Ilomilo Review

Ilomilo is essentially a co-op puzzle game for a single player. The game's name is derived from its two main characters, Ilo and Milo, who each look like a cross between a Teletubby and a gumdrop. The goal is simply to reunite Ilo and Milo, which is not as simple as to accomplish. The pair live on three-dimensional structures built with block-like cubes and filled with the kind of gaps, obstacles, and switches that inevitably populate a puzzle game's world. Also complicating matters is the nature of gravity in Ilomilo's world there's no danger of falling off of the cubist paths, but at certain designated points you can cross to another side of a cube, turning what was sideways into up and down and effectively rotating the entire level 90 degrees in space. The co-op aspect of the game comes from your ability to switch between controlling Ilo or Milo at any time. Ilo may have to drop an expanding block on a gap to let Milo cross, or Milo may have to step on a switch to drop a barrier on Ilo's path. Once you get Ilo and Milo face to face on adjacent cubes, you've reached your goal and completed the level.

There are a couple of things that will give some of you incentive to replay some of the levels. The first is that there are three mini versions of whatever kind of creature Ilo and Milo are in each level. While just getting Milo and Ilo together will complete a level, to get full credit you'll have to rescue the extra little guys who are inevitably in tricky to reach areas. The other incentive is that your success on each puzzle will be compared to how well your friends did and on overall leaderboards. You may be wondering how a puzzle game with a set solution can have leaderboards; I know that I would be. The measure of performance used in Ilomilo is number of cubes crossed. Each time you move Ilo or Milo to a new square you're given a point, and just like in golf the lower score the better. There certainly has to be a minimum score possible for each puzzle, so it's not unlikely that before too long there will be a massive tie for first on the leaderboards.

Ilomilo has a soft-edged look to it that makes me certain that the game's developers have spent a lot of time with the PS3's Little Big Planet. The game tries to add a cutesy storyline to the game along with odd characters evidently meant to be humorous and endearing, but it misses the mark here. Not that that's a big knock against the game, though. Puzzle games don't really need storylines and they can be safely ignored without consequence.

Ilomilo is an enjoyable and competent puzzle game for those who like puzzles heavy on the spatial thinking. The biggest knock against is that there is not a large variety in the actual puzzle mechanics, so the more that you play the game, the more that puzzles begin to feel like subtle variations on a theme.

One final note, Ilomilo is part of a cross-promotion with Raskulls and A World of Keflings. If you have achievements in either or both of those games, you'll unlock some minor bonus content in Ilomilo and vice-versa.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 80% Ilomilo is enjoyable enough, but it's not the kind of puzzle game that you'll find yourself obsessing over.


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