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Lil' Guardsman remixes Papers, Please in a cute deduction adventure

Plus more ID@Xbox highlights coming this year!

Last night ID@Xbox held their latest showcase to spotlight all sorts of indies. One of the highlights was the cute deduction game Lil’ Guardsman, a riff on Papers, Please where you work on a guard post, choosing to accept or refuse entry for fantasy folk wanting to get into the city. Or you can just jail them. It looks like lighthearted fun, and it’ll be hitting PC and consoles later this year.

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You play as the lil’ Lil as she wakes up one morning to have “the talk” with her dad. Thankfully, it’s not the awkward chat - instead she’s thrust into a life of childhood labour and needs to cover her dad’s shift at the guard post. In true Papers, Please fashion, odd travellers will pass the post and attempt to gain entry, although refusing this colourful batch of characters probably won’t make you as overbearingly sad as it did in Papers, Please.

Lil will need to talk with every passerby, trying to deduce what their true intentions are. She also has access to a toolkit filled with handy devices. A cipher, for instance, can translate foreign languages, allowing you to suss out any odd documents. Or an X-ray gun gives you a peek into suspicious bags, potentially revealing illegitimate gold and whatnot. Guard duty isn’t unpaid work, though, so you’ll be able to use your hard-earned cash on new tools. There are roughly 100 goblins, elves, trolls, and worst of all, humans who are all looking to get in, and your decisions can affect the story.

When you’re not working, the game will shift to an old-school adventure game perspective, giving you a taste of the outside world. You’ll be at the centre of royal weddings, grand conspiracies, and a potential siege if you play your cards right/wrong. Developer Hilltop Studios also compares the game’s comedic sensibilities to Monkey Island and other classic LucasArts adventures, if you’re a fan of that style.

You can currently wishlist the Lil’ Guardsman on Steam in anticipation of a later 2023 release.

Other ID@Xbox highlights included the absolutely gorgeous fairytale FPS The Explorator, and a solemn slice-of-life sim Closer The Distance. That’s on top of trailers for games we already knew about, such as The Last Case Of Benedict Fox, more DLC for Vampire Survivors, and Coffee Talk Episode 2. Head to Xbox Wire's blog post to read about every indie in the showcase.

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