Ilomilo Reader Review
Ilo and Milo are best friends who meet at the park every day for apple tea and maple biscuits. When the sun goes down, they part ways, waiting for the sun to rise again so that they can reunite in the morning. However the route through the park seems to change every dayÖor perhaps itís their memories that arenít very reliable and itís this niggling factor that makes Ilo and Miloís friendship so complicated. And what also forms the basis of the game.
is of a similar aesthetic to in as much as the characters wouldnít look out of place in the Disney store in the giant plush section. And by golly, I wish I had one because they are adorable. Itís your job to orchestrate the reunion of the pair by solving the puzzles in each level.
The puzzles are based on navigating both Ilo and Milo (either taking turns in co-op or flitting between the two characters in single player) through a 3D environment composed of cubes. The characters must work cooperatively to collect all goodies and rescue what appear to be mini -esque creatures called Safkas on the path to their rendezvous. The puzzles start off on a fairly basic level with, for example, one player pushing a button to activate a platform for the other to cross on. But as you progress, the difficulty does of course increase; and to rather mind bending proportions. Think , minus the spandex-clad Bowie and petulant teen.
There are a number of cubes scattered through each level that can be conveniently folded away into a tiny knapsack and carried to the point at which they are needed. As you advance through the levels, cubes with different properties will be unlocked. At the beginning of the game, the first cubes you'll come across are just cubes. Sorry. They can be used to bridge gaps measuring one cube across. No doubt Iíve saved you precious minutes of head scratching with that little tit bit. Further exploration of the world of Ilomilo will unearth cubes with trap doors that spit you out of their bottoms thus reversing gravity and allowing you to explore the underbelly of the cubes you were just strolling on.
The veritable menagerie of blocks waiting to be discovered all add their own layer of complexity to the puzzles and coupled with the additional mechanisms such as gravity altering red carpets, you pretty much have to turn your brain inside out, back to front, hang it outside and beat it with a rod made of wood, born from the seed of lateral thinking. Yes, things are starting to get a bit surreal around here...
is akin to in that respect. Whilst the music lacks the sense of nostalgia and longing to be found in , it's still up there on the "what have I just smoked?!" scale. If Pan were to get off his tail, round up some other fantasy folk and have a forest festival, this is what it would sound like; accordions, flutes, kazoos, toy boxes and even a Mukon. Ah, the classic Mukon...cobbled together from an IKEA bench and some guitar strings by Daniel Olsťn, the brain behind the soundtrack.
Like , the backdrops to the in-game graphics are at once extravagant, simple, bizarre and poetic. There is also a sense of wistfulness which echoes the undertones of the story that unfolds as you collect photographs that represent memory fragments of a couple called Ilona and Milton. I'm not going to lie to you. It gets pretty sad.
There are a few more fun surprises within the game that will do a slap-up job of lightening the mood but I'll leave those for you to discover. is available on the XBLA Marketplace for 800 points. For that bargainous price, there's no excuse to miss out on this topsy turvy trip down memory lane.