Tuesday, 30 August 2011

One you might have missed - ilomilo - 360

With so many games released every week, some smaller titles unfortunately slip beneath the waves. One game which deserves a bit more recognition is Southend Interactive's ilomilo - a lovely puzzle platformer on Xbox Live Arcade.

Ilo and milo are friends, who enjoy munching on maple leaf-flavoured biscuits and sipping apple tea. Unfortunately, the two pals get separated and it's up to the player to reunite the pair by traversing the levels, manipulating the environment and solving mind-bending puzzles.

The player can flick between both ilo and milo at any point and teamwork lies at the heart of the game. Things start off at a fairly sedate pace, with the player simply asked to place blocks to reunite the chums.

However, as the game skips along, new gameplay twists are introduced to the player by pirate hat-wearing dandy, Sebastian. These include extendable blocks, spring-loaded cubes, switches, moving platforms and trapdoors, while the game regularly likes to throw a curve ball at the player by messing around with gravity.

It might look like a cute children's game, but ilomilo turns into a wicked and quite brilliant head-scratcher. However, unlike many other puzzle games, ilomilo rarely gets frustrating, thanks in large to the simple control set-up and the adorable presentation.

Ilomilo's bric-a-brac world is reminiscent of LittleBigPlanet's home-made environments, with levels constructed with felt, wooden and carpeted blocks, while the colours are vivid and awash with splurges of marmalade orange and midnight blue.

The soundtrack is just as special, infusing trumpets, flutes, xylophone, harmonica and accordion to give ilomilo the feel of a 70's children TV programme.

The puzzle solving is brilliantly paced, but there is also a generous amount of collectables scattered throughout the levels to snaffle up.

Three ragdoll characters called safkas can be found on every level, photographs unlock artwork, old vinyl records reveal musical tracks - with glorious titles such as Cozy Sofa and Tingly Seaweed - and clusters of little flowers pepper the walkways just waiting to be gathered.

Add to that dozens of delightful and challenging levels for a mere 800 Microsoft points, and ilomilo represents tremendous value for money. So if you haven't experienced this wonderful game yet, I would urge you to at least play the demo to get a flavour of ilomilo's patchwork charms.

1 comment:

limegum said...

Nice review! I played the demo some while ago, I should get the full game.