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Video Game / Lil Gator Game

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Lil Gator Game is a three-dimensional Platform Game released on December 14, 2022. The game was developed by MegaWobble, and published by Playtonic Friends (a subsidiary of the makers of Yooka-Laylee). A demo of the game was originally featured in the 2021 Steam Next Fest, but it is no longer available.

Tropes featured in Lil Gator Game:

  • all lowercase letters: Whenever Lil Gator and the other children talk, they're speaking in this manner, emphasizing how young they are.
  • A Bloody Mess: Esme the vampire bat wants Lil Gator to buy her a sorbet cone from a nearby ice cream vendor. Gator also buys one of the same flavour for himself, but is hesitant to eat it because it's a dark red colour said to be Esme's favourite. She clarifies that it's just black cherry though.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Each character's dialogue boxes, even the minor ones, have a unique color that they are associated with. Lil Gator, naturally is associated with the color green. Martin, Jill, and Avery respectively are associated with blue, light blue, and orange; those are also the colors of the outlines of their icons on the player's save file and they show up as fairies of these respective colors during the journey into Lil Gator's memories near the end of the game. Tom is associated with the color red, and Big Sis with purple.
  • Cutting the Knot: You can bypass most of Pepperoni's obstacle course by just hitting the monsters with your ranged weapon.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The small island establishes Lil Gator's friend group with their initial item quests. Jill (a workaholic who means well) says she can make free time, does an excellent job with it, and then is immediately studying again. Martin (a 'cool kid' driven by peer pressure) doesn't want to, but goes along with everyone because they want to, then half-asses his quest because he's not into it. Avery (a very scatterbrained kid who thinks outside the box) doesn't even do it because her scatterbrain is on a restaurant kick, then gets you to do it AND her actual prize is something completely different that Lil Gator didn't even ask for. Even Tom, the fourth friend, is shown easily as being someone who thinks bigger, because he thought they'd meant the bigger island and roped a ton of additional kids into it.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The entire game takes place over the span of one afternoon. During that time, Lil Gator befriends a lot of kids, and they turn the local playground into a "city" with lots of cardboard decorations that would logically take hours to make. To say nothing of the many "quests" Lil Gator completes on top of that.
  • Fetch Quest: As part of Lil Gator's demo adventure, an apathetic person asks him to fetch a nearby pot, actually using the term "Fetch Quest" in the process. In return, Lil Gator is allowed to borrow the pot lid as a shield.
  • Growing Up Sucks: Lil Gator laments that his sister has gradually been spending much less time playing or even talking to him to focus on schoolwork; even during the game, when she's on fall break, she's still busy doing schoolwork. Near the end, we get a glimpse into how tough college is, as Big Sis is constantly busy with mountains of homework and she has to transfer schools to further her studies.
  • Hammerspace: Some of Lil Gator's equipment, such as his ragdoll, his bracelets, and his currently equipped "sword", shield and hat, are displayed on his character model. Non-equipped tools and quest items (such as the pot from the tutorial's fetch quest), however, play this trope straight.
  • Happy Ending: Lil Gator succeeds in building a massive game that has dozens of people involved, converting the playground into a hub for it. Their sister, despite being rather busy with her schoolwork, eventually decides that she's worked enough for the day and joins the game, though this comes around after she and Lil Gator come to an understanding about their feelings and worries beforehand rather than as a result of Lil Gator's expanded game.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Early in the game, you are allowed to pick the main character's "hero name" for the fictional game they and their sister are playing. This ends up sticking and becomes the nickname everyone refers to them by going forward.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: Justified with the three kids pretending to be ninjas; they're not actual ninjas, just little kids playing a game. They even have Naruto inspired headbands! One of them will craft origami shuriken out of paper if you give her the required materials, and accepting a quest from their leader will unlock a new weapon for Lil Gator: nunchucks... That are actually a skipping rope.
  • Idle Animation: Lil Gator will stop and look around, do various stretches, and balance on one leg if left alone long enough.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Lampshaded by Simon, a climbing enthusiast. When Lil Gator asks him if falling is dangerous, Simon assures him that there is no fall damage:
    Simon: hah! of course it's dangerous. but, as we all know, in video games, children are invincible!!
  • Item Crafting: After collecting a sword (stick) and shield (pot lid) in the demo, in order to complete his hero outfit, Lil Gator is taught how to transform the cardboard shreds from the "monsters" he's defeated into a hat. Once that's accomplished, he can also create other items from cardboard, including a stuffed doll that enables him to safely fall from any height via Ragdoll Physics. In the main game, those cardboard shreds can be used to craft different swords, helmets, and shields, whose "recipes" get unlocked after completing certain quests. Giving 500 shreds to Sierra will reward you with origami ninja stars, that serve as an upgrade over your pebbles.
  • Iyashikei: The entire mood is very chill and relaxed, with no danger, no ability to die, and no meanspiritedness.
