Hilltop Studios has announced that its point-and-click narrative puzzle game Lil' Guardsman is coming to PC and consoles on January 23.
Set to launch on Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam, Lil' Guardsman is described as a "comedic fantasy" game inspired by games like Papers, Please and the popular 2017 single-player adventure game Night in the Woods.
Hilltop revealed more footage of the game, showcasing gorgeous visuals paired with a 2D art style and a fully voice-acted cast. You play as 12-year-old Lil, a substitute gate guardsman who has to take over her wayward father's job at the entrance to the Kingdom of the Sprawl.
As you encounter 100+ "zany and chaotic" characters, it's up to you to deduce their intentions with dialogue and a host of tools at your disposal, giving you the power to decide whether or not to deny them entry.
One instance in the trailer shows Lil using a rewind ability after making the wrong decision, which results in one character going to jail for being a bit too shady. There's also an x-ray ability that lets you investigate NPCs, and even draft or deny characters to help win the war.
When you're not guarding the gate, it looks like you're also able to explore the kingdom, with locations like the docks, curious alleyways, and a tavern filled with knights and wizards.
"With Lil’ Guardsman we wanted to mix the deductive puzzle-solving and branching storyline of Papers, Please with the warmth and humor of Monkey Island and Grim Fandango,” Artiom Komarov, Hilltop co-founder and co-game director said in a statement.
"We’ve been cracking each other up for two years coming up with scenarios, dialogue, visual gags, and picturing the voice cast that make up Lil’ Guardsman’s world, we’re so excited to finally share it with everyone on January 23!"
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