Lila’s Sky Ark is the latest offering from Monolith of Minds, best known for their 2020 hit Resolutiion. The latter game (which also released on Nintendo Switch) was a nod to old-school The Legend of Zelda games but with a completely different graphical aesthetic to the Nintendo series. Lila’s Sky Ark is a prequel to Resolutiion and carries over the same purple-hazy colour palette across into a whole new world that is packed with puzzles, baddies and intrigue.
To be perfectly honest, it took me a couple of hours to ‘get’ Lila’s Sky Ark. It kind of plays like a cross between The Legend of Zelda and Hollow Knight - sounds great, right? You play as the titular character Lila as she tries to protect her home world (an ark floating in the sky) from the mysterious and intimidating Conductor, who himself has a fleet of scary looking arks packed full with minions.
The world is a vibrant ecosystem. Lila’s ark, the Rainbow Ark, is a hub world with different mini-worlds branching off from it, each of which must be tackled in order. At the end of each mini-world, you board one of the hostile arks to tackle that respective area’s boss and once defeated, you unlock an additional traversal or combat ability for Lila (e.g. the ability to jump or the ability to lift heavier objects, etc.). These new abilities can either be used to move to the next mini-world or revisit areas and access previously inaccessible secrets, all of which contribute towards completing some of the many side quests.
I was also delighted to find out that the difficulty of the boss fights in Lila’s Sky Ark is perfectly pitched. I find many recent action-adventure games either fall into the trap of having easy non-existent boss fights or some crazy Souls-like bosses, however the challenge on offer here is perfect; challenging but not frustratingly so.
Lastly, Monolith of Minds have done a fantastic job of creating such an atmospheric feel to a relatively small game. There are creepy creatures, Kafka-esque environments, haunting synth/chip-tune music and a dark underworld, all of which make you feel slightly uncomfortable, but it’s also pretty quirky and charming at the same time. It has to be seen to be believed.
- Challenging but sensible boss fight difficulty
- Incredibly atmospheric experience
- Plenty of exploration for fans of side quests and secrets
The aforementioned purple-hazy colour palette is the signature of Lila’s Sky Ark and attracted much attention when its trailers were released, and whilst easy on the eye, I find that in reality, it does get a bit samey. There are different terrains to traverse throughout the game but when I completed Lila’s Sky Ark and took a bit of time to reflect on my experience, I found they all become a bit indistinguishable in my mind!
The early stages of Lila’s Sky Ark also feel a bit aimless and the combat, which predominantly involves picking up and hurling various projectiles at enemies, also takes a bit of getting used to. That combat system is curious; I don’t really get why the limited and quite clunky projectile system was chosen rather than other more traditional and effective combat systems found in adventure games. The most disappointing element for me was that this was almost the only thing I could properly fault in Lila’s Sky Ark, which makes the whole experience feel like a missed opportunity.
- Clunky combat system
- Beautiful environments but little variation
- Quite short but priced accordingly
Final Score: 8/10
The brevity of the ‘Bad’ section probably tells you everything you need to know. Lila’s Sky Ark was a thoroughly wholesome experience, only slightly undermined by its combat system. Lila’s Sky Ark oozes atmosphere, adventure and charm and leaves me excited by the next project from Monolith of Minds!
Thank you for checking out our Lila's Sky Ark Switch review, thank you to Graffiti Games for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: