warm, mostly lacking the overt quirkiness that characterizes a lot of the modern flavor of Indie Game Twee (which is something im fond of, if not entirely enamored with) in favor of calmer colors, both literal and emotional. when these types of games fold into an emotional crescendo my response is usually nice enough (i am quite open to these things) but i swear this one even tho its not insistent at all just hit me with tons of Inexplicable Feelings out of nowhere.
i feel like someday i have to take a real hard crack at writing ab Imaginative Play and art about it, prob turn it into something political and spiritual. but at the heart of any such thesis no matter how many big words i lay on top will be a relatively simple texture, an almost mundane ecstasy, and this game perhaps more then any other work ive encountered is essentially nothing but that texture and that ecstasy in its most potent, concentrated form
it's a lot of work to make a game. there are lots of better things our work could be used for then the things we do now. we must re-learn how to imagine things being different