Adventures of Pip Review

Pip is bringing platforming back

The indie scene is full of beautiful retro gaming gems spanning from titles like Axiom Verge to Shovel Knight, we’re in a day and age where developers are bringing back the nostalgic feels to veteran players. Developer Tic Toc Games plan to add their latest game, ‘Adventures of Pip’ to that very same category. Many people might have not heard of the game from its quiet release back in the beginning of June for the Wii U and PC, but I would like to assure you, it definitely fits the list. Adventures of Pip hits PS4 consoles on August 18th and Xbox One later this week on August 21st.

The story follows our hero, Pip, he is a single pixel in Kingdom that is socially ranked by the amount of pixels one has. As most can guess, he isn’t taken very seriously by anyone, until the Evil Queen DeRezzia shows up and decides to kidnap Princess Adeline, this is where Pip decides to set off on his journey to rescue the princess.

The gameplay is pretty basic for a platformer game— run jump, punch, and occasional platformer puzzle solving. The unique aspect of the game is that players will have 3 shapes to turn Pip into — a single pixel, 8-bit and 32-bit. Each of these Pips have their own unique and strategic value to solve puzzles that will push the game forward. Not one of the shapes that Pip can turn into is overbalanced, you will have to make them work together if you plan to solve a specific platforming puzzles. This blends very nicely with the games overall theme, "all pixels are created equal”.

Single pixel Pip provides the player the ability to crawl through tight spaces, 8- bit Pip is fast, agile and can wall jump, 32- bit Pip is the largest shape there is, allowing the player to deal a significant amount of damage, but in return is super slow.  

Tic Toc Games takes basic platforming and turns it into something special. The game is super simple, at first that is, but as the levels progress so does the difficulty. There’s 5 worlds in total, all come with multiple stages to complete. The Super Mario map inspired level system is in full use in Adventures of Pip.

The game is not at all long, as it could be beaten in one single play through if you wished to do so. It took me roughly 6 hours to complete, but for everyone who is looking to complete the game 100% might be looking at 7-9 hours of gameplay.

Secrets our scattered across each level, which will have completionists search every nook and cranny. During levels you can stumble upon an invisible passage which could lead you to treasure chests or people to rescue. These hidden walls aren’t so easy to find, the first couple of worlds will be pretty obvious, but as the game goes on, the trickier they get.

Chests will give you pixels, which is the games version of currency. With this money, players can go back to the Kingdom during any part of the game to purchase upgrades and potions for Pip. Throughout my play through, I didn’t do much upgrading, mostly because everything is so expensive and currency is pretty scarce. The only thing worth saving up for is more health bars, unless like I said before, planning to 100% the game, which would have you save up for the chest and people detector.

When finding people in the hidden passages they will automatically return to the Kingdom. Since you don't get immediate rewards for finding and rescuing people, that's where my incentive started to dip, which ultimately made me quit looking for them. The players that will mostly get joy out of this are trophy hunters as you will need to collect every person, 3 in each world to obtain that world's trophy.

The boss battles are fun and entertaining, if slightly too simplistic. Thoguh some do require a little bit of thinking & strategy. Boss battles play out kind of similar to Shovel Knight's (and thereby many classic retro titles) where you learn the enemy’s pattern and exploit it to your advantage. There’s only of few of them, but it does break up the stage by stage platforming gameplay which is quite refreshing.

The dialogue and story is something worth noting, its very humorous. Even when the game is going for a serious moment, the subtitles would add some sort of joke. The overall plot kept me engaged through the game, which is a good thing, and the way the set up the story, all signs point to an Adventures of Pip 2.

The cute and adorable Pip brings along an engaging story, clever mechanics and great design which makes it stand out among some other platformer games in recent history. Tic Toc Games made a great game and for $14.99 the game is a must play indie game for 2015.