Posted: November 2, 2013
TL;DR - Wait for a bundle. It's cute but short and tedious with no story and no replay value.
Lilly looking through is a point and click atmospheric puzzle game. I hesitate to even call it an Adventure game because there's no dialog and really no story at all. It's basically a short series screens designed to create an atmosphere of whimsy with puzzles to stretch the time out. The one story element there is, chasing the little boy, is really nothing more than a macguffin to get you to the next screen.
At no time are we ever told who these kids are, where they come from, what world they are in, what the rules of it are, why they are there, where if anywhere they were planning or going and what if anything they were planning on doing before the boy was swept away.
That it appears to be presented in a package of magical whimsical mystery is just covering for the fact that in actuality there is no story at all. It's just an experience game made to set a mood and impression. That the bulk of the short play time is made up of puzzles that once figured out are almost immediately solvable the second time around and beyond just means it's experience game that you'll really only want to play once.
Speaking of the puzzles, every time you have Lilly click to go somewhere or do something you to wait. Having to sit through the slow animations every single time and not being able to skip or cancel them no matter how many times you were redoing the same motions made me want to stab my eyes out. It was just so tedious.
The fact that this game is still very short in spite of all this tediousness and the fact that they reached their Kickstarter stretch goal to make the game longer is really saying something.
If you come to the end and think 'That's it?' a short length of a game is more likely to feel noticeable and problematic than another game of the same length with a satisfying conclusion that feels like a complete, whole experience. To the Moon is a good example of the latter. It is short but that never feels problematic because there's a definite, clear conclusion that makes sense in the context of the game and the journey.
This game in comparison definitely gives a 'Huh? That's it? What does that even mean?' feel at the end which just makes the short length all the more noticeable and unforgivable. If you are going to make a game first and foremost about soaking up the atomsphere framed by gameplay that that gives no replayability to speak of then at least make it long enough so that we feel we get enough time in that world to soak up the atmosphere.
Seeing as it's both short and without a story, all your are left with is a short time with a feeling of whimsy that's mostly padded out by puzzles made tedious due to all the slow unskippable animations between motions.
Lastly, I want to talk about pricing and packages. I bought the 'Deluxe Edition' through their Humble store. The regular version for $10 pre-order at the humble store did not come with a Steam key. The 'Deluxe Edition' for $15 did. It also came with a PDF artbook, which turned out to be very short and mostly just pictures of one particular locale in the game. It's also the same PDF they are giving at GOG for $9, the price of the regular version minus 10% off new release sale. They literally charged $5 extra to for a Steam key if you bought the game from the Humble Store which is not only shady, I've honestly never seen another developer do this.
The music was excellent, relaxing, magical sounding and ambient and the best thing about the game in my opinion. It would have been nice if this had come with the 'Deluxe Edition' for $15. It didn't. The soundtrack will put you out another $10. I'll pass as I've already spent more than I should have for what I ended up getting. It's a real shame because I wanted to love this game.