Sometimes as you’re playing a game, you just know this will be on your game of the year list somewhere. For some that was Ghosts of Tsushima. For others, The Last of Us Part II snagged that spot. For me, it was Later Alligator. I would expect nothing less from the creators of Baman and Piderman.
Later Alligator is a collection of mini-games all centered around a quirky cast of crocodilians planning a big surprise by newcomer Small Bu. That is the most adorable developer name ever. What is the surprise? Why a planned murder of course, definitely not a birthday party why that’s silly talk. You play detective hired by Pat, birthday boy and professional scaredy cat, to find out just what’s going on tonight. To do this, you must traverse a gator inhabited New York City to talk to his family and friends to get to the bottom of things.
The characters are all delightful, adorable, and brimming with charm. Occasionally brimming with grim reminders that life is far too short. After you exhaust their dialogue options, you’ll help each with their own unique problem that manifests in the form of a mini-game. These range from fun to annoying, but the charm and style of this game never makes them unbearable. From helping Sweet Geraldine get her crane machine prize to ghost hunting, there’s so much character packed even in the most basic version of a flappy bird clone.
There’s also plenty of fourth wall breaking jokes from viewing secret YouTube videos to visiting Pat’s own website on your computer to get his lock code. As you progress, time passes. Each time you fail a mini-game, it takes more time away. For me, it took two play throughs to find all the family members and get the true ending. Considering everyone you have talked to is saved after the game, you will have plenty of time next time to find who you missed. Even with two play throughs and having to repeat a few puzzles, the world is so charming that I didn’t mind. Time well spent honestly.
The only other element is a series of puzzle pieces that are quite challenging to find. You unlock a YouTube video link if you collect all of them. It’s not worth it, but it can be a fun challenge if you enjoy being in the world of gators. There’s also a few cameos you may not catch on your first or even second play through on the bus system including the game grumps.
It’s a fun night and honestly worth the price. I hope you will also get to meet the wonderful Gators or Later Alligator.