There are platform games, and then there are great platform games. The great games are the ones that leave a lasting impression on you, whether it be the story, the characters, or the gameplay. Some great platform games that come to mind are the iconic Super Mario Bros, Sonic the Hedgehog, Rayman, and Donkey Kong Country just to name a few. If you’re trying to create a new platform game that really stands out, you do want to use those classic games as a reference point as they did much to elevate platform gaming. Of course there’s nothing wrong going above and beyond and that’s what I think Tic Tock Games’ Adventures of Pip does. This is a game does everything right when it comes to platform games.
As you can guess, the Adventures of Pip revolve around the central character, Pip. At the start of the game, Pip is a 1-pixel being living in a multi-pixel world. Single pixel being are looked down upon when compared to their higher resolution counterparts, but that doesn’t mean they are any less capable. One day an evil witch comes and kidnaps the princess of the kingdom. The King and Queen have been turned into single pixels themselves and it’s up to Pip to save the princess.
Upon seeing Pip’s bravery despite his “handicap,” the ghost knight Sir Elwyn bestows upon Pip the power to save Pixel Kingdom. With his newfound ability to harness the Bit Stream, Pip absorbs the pixels of his defeated enemies to evolve into three different forms, each with its own unique abilities.
The Adventures of Pip is a really great looking game. Because the game is all about pixels, the visual style of the game is retro inspired but not overly retro. It combines visual styles from the 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit eras. I rather like how they combined everything and it is a bit refreshing not seeing another game using the same type of blocky, pixelated art that other retro inspired games have been emulating. This is “nicer” looking retro and leans more towards the 16 and 32-bit spectrum.
What I really like about the visuals though is how colorful and bright everything is. It certainly has that Super Mario / Sonic the Hedgehog look and it all just looks so pleasing to the eye. I also like how there is a clear distinction between 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit styles when how the characters look and it really helps with being able to identify what Pip can do depending on what form he takes (more on that later).
For the most part, Adventures of Pip plays like your normal platform game. There’s a beginning and an end to each level, you just have to get from point A to point B without dying. Enemies and collectibles are scattered around each level and to “3-star” a level, you would need to find and rescue villagers from your town.
What makes Adventures of Pip stand out are the powers Pip has in the game. As a single pixel entity, he has the power to jump higher and slowly float down towards the ground. When he powers up into 16-bit mode, he’s able to punch enemies and grab onto walls to reach higher areas. His 32-bit form allows you to swing a mighty sword and drag blocks around. Each form of Pip has its advantages and disadvantages and it’s up to you to decide how to use them properly. Switching between modes is simple enough too. Downgrading forms is as simple as a button press while upgrading usually requires destroying some type of enemy.
I really like how most of the levels make use of all three of Pip’s forms in a natural way with some basic environmental puzzles requiring the changing of forms. There are even hidden areas that can only be accessed with a specific form. It’s a really fun game mechanic and one that works rather well here.
Like most platform games, there are also boss fights. These are pretty standard affair as are the regular random enemy encounters. Regular enemies move in a predictable pattern that is fairly easy to figure out and counter. They aren’t hard to kill either.
The Adventures of Pip is a very good platform game for both hardcore and casual gamers. It’s easy enough to pick up and play no matter what your skill level is while still having enough challenges for the most demanding of players. The gameplay is top notch, the graphics are very good, and the main hero Pip is one you really care about and want to lead to the end to save the princess and the kingdom.
Tick Tock Games did a very good job of crafting a wonderfully fun and creatively challenging game, one that will stand out in my mind among the greats like Super Mario Bros and Sonic the Hedgehog. If you’re a big fan of platform games and nostalgic games in general, I definitely recommend picking up Adventure of Pip and playing through it. You won’t be disappointed.
Review code provided to us by the publisher/developer.
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