Hand-painted deduction adventure coming to PC, PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch platforms
Ever since the arrival of Lucas Pope’s Papers, Please in 2013, the narrative deduction game has become increasingly popular. The latest game to give players the power to choose between who is worthy and who is not is Hilltop Studios’ upcoming fantasy adventure, Lil’ Guardsman.
In a fantasy city known as The Sprawl, a rather precocious twelve-year-old name Lil is called upon by her father to fill in for him as guardsman at the wall while he slacks off. Reluctantly young Lil takes up the post, where she will encounter more than a hundred unique characters across a variety of diverse races who are seeking entry to the city, from “cryptic elven mages to orc single mothers.” Using only a “toolbox of items” and her own powers of deduction, Lil must interrogate each visitor and decide whether to admit, reject, or even imprison them after determining their true intentions through their responses to her questions. Each decision matters, as “consequences can be severe … and clever use of your abilities can help you uncover mass conspiracies and protect your castle and family from devious interlopers.”
Lil’ Guardsman features a delightfully cartoony hand-painted aesthetic inspired by the point-and-click classics. Gameplay revolves around logic and narrative puzzles that challenge players to “manage information and clues that are doled out within an individual turn, round, or across the entire story.” You’ll soon come to discover that “sending visitors to jail, inadvertently zapping them to smithereens, or letting them go on their merry way are all part of the job.” And yet despite the game’s comedic sensibilities, players must take their responsibility seriously because “who you let through the castle gates will determine the kingdom’s fate.” Under your watch, you must oversee “a royal wedding to one of two kingdoms vying for an alliance, and a subsequent siege by whoever you’ve angered in the process.” Perhaps you could undo any mistakes if you had the power to rewind time? Or would that just risk doing even more irreversible damage?
There is no firm target release date just yet, but Lil’ Guardsman is on track for release sometime later this year on Steam for Windows and Mac, along with console versions for PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch platforms.