I bought LiEat because I am nothing if not a sucker for interesting aesthetics. And JRPGs. The premise is a young dragon girl who can eat lies; that combined with the art style was enough to convince me it was worth the very small price tag.
This game is broken down into three ‘parts’. Essentially, each is a self-contained adventure in a confined space that takes about an hour to play through. I’ll be honest…I got stuck quite quickly. They take an odd format and presentation that completely stumped me; it dumps your character in an almost empty town and says to go do stuff. What follows is a very linear series of events that are so loosely connected that I highly recommend following a walkthrough.
This sounds like it should be a negative point, but the fun of the game isn’t in working out the next step. Instead this should be seen more as a visual novel with token battles and movement that go a long way to investing you in the story. And it is the writing that gets this game a definite recommendation.
You experience the events – that take the form of a series of ‘mysteries’ to be solved – both from the eyes of the naive and childlike Efi (the lie-eating dragon girl) and her ‘father’ Leo (an early twenties conman). This split perspective works very well and lets you see the various characters with whom you interact in differing ways that would have been unavailable if your protagonists didn’t act independently.
Efi is endlessly cute and acts very much like an actual child would; playing, exploring and making friends with all the shady people Leo regards with cynicism and weariness. She is initially the focus of the game’s attention, but this regrettably shifts to what I hesitate to call the ‘over-arching plot’ in the last part.
Keep It Brief
Okay. Cards on the table. This game is very short. Four hours to 100% it on my first run. And that includes leaving it running a couple of times while I got distracted and wandered off. I would have absolutely loved if there had been another three or more of the little ‘episodes’ even if that doubled the price of the game. As it is, the game peaks with the second part and the third part kinda lost me.
The first part focuses largely on the combat which varies from impossible (if you didn’t stumble randomly across better weapons) to trivial (if you happened to find the best ones). The second is a mostly conversation-based little story with less combat where Efi is at her best and the third takes a very ‘puzzley’ attitude that almost forgets combat exists until the end where you need to grind for a couple of minutes.
As I said, I think this game is best played with a guide open (made easier by the fact the resolution CANNOT be changed from a 480p window), allowing you to find the good weapons and get through the weird sequence of interactions you need. Without the ‘gameplay’ to slow you down, you can explore everything and talk to everyone. It’s the talking to everyone that makes this a fun adventure.
The Truth Of It
Considering I bought this very cheap based mostly on its aesthetics, I am pleasantly surprised by how much I like it. It is crammed full of a cuteness and charm that appeal greatly to me and smother any ill feelings about the relative lack of gameplay or the short runtime. While the third part is by far the weakest, it does end in such a way that a sequel or expansion is not impossible. If one is ever released, I’m sure I will play it and enjoy it simply if it is more of this.
Oh. And the idea of having all art stills and cutscenes viewable at the end of the ‘part’ is brilliant. They’re pretty if few in number and they’re worth that second look at the end.