ilomilo initial impressions

Perfect Pretty Puzzles!

I have been eagerly awaiting this game and following the developers for months since I first heard about it.  So to finally see it available to play, early, I was bouncing all over the place. In a half awake state I entered the code as quickly as is possible (which isn’t very quick on the Xbox pad), and bam it downloaded in a flash.

Having played a good couple of hours already I was firstly struck by the beautiful graphics and visuals of the game, it is succinct and has a very happy atmosphere. It looks childish, but the puzzles become quite challenging so it is anything but childish. The characters themselves are very simple and appealing (especially to a female), and it takes you through some delightful backstory of them. Along the way there are little perks to collect and things to unlock as extra content, such as music and images that pertain to them.

The main objective is to get ilo to reach milo, you can switch between both characters very quickly with X and use B to see where the other character is in relation to yours to plan a route – which views in a very aesthetically pleasing depth of field. You can also use Y to get a better overview of the entire puzzle area. As you are walking around with the left stick you can change the camera smoothly with the right stick. A nice nifty feature – when you walk behind a block or object of some kind, there is a peep hole (which can be turned off in options… though not sure why, unless you wish to add more challenge and mystery?) and it allows you to view through to see the litle character.

There are contraptions and objects that you can use along the way, with A, and gradually as you delve further into the story the difficulty ramps up slightly to challenge you. It is a very simple concept of reaching Point A, from Point B – but using your brain for the puzzles and using each other to achieve that goal. All the while there is a constant awareness of your partner, whether playing single player or co-op. Helping each other is key.

Co-op is, of course, very fun in this game. It is sort of perfectly made for it. The mechanics of the game are ideal. It is made enjoyable by working together, even at frustrating moments when you’re both scratching your head over a puzzle. It’s always more fun being confused with another person rather than on your own!

There are achievements along the way and they are handed out quite evenly throuought playing. It’s got a pleasant injection of charm and humor to boot.

The patchwork style visuals and effects on objects are very well done and it is a polished looking game, with lovely music on each level.

It is a game I can imagine replaying on frustrated days or just for a cheer up. Plus I really want to unlock the ilo and milo avatar pets!