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Cute fantasy Papers, Please 'em up Lil' Guardsman is out now

Admit or deny entry to a fantasy kigndom

Lil sits in her booth while on the outside stands a person with an enormous dragon, of which only a foot is visible, in Lil' Guardsman.
Image credit: Hilltop Studios

Some indie hits create a legion of copycats, but others, not so much. I don't think there are too many Papers, Pleaselikes, for example - perhaps for obvious reasons given that game's grim subject matter.

Lil' Guardsman is a Papers, Pleaselike though - and a seemingly delightful one. You play as 12-year-old Lil, who is a substitute guard at the castle gate for a fantasy kigndom, and you must decide who to admit and who to deny entry. It's out now.

A fantasy kingdom of warriors, dragons and goblins is a great substitute for the social commentary of Arstotzka. Lil' Guardsman seemingly pushes the idea to strange new places, too, with narrative vignettes set around the kingdom, minigames, and a overarching war which you're able to influence based on which characters you choose to trust.

Lil' Guardsman was one of our picks for the best demos of Steam Next Fest back in June last year.

"You have three actions you can take for each citizen that rocks up at the guard shed, including asking them a question, phoning a member of the council to ask for more information, or using an item in your special locked cupboard of tricks," explained Katharine. "The daily royal writ may also include certain objectives for you to take note of as well - such as phoning councilwoman Ashe if a speaker for the guild shows up, or watching out for old grandparents who might just be smuggling drugs into the kingdom under the pretences of food for their loved ones. Then it's a case of letting them in, or denying them entry. You know the drill. It's good, puzzle-y fun."

Alas, that demo doesn't seem to be available anymore. The full game is on Steam however and costs £14.39/$18/€18.

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