Game Info:

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Developer:  Southend Interactive
Released:  January 5th, 2010
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Available on: Xbox 360 (version reviewed), Windows Phone 7
Genre: Puzzle
MSRP: $10 (800 MS)


For some odd reason, most games of today focus on a grim, dystopian setting. The heroes of these games save their brown and gray world just in time to be met with yet another problem. Ilo and Milo, on the other hand, want nothing more than to relax, enjoy each other’s company, and spend a day at the park. But then again, even the park can have its own form of peril.

Ilomilo takes place in a floating, patchwork world that isn’t too different than that of LittleBigPlanet.   It is in this cube-ish world that our stars, Ilo and Milo, strive so desperately to be together.  Their goal isn\'t unreasonable; all they want is to spend a day together in the park, but the dilemma is the fact that the park constantly changes.

That’s right, change.  The floating, cube based park changes every time Ilo and Milo go home, and they must learn to traverse their constantly changing environments if they ever wish to be together.  That’s where you come in.  It’s your job as the player to reunite these two, and as with any good puzzle game, that is easier said than done.

The goal in each level is always the same thing: to bring Ilo and Milo to a meeting point on the map.  Each of our heroes will start at opposite ends of the cube based puzzle, and can be controlled separately in order to maneuver them to a meeting point.  As with most puzzle games, this starts off as a simple process, but soon becomes incredibly mind racking.  Cubes, creatures, and gaps will soon block your path, while magic carpets will grant you the ability to walk over the edges of cubes.  Some cubes can even be picked up and carried in order to fill gaps or make bridges.


Strong Points: Family friendly; great art style; intelligent puzzle design; lengthy campaign.

Weak Points: Level of difficulty can be very high.

Moral Warnings: None!

Those magic carpets I mentioned can be rather amazing.  Not only do they add to the gameplay, but they also add to the aesthetic of the game.  When you defy gravity and use the carpet to traverse the edge, the world quickly shifts around you.  Everything will spin and change, leaving you with a sense of vertigo.  The first time I did this is easily one of the most memorable moments I’ve experienced.

Gravity is never an issue with ilomilo.  The world itself bends, twists, flips and flops.  There is even a cube that, once stood on, will spit you out the other side, flipping the world upside down.  The ceiling becomes the floor, and vice versa.  And, as I’ve said before, this is all incredible to behold.

Collectibles make a welcome appearance in ilomilo.  Throughout your journeys you’ll collect items in order to fill up a memory meter.  Every time this meter fills up you’re awarded with a piece of a memory, and once your first memory is completed you get an unlockable for your Xbox Avatar.  But I won’t ruin that surprise.

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 88%
Gameplay 17/20
Graphics 8/10
Sound 10/10
Stability 5/5
Controls/Interface 4/5

Morality Score - 100%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

On top of these memory fragments you’ll want to collect “Safkas”.  These little guys are basically dwarf versions of Ilo and Milo, and they tag along with you for the entire puzzle once you find them.  Why do you want these?  If you find every Safka in a row of levels, you earn access to some very exciting bonus levels that are actually some of the best in the game.  So trust me when I say, it’s worth it to get these guys.

For an XBLA title, ilomilo is beautiful; the setting, environments, art style are all gorgeous.  Despite constantly being set in a park, the four stages of the game are quite varied.  You’ll even be underwater for a while.

Don’t let the cutesy appearance fool you, this is not just a child’s game.  Yes, the game is incredibly family friendly (not a bit of objectionable content), but it’s also mind-breaking.  The art style captures the essence of the story, not the gameplay.

Now, I have to talk about what has to be the most standout part of the game to me: the music.  It’s incredibly cheery and uplifting, and it sets the mood for the entire game.  I actually found myself seeking out the music to download for everyday listening.  It’s that good.  So, I give huge props to the sound designers of ilomilo.

Overall, I loved my time with ilomilo.  I can’t recommend the game to anyone who isn’t a fan of puzzles, or just plain lacks patience.  However, I can recommend ilomilo as a game the whole family can enjoy, and should enjoy.  Boasting over 49 different puzzles, there is plenty of entertainment to be had here, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better puzzle title.  If you want you can go back to your drab, brown and gray games.  I think I’ll just spend a day in the park with some friends, it’s much more relaxing.


Objectionable Content

Violence: None

Language: None

Sexual Content/Nudity: None

Occult/Supernatural: None

Cultural/Moral/Ethical: None

Ilomilo is an incredibly family-friendly game, and it is recommended to anyone and everyone.




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