Lila’s Sky Ark is a new game from developer Monolith of Minds and published by Graffiti Games, the team behind Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion! Lila’s world is a colorful adventure set in a dreamscape that is being overtaken by The Conductor. Each boss battle in the four areas is music-based, reminding me heavily of the dream sequences that May has in Night in the Woods. The story is highly immersive and to support that the tutorial hints are very light. I like games that don’t have heavy-handed tutorials myself, but there were a few things I wish I had known a little sooner!

This article was written to serve as a supplemental guide to make your gameplay experience easier which means there may be some minor spoilers ahead for the game. If you don’t want to know anything about the game going in, please consider this your spoiler warning

Mapshards 

One of the hints that Lila’s Sky Ark gives you is to check the map often. The thing I didn’t understand is that you don’t naturally have a map. The game is separated into four main areas, plus the central farm area, and doesn’t include a dungeon mechanic so I assumed the map was given. Instead, the player has to find large, red map shards. They look nothing like actual maps though so the first time I encountered the big, red triangles I was a little apprehensive to touch them. All you have to do is pick them up and they will apply to the correct area automatically. You’ll need one for each new region on the map and it will be black until you find it. 

Getting Lost

So you have a map but you still don’t know where to go? Happened to me a few times too. The maps for each of the areas are large and I often ended up getting lost on a side path while exploring. Thankfully, if you need to know where to go to continue the story mission you can always follow the ladybug. You’ll see a ladybug icon on the map indicating the area you need to be at to progress in the story and when you get there in person you will see the ladybug flutter away. 

Stock Up

You might have noticed Lila doesn’t have a weapon. Rather than a plain old sword, Lila wields whatever she can find in the environment. Projectiles are easy to come by during boss fights since the area is locked, but you will want to stock up on your preferred projectiles to minimize backtracking for the rest of the game. I like to tuck a few extra rock souls into my backpack to help me in a tough situation. I suggest keeping five small projectiles, three large projectiles like titan eyes and two health rosebuds at least. This should get you through most rough spots.  

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Fast Inventory

Lila's Sky Ark Inventory

Speaking of inventory, there is a better way to access your backpack than opening your inventory and scrolling through the wheel. Using LB and RB to change the item that is loaded to your X button (on Nintendo Switch) can really save your bacon in battle. There’s no grace period or invincibility meter when Lila takes damage so having the item you need on deck can keep you from reloading your Lila’s Sky Ark save. 

Raven Shopkeep

Lila's Sky Ark shop menu

Find the ravens as soon as you can to open the shops. The currency for Lila’s Sky Ark is these little bits that come out of pots or boxes scattered around the level and you’ll need them to purchase items from the Ravens. The first one you find goes back to the farm to set up shop on the large rug and will sell you a backpack upgrade fairly early on in the game thankfully. I was apprehensive to use my bits at first (I’m a resource hoarder) but found that they build back up quickly and aren’t difficult to come by. 

Making Friends

Lila's Sky Ark eye witch

Speaking of the ravens, you are going to need to talk to all the NPCs. Lila’s Sky Ark is a mysterious dreamscape and the secrets are not laid out plainly for you to find. You’ll need to wander down hidden paths, check behind waterfalls, put yourself in harm’s way and above all else make new friends to uncover what is really going on. Just keep in mind that not everything that is friend-shaped is a friend and not everything that appears monstrous is out to get you in this game. Talk to them all, even the gross ones. 

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Staying Alive

You’ll notice a flower in the lefthand corner of your screen that represents your health bar. You’ll also quickly notice that health isn’t the easiest thing to come by. And once you find the health refreshes you might not realize what they are among all the other strange items. There are two main ways to regain health in Lila’s Sky Ark.

The first is finding roses that look like little, shriveled red balls hidden across the levels and breaking them on yourself. You can either store them in your backpack for when you are in a tough spot later or use them right away with the action button Y. Just walking over them or holding them in your hand does nothing. You can also extend your total health by finding well-hidden rose petals which look like large red circles on the ground. Picking them up automatically extends your bar.

The second way is by resting in your house. There is something that looks like a bed in Lila’s house at Rainbow Ark, the farm area, that when prompting the save feature will save your progress as well as heal you. It also brings back enemies so keep that in mind.

Recipes

Lila's Sky Ark workshop menu

Have you seen the cute little robot bears around the levels of Lila’s Sky Ark? There are two sizes of them; the small that gives you random items when activated and the large ones that will dispense specific items once recipes have been collected. You’ll need specific items to create these recipe items, but you can access them with the large bear-robot-shrine-alchemy thing in the Doctor’s lab. 

Glasses

The Doctor-Father-Sir in Lila's Sky Ark.

You will be rewarded pairs of giant glasses in Lila’s Sky Ark for doing tasks around the world that appear as yellow and red wrapped gifts. When you open them you will often receive half a pair of giant glasses that can only fit a specific character, Doctor-Father-Sir. I drove myself crazy trying to find out where these are stored or how to activate them before I figured out you don’t have to do anything at all. They are too large to appear in your backpack inventory and instead just manifest on the good doctor himself. There is a small console to the right of the doctor that can be activated after repairing it with the square gear once you gain the power to lift heavy objects (after the first boss) that will allow you to cycle through the unlocked eyewear. 

Volume Up

Lila's Sky Ark first boss the Drummer

I know this seems corny to include but you should really keep your volume up while playing Lila’s Sky Ark. The music is beautiful, immersive and a central part of the plot. I often play games with little to no volume because I use my Switch in handheld mode, but the sound director really put their all into the tracks and it would be a shame to not appreciate their hard work. 

Well, there you have it! We hope that you find this guide a helpful jumping-off point for your playthrough of Lila’s Sky Ark. Tell us your thoughts on the game in the comments! 

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