Lily’s Well

Lily’s Well

Lily’s Well is a lo-fi horror adventure game with a charming top-down NES aesthetic. You play as an anime girl named Lily who hears a voice calling for help from the well by her isolated cabin in the woods. Your job is to explore the house and its surroundings while collecting materials to make a rope. Depending on how many materials you assemble, you’ll be able to descend to a different level of the well. Each of the ten levels is its own horrible ending.

There are ten “good” materials and another five “bad” materials that you can find. If you incorporate a bad material into your rope, it will break. Lily will die, and you’ll have to start over again from the beginning. The game doesn’t signpost which materials are good or bad, so you have to go through them one by one and figure this out for yourself using the process of elimination. I got very frustrated very quickly, but this could have just been me being impatient.

I found the guide (here) to be extremely useful. This isn’t so much a walkthrough as it is a list of materials and a FAQ, and you’ll still have to put the pieces of the game together yourself. While using the guide, it took me about three hours to get all of the endings.

If you use the guide judiciously, you can finish the game in about 45 minutes. This involves spending 25 minutes to get to the bottom of the well, and another 20 minutes to explore what’s down there. Every other ending is an instant gruesome death for Lily, while the bottom of the well is essentially the second half of the game. In all fairness, the game’s true ending has a much better payoff if you die a few times first, and there are all sorts of fun little secrets to play with between runs, including certain events that only trigger on multiple playthroughs.

I said at the beginning that Lily’s Well has an NES aesthetic, but it’s really more of an early 1990s MS DOS game. The graphics are primitive, but the game uses them extremely well and puts a lot of care into the adventure elements. There’s all sorts of text for anything you care to interact with; and, if you’re patient, it’s possible to figure everything out on your own without using a guide.

The adventure game elements of Lily’s Well were hit-or-miss for me, and what I really enjoyed was the game’s dark humor. It was fun to see this cute anime girl die in all sorts of fun and creative ways, and I loved how over-the-top gruesome each ending is. I kept playing to dig deeper into the lore and see just how gleefully horrible Lily’s world could get under its placid surface, and I was not disappointed.



Leftovers is a free narrative horror game that takes about 20 to 25 minutes to play. Your mother has ten servings of leftover food, and she wants you to deliver them to the other tenants of your rundown apartment building. As you might imagine, each of these tenants is super creepy.

You can answer the tenants’ questions by nodding or shaking your head, and “failing” the interaction will cause you to run home to the top floor. Your mother will get progressively angrier each time you return, and you’ll have to walk down all the flights of stairs again. My recommendation would be to set the camera at max speed before starting the game, as this can potentially save several minutes of stair climbing.   

The concept of Leftovers is great; but, as this was created for a game jam, it was made under time constraints. The 3D space of the apartment building is about as basic as it could be. There’s no background music, and there are only two or three instances of sound effects. Since you have to start over from the beginning so often, I wish there had been a few changes to the environment between runs.

Still, I had a lot of fun with Leftovers. The hand-drawn 2D character designs are great, as is the writing. I was impressed by how much story fit into just a few lines of dialog, and I really enjoyed how the individual tenant stories gradually began to fit together into a cohesive narrative. It’s definitely worth playing the game a second time in order to appreciate the story details and foreshadowing.

Leftovers stands well enough on its own as an experimental prototype, but I would love to see the developers return to the game and polish it into something stranger and gorier and even more disturbing.