Adventures of Pip is a game that may sound like another indie 2D side scrolling platformer, and it is, but it has enough of a hook to set itself apart and stand out on it’s own. Originally a fully funded Kickstarter darling Adventures of Pip has seen a release on multiple platforms like Steam, Wii U, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 , andiOS. I own the Steam and PS4 versions and both run and play smooth as butter. Tic Toc Game’s latest release goes to show that while some games like Shenmue III rake in millions of dollars (which apparently still isn\’t enough) there are developers out there who can make a solid product with substantially less money. Our hero Pip was born as a single red pixel in a world where pixel quantity determines your class status in society. A 16-bit character ranks higher in society than an 8-bit character for example so as you can imagine Pip is at the bottom of the social ladder. There is a kind hearted princess in his town who has the ability to manipulate pixels and it is this very ability that gets her kidnapped by the evil DeRezzia who doesn\’t waste any time turning each townsperson into individual pixels. This is where Pip steps in to save the city, rescue the princess, and show everybody that heroes come in all shapes and pixel counts.
During your journey you will be solving environmental puzzles and defeating various enemies and bosses. What sets Adventures of Pip apart is that you have three overall forms: single pixel, 8-bit, and 16-bit with their own abilities and physical characteristics. For example, single pixel Pip is the lightest and can fit into tight spaces and float on water while 8-bit Pip can wall jump and run fast and 16-bit Pip has a sword to battle enemies and destroy certain blocks. You may like the sound of having a sword and being 16-bit but evolving and devolving is the name of the game and something you do constantly to progress through your journey. When you devolve a burst of energy is emitted that is useful in killing enemies or shattering purple barriers that may be blocking your way. Upon killing enemies they will drop pixels, a form of currency, but you can also find pixels in chests hidden throughout the worlds. Levels are short and contain three citizens in need of rescue with generous checkpoints sprinkled throughout. If you die you will be respawned at the latest cleared checkpoint and retain any rescued citizens. The early stages are easy but some of the later levels grow more challenging and require you to use all three versions of Pip (sometimes in mid air!) in order to finish.
The overall design aesthetic mixes old school pixel art with more modern design elements resulting in a bright and colorful world. Character designs are interesting with the main characters looking the best and bosses looking especially detailed. As with many other platformers each world varies in environmental themes and has different sets of traps and enemies and while some enemies are recycled, their placement in each level forces you to use them along with your evolve/devolve ability to rescue all civilians and finish the game. Each world has a unique end boss with different attack patterns that requires you to hone all your skills to see victory in the end, but if you find yourself struggling with a particular boss you can go back to town and visit the shops to buy upgrades and boosters with the pixels you have saved up. One upgrade, for example, cuts the damage felt from enemies in half, while a booster can fill your health meter up. These can help to cut down on the difficulty of later levels and bosses to make it an enjoyable experience for gamers of all skill sets.
Adventures of Pip is an enjoyable game with frantic boss battles, excellent level design, and humorous dialogue. If you’re in the market for a fun and light-hearted side-scrolling game I wholeheartedly recommend Adventures of Pip.