Review: Adventures of Pip

adventuresofpip

Adventures of Pip is a charming side scrolling platformer where you play as a single Pixel named Pip.

Now, this isn’t Adventure on the Atari so as you progress in the game, Pip is granted the interested ability to evolve into an 8-bit or 32-bit character which largely serves to provide a bit of a puzzle mechanic as you make your way through the games’ levels.

Story

There once was a tiny palm sized kingdom where those with more pixels lived in luxury. Those with fewer lived humble lives. Legend has it that the kingdom was once saved by a Princess that could create pixels from nothingness. One day, Princess Adeline was born and possessed this ability. The not so nice Queen DeRezzia wanted to harness this power for herself and on the Princess’s 16th birthday she kidnapped the princess.

As Pip, the single pixel, it’s your job to rescue Adeline from DeRezzia

Gameplay

Sequence 01.Still007 copy

You start out the game playing as Pip as a single pixel. Things to note in this form are his weight (light) and the ability to glide over large gaps. And while that would make a game by itself, you quickly earn the ability to evolve into an 8-bit Pip by defeating a certain type of enemy which gives the ability to punch and wall jump! Even further along in your travels you get yet another upgrade giving you a sword (which can destroy special blocks) and the ability to drag boxes.

Now, the idea of having a character or even multiple characters with different abilities is nothing new to a game. However, Adventures of Pip mixes it up by having all of these abilities in 3 different forms on the same character. What’s more, there are times in the game that in order to progress, you’ll need to actually revert back a form in order to destroy special blocks. It’s as much a puzzle and progression mechanic as it is a form change which can make the game quite exciting.

Imagine you’re in a room as 32-bit Pip. There are some blocks in front of you that can only be destroyed by reverting to a lower state. You do so, now in your 8-bit form. However, at the end of this screen is a large  gap and a series of blocks that can only be destroyed by a sword- that’s your 32-bit state. But wait! In the middle of that gap is the type of creature that will upgrade you upon its destruction! So you run, jump onto the monster, evolve into your 32-bit form, attack the blocks with your sword to destroy them and then safely land on the other side. This is but a small example of some of the interesting ways you’ll have to navigate the world of Adventures of Pip.

Sequence 01.Still019 copy

It’s also worth noting that as you progress, the game does increase it’s difficulty. One area in particular had me on the verge of rage quitting where you had to jump on monsters that were moving across the screen in order to move from one end of the area to another. After many attempts I was finally able to move into the next screen before seeing that I had to do the exact same thing again, and there was no check point to be seen. For me, side scrolling games that have you clear these large gaps by jumping on moving enemies is one of my least favorite and most irritating things in a game. There are some times where progression by jumping and evolving and devolving can be tricky, but still rewarding once you complete them. This kind of section where you simply have to jump on monsters however only rewards you a sigh of relief as opposed to a “hell yeah!”

Additionally, monsters you defeat will drop a currency which you can then spend on various upgrades such as heart pieces, potions and more. On upgrade in particular will double the amount of currency that monsters will drop which is probably the first one players will want to pick up. Heart upgrades are also very important. Some of the bosses will reward you with a health upgrade, however it’s a very good idea to pick them up from the shop as well as the bosses can be quite challenging.

Conclusion

Adventures of Pip is a charming game with a lovely soundtrack by Jake “virt” Kaufman and interesting mechanics allowing you to increase or decrease Pip’s pixel count. With a few minor annoyances, the gameplay is fun while also offering a difficulty that I would consider just right. It starts off easy, and gets harder as you get more comfortable with the various forms that Pip can have. The writing is also quite fun in this game as it tells a story without taking itself to seriously which definitely adds to the overall enjoyment of the title.

Adventures of Pip is available now on Steam and Wii U for $14.99 with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions arriving later this summer.

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