  • Jagged Mouth: A variation. Lil Gator and his sister are drawn with serrations lining their jaws which are supposed to be teeth, but only on the upper jaw. A case of showing their work as the upper jaw of an alligator overlaps on the bottom jaw.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The game of make-believe that Lil Gator and his friends make up in the Demo is, in fact, a "demo" of a larger game they're planning, leading to multiple comments about future abilities and locations that apply to both the actual game and their in-game game.
  • Living Memory: While exploring the small island that the demo is set on, Lil Gator can interact with memories of himself and his big sister playing pretend when they were younger. It applies to the main game as well, as you can find similar memories scattered all over the big island.
  • Magic Feather: Throughout the game, you'll find a monkey vendor who sells magic bracelets that supposedly imbue their wearer with the stamina to climb to greater heights. After he sells off the last one, the vendor reveals that they really do nothing... and Lil Gator realizes that he had all the strength to climb anywhere all along, leading to him gaining infinite stamina.
  • Mr. Imagination: There are some elements that only seem to work the way they do because Lil Gator is applying RPG logic to them, such as using a shirt as a gliding device without tying up any of the holes.
  • No Antagonist: The main conflict of the game is that Lil Gator is sad that their older sister is too busy to play with them. There's no actual villain, and pretty much everyone in the game is a good person.
  • No Name Given: The monkey vendor who sells magic bracelets doesn't introduces himself, and his speech bubble shows ???? as the name anytime you encounter him around the island. After getting all of the bracelets, the monkey vendor will also move into the playground town, where you can talk to him and finally learn his true name (supposedly).
  • no punctuation is funnier: The vast majority of the dialogue in the game has very little punctuation. Every kid's dialogue only uses commas, and even then it's rather rare, whereas adults do use standard punctuation.
  • Noodle Incident: One of the memories is obstructed by the wide mast of a windmill that was built in the interim. Lil Gator laments that it's one of their favorite memories.
  • Overly Long Gag: Several.
    • One sidequest has you needing to pick up a pencil, but the quest-giver drops the pencil increasingly further and further away each time you bring it back.
    • A main quest has Lil Gator needing to buy some ice cream, only to realize they don't have the money for it. Cue a lengthy, yet adorable, text conversation with three other people to arrange getting the cash together.
  • Practically Different Generations: Lil Gator's sister is college-aged, while Lil Gator himself seems to be anywhere from kindergarten to early middle school age, putting their probable age different at about a decade apart.
  • Ragdoll Physics: One of the craftable items is a teddy bear that enables this.
  • Ridiculously Fast Construction: The kids in the woods manage to build an entire bustling town, playground, castle, and obstacle course out of cardboard and plywood in the span of a few hours at most.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Several nods are made to The Legend of Zelda.
      • Lil Gator's default outfit is basically just a brown version of Link's iconic green cap.
      • One of the sidequests has you looking for a golden trianglenote  because it's a Hero's job to find golden triangles.
      • The "glider" that you obtain has the same general pattern and colors as the paraglider from Breath of the Wild. Similarly, the bracelets function identically to the stamina wheels. In fact, the game's overall structure mirrors that of Breath of the Wild, with a large open world that has several independent main quests that you can do in any order.
      • During the quest into Lil Gator's memories of them and their sister, his friends take the form of fairies to guide them along, with their designs mirroring Navi's from Ocarina of Time. They even say that heroes need fairies to help.
    • One quest has you confront a character courtroom-style, with dramatic poses and camera angles straight out of Ace Attorney, and responding to their statements with "Truth/Doubt/Lie" like in L.A. Noire. You even have to identify how they react to said choices.
    • Among the "weapons" you can get is a toy laser sword, described as "a fine addition to your collection".
    • There's the aforementioned "ninja" kids with their Naruto headbands. Completing their quest nets you one of your own, which you can equip to replace your default running animation with the famous "Naruto run."
  • Slice of Life: The entire game is about a little kid wanting his older sister to play pretend with him and his friends. The only conflict is that his sister is too busy with homework to play.
  • Sticks to the Back: Lil Gator's "sword" and shield.
  • Variable Mix: The main regions of the island each have their own themes, but the instrumentation changes based on where Lil Gator is. Avery's drama club is the most striking example, with motifs ranging from one cowboy-themed character's relaxed banjo to a key-shifted harpsichord for a literal vampire bat.
  • Visual Pun:
    • Sierra, one of the kids playing ninja, will make shuriken out of paper if you give her 500 bits of scrap: she's a crane doing origami.
    • Esme is a vampire bat playing as a vampire.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: The plot of the game is Lil Gator trying to convince his big sister to play with him like they used to by setting up a fun RPG-inspired adventure, but the big sister is too preoccupied with homework and other grown-up activities to spend any time with him...which just convinces Lil Gator he needs to get more people involved and make the game BIGGER. In the end, it isn't the game's ambition that brings her into it, but rather a mature heart-to-heart between her and Lil Gator.
  • World of Funny Animals: Everyone in the game is a Funny Animal.