Lil’ Guardsman is an indie puzzle-solving adventure game developed by Hilltop Studios and published by Versus Evil and tinyBuild. The game offers a unique adventure for the players to experience as they get to meet several unique characters on each stage with laughable dialogues. Even though it is a point-and-click game, the several main aspects like making choices will let you keep coming back or replaying a stage for witnessing an alternative end.
You play as a 12-year-old girl named Lil’ whose dad tells him to be in charge of the guard shed at the castle gate while he places his bet on Goblinball games. Cover your dad’s shift at the guard shed by interrogating the various characters including elves, goblins, cyclops, and many more, and deciding who gets to enter the city of Sprawl, who gets denied, and even who goes to jail.
While interrogating several characters in the stages, your choices might shape the outcome later as the fate of the kingdom can be in danger. You need to play the role of a hero and save the royal wedding of the queen along with making several choices along the adventure that will help you save the kingdom.
The gameplay style of Lil’ Guardsmen is Point-and-Click but with several unique mechanics that are crucial for interrogating the characters in each stage. From the very first stage of the adventure, you will have access to your tools that can be used a certain number of times per stage but can be powered up using crystals, a remarkable resource.
These tools consist of a Decoda Ring, X-ray, Metal Detector, Truth Spray, and a Bull Whip. Alongside your tools, you will have the freedom to call Royal Advisers for guidance that might help you in deciding the fate of the character. With all of the performable actions in each stage, interrogating the character first is essential as it will give you a base idea and a slight hint of whether to admit the character, deny them, or jail them.
However, before coming to any conclusion, clear your doubts using the tools as your choices do matter as you will get to meet the characters from time to time while wandering different areas of Sprawl. All the stages have a maximum of four-star rating and you can easily complete any stage with a two-star rating without doing any hard interrogation. However, if you want to keep a perfect score throughout the whole adventure and prove to be the hero of Sprawl, then you will have to consider all available actions.
As your shift ends at the end of the day, you have the freedom to browse various areas and shops of Sprawl which can allow you to upgrade your tools, place your bets on Goblinball games, and much more. To end the day, you can return home and sleep to do it all over again. It might sound repetitive but it isn’t in any way because the game always shakes things up each day in the game requiring your assistance on various matters of the city.
Sound and Visuals
In terms of the visuals, the game looks and feels great as the vibrant color of the locations and the character designs immerse the overall interactions. However, the main aspect that really impresses me the most is the writing, dialogue, and voice acting. All of these aspects are crucial for making the game more alive and playing it made me feel like I’m in the world of cartoons where interactions and characters are funny.
Unlike other indie games where the writing feels like it’s trying hard for the comedy dialogue, Lil’ Guardsman actually makes you laugh and the voice actors have done an exceptional job in keeping the writing of the characters alive.
Verdict – Score 8.5/10
Lil’ Guardsman is an excellent indie game that will both let you enjoy your time throughout the playthrough as well as keep you engaged with the stages as long as you want the four-star rating for each one. If you are a fan of 2D indie games then we highly recommend you try out Lil’ Guardsman and be the unexpected hero of Sprawl.
Lil’ Guardsman is now available on PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, XBOX One, XBOX Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and macOS.