LiEat is a short RPG about a Dragon girl that can eat Lies. Originally, LiEat was a trilogy of games that was released for free in Japan. Each part of the trilogy has a new setting and supporting cast while expanding on the lore of the story.
I reviewed the PC version in 2018. I loved the simple, minimalistic nature of the game and the story. The Nintendo Switch version manages to be a faithful and solid port of this game.
The main difference between the PC and Switch versions is the presentation. The PC had the trilogy in separate games that you can access via the Launcher in any order. The Switch ver. packages the trilogy in a beautiful launcher hub/title screen. You must play the games in the correct order. You can go back to this title screen by pressing START at any point.
I felt like the game's graphics looked sharper than they were on PC. Though it might not be the case and it only looked like that to me on the handheld screen of Switch Lite. The game is full of hand-drawn animated cutscenes that look amazing despite the low resolution of the game's engine.
On Nintendo Switch, the game's screen is surrounded by borders to preserve the aspect ratio. I'm not a fan of these borders in retro games, but I don't mind it here. When you enter or leave a place in this version, the border's background changes along with changing area, I think it's a nice touch!
The story of LiEat follows Efina, a Dragon who can smell, manifest and eat Lies who appeared one day as an Egg in front of the con artist Theobald Leonhart. He looks after her and takes her along in his travels. By the time the first game starts, Efi already calls him "Papa."
Each part of the game, (referred to as LiEat I, II, and III) is about 2 hours long and follows a different stop in the duo's journey. The first part serves as an introduction to the characters and the dynamics between them. The second part expands on the lore and gives hints on the true origins and purpose of the Dragons in this setting. The final part reveals the answer to the hinted mystery while serving as a backstory and conclusion to Efi and Theo's story.
By the time of this writing, I only finished the first arc of the game "LiEat I: The Lie-Eating Dragon & the Vermilion Vampire" following the mystery of the Vampire of Vermillion So, all of my screenshots in this review will be from that part.
The game is simplistic in its art and music design. The art is cute and pretty which kind of contrasts with the darker tone of the story. It could minimize or add to the creepiness when one of the characters dies. The music fits these darker parts of the story well. The soundtrack is somber overall despite having some upbeat tracks.
Nothing about the gameplay has changed in the Nintendo Switch version. The game is an RPG with minimal need for grinding. (There's a joke item or two in each part that can eliminate the need of grinding entirely.) Without battles, LiEat will be a much shorter game.
Most of the enemies are manifested Lies. Efina has the ability to turn words into monsters and eat them. Since she's only a child, Efi is not in full control of her powers. She needs to eat a monster to know if it's a lie or truth, but only lies can fill her up. She also can't manifest lies if she can't smell them, and her Papa is too good at lying for her to notice.
Despite playing the game before on PC, I'm still amazed at the amount of information and lore in the dialogue. It's full of personality, with every other sentence revealing something about the speaking character(s.)
The mystery of each game isn't that deep, as I already knew the answers halfway through each game, but the way our protagonists reach the answer is still interesting every time. The long-term mysteries are more interesting. Questions like "Why Dragons are born?" "Why can't Efi eat Theo's lies?" "Who is Brett's master?" all have answers and these have been hinted at since the beginning.
A Heartfelt Story
I just noticed that it's been 5 years since I first played this game. I'm glad I got to enjoy it again with this Nintendo Switch version. As I said in my first review there's nothing completely new in this game. You play it for the art, the characters, and the world. The soft mystery might be enough to pique your interest, but it's not the main driving point.
If you find this review interesting, I recommend LiEat. Maybe not at the full price though, the $3 price tag felt okay for the PC version, but I dunno about paying $10 on Switch for a game that was originally released for free in Japan. The developer of LiEat is Miwashiba who also developed Alicemare and 1BitHeart their art style is gorgeous. Totally deserves a playthrough for that.
~ Thanks for Reading ~
- All the images in this article are screenshots taken by me.
- This article is cross-posted on Hive and on Read.cash.