Lil' Guardsman Logo
Lil' Guardsman Icon
Lil' Guardsman

Developer: Hilltop Studios

Publisher: Versus Evil

  • Price: $19.99
  • Release Date: Jan 23, 2024
  • Number of Players: 1
  • Last on Sale: -
  • Lowest Historic Price: -
  • ESRB Rating: T [Teen]
  • Watch this review on YouTube
    For once a game that somewhat picks up the Papers, Please torch has managed to do something cool with it

    In the indie gaming realm, as is the case in many other artforms, imitation of successful hits is common. Since its release several years ago, Papers, Please has heavily influenced many games in terms of gameplay mechanics, but not typically in themes. No one has yet improved upon the original formula, whether by simplifying or adding to the core gameplay of reviewing a person's information and granting or denying them entry.

    Lil' Guardsman is not trying to be, nor is it, Papers, Please. However, the core gameplay conceit is undeniably similar, with your young character Lil taking her father's position at the guard station. The great thing, though, is that Lil' Guardsman takes the idea and expands on it rather than just copying it. The tools at your disposal are more varied, the people (and creatures like goblins) you interact with are more diverse and frequently ridiculous, and the play mechanic supports the overall narrative rather than being the main focus.

    You'll still have to make difficult decisions, weighing a variety of factors, especially if you want to achieve perfect scores. In addition to the simple decision of whether or not to admit someone, you'll have higher-level concerns, such as completing your daily checklist, being on the lookout for special cases or people to report back to someone about, and handling them in a specific manner. The great thing is that getting a higher score isn't the only benefit; these special assignments frequently produce some of the game's best dialogue, which is almost all voiced exceptionally well.

    The result is a quirky game that combines your deductive reasoning with long-term consequences resulting from your decisions, all while interacting with consistently odd and entertaining guests attempting to persuade you to let them pass. To make things even stranger, you'll have the ability to rewind time to fix errors, but be warned that relying on it too much can have negative consequences. All of this combined makes Lil' Guardsman a highly intelligent, entertaining, and thoroughly enjoyable game that almost everyone should be able to enjoy.

    Justin Nation, Score:
    Nindie Choice! [8.3]

Nindie Spotlight

. All rights reserved