ilomilo Review (XBLA)

Posted by Jim Cook, Jan 10, 2011 22:13

ilomilo (all lower-case) is one of those games that revels in how light-hearted and silly it is. As a 3D puzzler, it puts players in control of a cute little red creature and a matching blue one (the titular ilo and milo), which must be guided through opposite ends of a maze to reach each other. Children’s quilt-work style graphics conceal a series of increasingly creative and involved puzzles, and the result is a fantastic addition to the XBLA catalog.

The game starts easily enough, often requiring solutions as simple as moving a single block to clear the path between ilo and milo. It adds new concepts regularly however, and before long you’ll have the two characters helping one another out by triggering switches to operate machines, passing blocks to one another, distracting basic ’enemies’ (they rarely offer a direct threat, merely hindrance, so there isn’t much violence in this game), laying bridges, and more. It’s a 3D game and spatial awareness will be necessary to get very far, though a variety of camera options can help you out with this.

Each stage is pretty short if your only goal is to get ilo and milo back together, but hunting for secret items will add a lot more length to the experience. These include various artwork and music, as well as bits of ’memories’ that tell more of the game’s story. Thus what can start as taking mere seconds or no more than a couple minutes per stage can become a much more enduring task, and ilomilo features a few dozen stages to keep things interesting.

While ilomilo is very family-friendly, it should be noted that some later puzzles get quite difficult. Adults won’t have too much of a problem, though children may be overwhelmed after a while. Fortunately, local co-op play is supported; players take turns controlling a character, and the inactive player can point things out to help the other one. This makes it both a strong single-player game for older players, and a solid choice for families to play together.

With a strong concept and generally good pacing, ilomilo stands out as one of the better puzzle games available on Xbox Live Arcade. The $10 USD/800 Microsoft Point price is very fair for what you get, and unless you absolutely must have a lot of fast-paced action in your games then I would gladly recommend ilomilo to just about anyone.

For more video game reviews on this and many others head to Game Rankings

Our Rating for ilomilo Review (XBLA)
6.5 Replay
Various hidden items unlock additional content, mostly of the art and music variety... though there is a hidden retro-style minigame to be found as well.
7.5 Graphics
Cute graphics belie a very in-depth puzzle game, and should have some appeal to all but the most jaded souls.
7.0 Sound
Whimsical but somewhat repetitive music is joined by rather basic sound effects. They wouldn’t work in most other games, but they fit the playful children’s storybook atmosphere of ilomilo just fine.
9.0 Gameplay
Excellent puzzle progression lets players get familiar with a concept before adding new layers of complexity, and the result is quite fun.
7.0 Multiplayer/Online Content
A functional if occasionally clumsy local co-op experience is offered, well suited to family play.
8.5 Overall
A great puzzle game at a fair price, ilomilo should entertain most players with its creative 3D puzzle mechanics.

Rating: 0.0, votes: 0

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