HomeVideo GamesPAX EAST 2023 | "Smile For Me"

PAX EAST 2023 | "Smile For Me"

PAX EAST 2023 | "Smile For Me"

Can one be happy by bringing other people happiness? There’s a conundrum that comes with a person that’s in charge of making others grin from ear-to-ear. Sometimes it’s easy, but what if you have a day where the sunshine in your heart is being blocked by dark clouds? That’s a feeling I got when I experienced LimboLane’s Smile For Me, which is getting a console release with the aid of Serenity Forge.

The setup for Smile For Me is much like a classic point-and-click adventure. Playing as the unnamed “flower kid”, you are tasked with making the citizens of The Habitat happy by solving their problems. These problems can be something as simple as giving a flower; other times it’s figuring out what someone likes as a painting. But with you unable to speak, the only way for you to communicate is by nodding or shaking your head.

It’s a strange premise that takes place in a strange world, but it does a surprisingly good job with balancing both its smiles and sorrows. The art style — alongside the cute-yet-weird live-action puppet videos — help to bring out a joy that has a very unsettling undertone to it. Perhaps it’s the way some of the citizens are portrayed; or maybe it’s got to do with that weird “event” that’s being teased. (As someone who played Dropsy, I have doubts regarding the positivity that may come from some ambiguous “event”.)

Gameplay-wise, it’s clear that LimboLane has its heart (or mouth, in this case) in the right place. Only communicating with a nod or shake does make one wonder what may be going on in “flower kid’s” brain, and why they’re at The Habitat in the first place. Although using the right joystick to perform the nodding and shaking can be tricky, one can thankfully use the top L or R buttons to answer if that’s a lot more comfortable. Those who play with the Switch can also use motion controls to respond, which makes good use of the console’s unique mechanics.

While I don’t know where Smile For Me will take me, I can’t help but feel optimistic about “flower kid’s” story. The weirdness is enough to make anyone curious enough to travel down its rabbit hole. I’m certain this story will get stranger than dealing with sad clowns or lovesick artists. Even if it reaches eyebrow-raising levels of bizarre, this is one adventure that looks worthy enough to march onwards towards bringing cheer to everyone.

Smile For Me arrives on consoles on April 24. Once it does, do your best to bring joy, even if you yourself might not feel a smirk on your face.


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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)