Lil Gator Game is the cutest Zelda-like you’ll ever play

After a long 12 months, 2022 is almost over. It’s been a busy year on the gaming side, with challenging games like Elder Ring in the God of War Ragnarok eating hundreds of hours. If you’re looking for a quick low-stakes before the ball drops, Lil Gator game is the perfect adventure for your New Year’s weekend.

Lil Gator Game – Launch Trailer – Nintendo Switch

Lil Gator game is a short and delightful little adventure game that pays homage to the Legend of Zelda in the cutest way possible. It stars a young alligator who sets out on a mini-quest to free as many animals as possible in a small open world. Players simply have to complete quests for potential friends, which can be as simple as fighting some cardboard monsters or retrieving a lost, oversized pencil.

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It is similar in structure A short hike, another small indie adventure game featuring animals, though it’s more direct and playful about its design inspirations. Early on, players get their first sword (a stick) and a shield (a pot lid) before finding a familiar “pointy floppy” hat. After a few short quests, the gator gains the ability to climb any surface and glide through the air wearing an oversized t-shirt — a mechanic that a frog lover will poke fun at as being from “another game in the series.”

An alligator tightrope goes on phone lines in the Lil Gator game.

Everything here, from gameplay to writing, is light and sweet. The island is a soft wash of natural colors that is relaxing to walk around. Traversal is streamlined and smooth. Its lack of a map or questlog made me feel a bit lost at times, but the world is compact and easy enough to get around that I never wandered for too long. Even when I was lost, I could always find a new friend to help by completing a simple quest that was easy enough for a child to understand

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The last piece is the most important part. Lil Gator game is a “kid’s game”, but I don’t think it’s “a game for kids”. Rather, it is an adventure game that lets older players see the world through the eyes of a child. It transported me back to when I was young and goofed on the playground: a stick became a sword, a simple task became a quest, and a friend became a valuable ally in whatever imaginary battle I was fighting. Lil Gator game capture the youthful energy where the world is just one big playground.

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An alligator sails on a piece of wood in the Lil Gator game.

If you are looking for a good game to play with your children, or simply want to understand their perspective, Lil Gator game is a breezy three-hour adventure filled with silly and sincere writing charm. Everyone could use more good-natured games that are just about making friends and spreading kindness—adults included.

Lil Gator game is now available on PC and Nintendo Switch.

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