Originally posted October 18th 2015 on the Seafoam Gaming forums
Title: Adventures of Pip
System: Wii U (eShop)
Release date: 6/4/2015
The main game/story
In a world filled with inhabitants ranked by their pixels, a dark queen invades and starts de-evolving citizens into their basic form! Pip, a young boy sets out to stop her, gaining the ability to evolve into more detailed forms along the way, in this action platformer from Tic Toc Games!
Taking influence from multiple generations of gaming, the main gimmick of transforming between generations is shown off well here, with Pip being able to transform from a simple block to a 16-bit hero, each of his forms looking quite nice, along with the other characters in the game looking fine as well. The settings can look a bit bland off and on compared to the characters, but overall it gets the job done considering what it wants to do.
Music and Sound:
With a rich soundtrack by Jake Kaufman (The same composer from Shovel Knight or Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse), the game does get the audio spot-on, with some nice sounding music, although none of the songs in this game ended up matching the quality of the other two examples I gave, but they are still decent songs nonetheless.
The main goal of this game is for Pip to complete every level and save the lost villagers along the way, while trying to get to the Queen’s lair to stop her once and for all! The game plays like an action platformer of sorts with a little bit of puzzle solving. In Pip’s block form, he can only jump and glide slightly, which can be used to cross long gaps. When he defeats a special type of enemy, however he can evolve into 8-Bit Pip, who can attack, wall jump and do a downwards punch to find new areas, and when you get the ability to, defeating another special enemy will let him evolve into 16-bit Pip, which has a sword and is great for attacking, although loses a few abilities from his 8-Bit form. Each form feels great to play as, and they all control rather well. Switching between them can also be useful, as by holding down a button Pip will revert back to the previous form, which is sometimes needed to complete certain areas or to get rid of certain blocks that can only be destroyed by reverting back a form. This clever gameplay mechanic really helps make Adventures of Pip unique, and defeating enemies can yield gems which can be used to buy numerous items in the town, depending on which villagers you have saved in each level.
While Adventures of Pip does start off good, and makes you feel satisfied whenever you complete a level, there are some flaws that made it a bit tough for me to play this game. For one thing, collecting all the villagers, while satisfying felt a bit tiresome after a while, especially since once you get the hang of the game you don’t really need to go back to town to buy items, which prompted me to just ignore them later on as I wanted to just get to the next level without going to the trouble of finding them. The next gripe I had with the game was that there were framerate issues on some levels. I’m unsure if it was because of my Wii U’s Buffalo Hard Drive (Which the game was running off of), but it did show quite frequently, which made some levels frustrating due to the framerate dips causing some minor lag. For a game that looks this nice, it’s a shame that the framerate isn’t exactly smooth, at least on the Wii U version. The final issue that I had with the overall game was the repetition. When you begin a world, things feel exciting as you move through the levels, collecting all the gems you can get while getting used to the new surroundings. However, after a while things begin to feel rather repetitious, with each level in the world feeling a bit of the same, making me just want to reach the next world so I could see what fresh new ideas were in store for Pip. It was still fun, but when a game feels like a chore to play at times it tends to slow things down a bit.
In conclusion, Adventures of Pip is a decent platformer. While it does have a brilliant concept, the execution is rather bland, with some framerate issues, collectables that don’t really do that much and repetitive backgrounds making the game feel like a chore to play. However, despite these issues the game still feels fresh, and I still had some fun with the game. If you can overlook the issues I mentioned above, you will still have a decent time with Adventures of Pip, even if it won’t blow you away with its presentation or story. I give Adventures of Pip a 6 out of 10.