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Review: Liyla and the Shadows of War
I installed this mobile game after reading that the Apple App Store refused to classify it as a game. After playing, I can see where they're coming from: While there is enough gameplay to argue that this is technically a game, it's only a small part of the experience and clearly not the real point.
Instead, it is an anti-war PSA tls the predictably sad story of one family trying to escape a Palestinian city as it's being bombed. It does that reasonably effectively, using first a brief platforming scene and then a brief infinite runner type scene to take the player on a short tour of a few of the atrocities of war.
Finally, after completing (I wouldn't call it winning) the game, it shows a series of news snippets revealing each horror you encountered was a representation of an actual event, along with stats on the death toll of the war. This section lasts nearly as long as the actual game.
This educational content is the main purpose of the game. While I find it doubtful that there's much new here for any reasonably well-educated adult, and the overall experience may be too dark for children, this game probably has value for teaching teens about war -- or, I suppose, even adults who are under the delusion that war is anything other than a literal bloody horrific mess.
In terms of traditional gameplay value, though, there's not much here: the gameplay is minimal, executed in the barest fashion, and so brief and so simple that there is zero replay value. It basically feels like an amateur Flash game you'd play for free on Kongregate or GameJolt; that said, since it is free, that shouldn't be taken as particularly harsh criticism. If anything about it piques your interest, there's no reason not to download it. There's not even a commitment: You'll have it finished and uninstalled within 10 minutes.
#games #androidgames #learninggames #war #Palestine #politics