Platform(s): Wii U, PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Publisher(s): Tic Toc Games
Developer(s): Tic Toc Games
Release Date: June 4, 2015 (PC) / June 11, 2015 (Wii U), PS4/Xbox One TBA
It ain’t easy being Pip, but someone has to do it
Adventures of Pip is a 2d side scrolling platformer that puts you into the role of Pip, a single pixel in a world of high resolution characters. When the kingdom he lives in is attacked and the princess is kidnapped by an evil queen, Pip is sent to find a hero to restore the peace. Instead however he stumbles onto the key to becoming a hero and takes it upon himself to save his missing princess. I actually had the pleasure of getting some hands on with the title during PAX East 2015 and felt that this game had the makings of something great. Did I feel the same way after finally playing the finished product?
You better believe I did.
The key to mastering the game play in Adventures of Pip is understanding the forms or evolution of the character. In his native single pixel form, Pip is able to jump and then from the peak of the jump he can float,as well as jumping on the heads of his enemies to attack. However you will also learn to other forms in the game; 8-bit and 16-bit. In the 8-bit form you know get the ability to attack using your and and feet, but the single most ability gained is the wall jump. This will allow you to vault up walls and climb sections in the stages that are unreachable via normal means. And the there’s the 16-bit mode, which is your strongest form. Here you gain access to a sword which can be upgraded by visiting the town, providing you save the towns blacksmith. The 16-bit form will also let you break blocks that you normally could not destroy as well as moving large boxes.
Lastly with these forms you also have the ability to devolve, which will let you revert to a previous form. With this element you will learn to progress through the stages and even find hidden items such as the town folk that have gone into hiding. More importantly the devolve ability will also let you break a specific type of block that the evil queen has placed to deter your progress. With the three forms you will use them in conjunction to progress through the game and learning when to use them will ultimately get you through the game. And while the game starts out easy, eventually there will be sections that you’ll need to use one or all of your forms to surpass. It gets quite interesting and will test both your platforming and puzzle solving skills, to the point of frustration at times. Through out each stage are three hidden towns folk, some in plain sight and others that are hidden. You’ll have to keep a keen eye out to spot and rescue them all. Eventually some of the people that you save will help you on quest and will sell you items or upgrade your weapon. Though to be fair the more important ones are easy enough to see and rescue, thanks to some hand holding from the game. And for you achievement hunters, you’ll have to find all of them to get your achievements.
As with more recent Indie developed games, Adventures of Pip is established in a pixelated world and while this style is no doubt popular, it has been done to death and back. While it’s not fair to ding this title for the over usage of the style especially since it worlds of and is even integrated into the story, I’ve had my fill of it. On the sound front, I would have liked a little more variety in the audio department. Each area on the map has a different background music, the stages however repeat the same music. While the music is relaxing and pleasuring, it does get repetitive and I wish that it would change up during the stages per each area. Still Jake “virt” Kaufman proves yet again that there isn’t a game where he can’t make wonderful music for. Other than that complaint, the sounds are lively and round out the title. And perhaps the most important attribute of a platforming game, the controls, are tight and responsive. For every time I died I was aware that it was due to me either mistiming a jump or not paying attention to what I was doing, but I never played the controls.
*Review copy provided by publisher
This pixel has heart and it shows
Adventures of Pip caught me by surprise. Not only does it contain a simple yet challenging platforming element but it also has character akin to an animated Disney movie. A simple yet fun adventure that doesn’t take its self to seriously and a throw back side scrolling platforms from the past. In fact if you stripped away the story elements and just provided the game and it’s mechanics, the title would still stand on its own. And while the game is on the short side, with tons of hidden content to find, you’ll be replaying the stages until you perfect them for quite some time. Adventures of Pip will do well on both the PC and Wii U platforms as well as the the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions when it gets released later this year. The only thing that could make this title even better is if it also landed on the 3DS and PS Vita, which sadly it isn’t.
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