Step aside Elden Ring, the true GOTY is here: Lil Gator Game, "the embodiment of a warm hug"

Lil Gator Game might have just missed the cutoff for most Game of the Year lists, but if games like Elden Ring and God of War Ragnarok have any decency, they'll step aside for the rightful claimant of the title, an adorable indie game where you're a gator going around making friends and creating joy.

We've covered Lil Gator Game before, but only because publisher Playtonic was warning people of scam beta invites. Now, we have much more exciting news to share, as Lil Gator Game is officially out in the wild on Nintendo Switch and PC, and it's already got over 500 "Overwhelmingly Positive" reviews on Steam.

One reviewer calls Lil Gator Game "the embodiment of a warm hug," and that sounds about right after reading the description.

"The world is big when you’re a lil gator... Good thing it’s also full of friends!" reads a bit from the game's Steam page. "Make new friends and invite them to play in the islands playground. Each new friend you make will add to your adventure, but making new friends isn’t always easy, You might have to complete a quest or two!"

If you're wondering just what the heck you're supposed to do in Lil Gator Game, well, stop asking dumb questions. You just vibe, man... In seriousness, you can help out your animal buddies; glide, swim, and climb your way around a colorful, cel-shaded world; and "bop cardboard baddies" when they get out of line.

You can also gather arts & crafts supplies and craft stuff to interact with the sandbox in different ways. For example, you can give yourself the ability to ragdoll down mountains or skim pebbles to hit hard to reach foes. But whatever you do, do it at your own pace, as Lil Gator Game is described as a "low-pressure adventure game" where  you shouldn't "let a health bar hold you back from reaching your goal."

For more wholesome indie vibes, keep tabs on Nintendo's week-long indie showcase, which kicked off today, or check out the best Switch indie games available now.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.