Look, it happened. I previously mentioned Lilly Looking Through in the post about Windosill in hopes that it would stay in my mind and get me to play it sooner than later, and I ended up playing it sooner than later. Woo, go me. Alas, that trick doesn’t work every time–sorry, games like Silent Hill 3, ???, and ???. I guess it doesn’t matter how many times I type your names. Sigh. Anyways, I probably don’t have too much to say about this Kickstarted point-and-click adventure game from Geeta Games, but I want to give it its spot in the limelight regardless.
Lilly Looking Through tells a somewhat straightforward story the basically boils down to an adventurous childhood day gone tipsy-turvy. Lilly is playing in the woods with her younger brother Row when, suddenly, he gets tangled in a strange red piece of fabric and is whisked away on an extremely strong breeze. Armed only with a pair of magical goggles, Lilly must make her way past crumbling bridges, pitch-black caverns, and deep, icy lakes to rescue him. See, when Lilly puts on the goggles, she is transported backwards in time, with her surroundings revert to their former state. By affecting things in the past, she can change the layout of the future, and get to where she needs to be.
It’s a good mechanic, watching cause and reaction play out, and something that I fuzzily remember from that one time I watched a neighbor play Day of the Tentacle when I was just a kid, switching between different characters in various time periods to affect each other’s environments or help pass essential items to solve puzzles. Except one of the nice things about Lilly Looking Through is there is no inventory; you are not picking up every stick, rock, and piece of rope in hopes of using them either logically or ironically down the road. Instead, it is all about the hot spots and figuring out what order levers should be pulled in or if you need to pull that lever first in the older realm and see what it does to the current realm. Occasionally, there will be an item to pick up in an environment, like a flaming torch, but you will use it almost immediately and then be done with it, which is comforting.
Interestingly, Lilly Looking Through is able to establish a palpable sense of place, with next to no words or dialogue. For the most part, Lilly is alone and doesn’t have anyone to talk to or interact with. All you get are screams of surprise or the desperate call for her brother. However, as she explores and searches for Row, you’ll see signs of civilization are all around. Except there are no people, no leftovers lingering about, save for their creations. It’s a lonely experience, but I connected with it, as I often had a lonely childhood, wandering the woods by myself in search of cool bugs or a dirty magazine. There’s a lot to wonder about here, but the story is light on details, focusing rather on the task at hand and sprinkling story details on the sides.
Lilly Looking Through is a short, but enjoyable couple hours of clicking. There’s a limited number of areas, and each spot focuses mostly on a singular puzzle to solve, and none of them are too tricky. Even if they are, with enough clicking, you’ll power through them. I also really dug the bits of beautiful animation throughout, and the ending leaves our characters in a strange, new world, one that, maybe, some day down the road, we’ll get to explore. Until then, I’ll continue searching for hot spots, like the one that lets me make this blog post go live so I can start playing something else. I think it is…this one…right…here.