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Adventure Lamp Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Adventure Lamp is a fun and engaging 2D platformer that is marred by frustrating technical issues and derivative challenges. It's enjoyable and competently made, but there's nothing here you haven't seen countless times before. Rating: 57%
Adventure Lamp
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  • Review Score:

  • C+
With the possible exception of Kung Lao, you don't see many game characters use their hat as a weapon. Every action hero is scrambling to pick up the nearest gun, never once thinking that the thing on their head could get the job done. But Simon, the hero of the brand new 2D platformer Adventure Lamp, bucks tradition and shows the rest of the gaming superstars how useful a hat can be.

Described by the developer as a "bouncy puzzle platformer about hat physics," Adventure Lamp is a retro-inspired action game where your hat is your only salvation. You play Simon, an adventurer attempting to uncover the secrets of the ruined ancient temple and earn a much-needed promotion. But when the boxy explorer falls down a giant pit, he's left with only his hat and wits to keep him safe.

This is the setup to what turns out to be an immediately likable platformer where Simon solves a series of short single-screen stages in a mad dash to return to civilization and get that promotion. This involves playing through five increasingly difficult stages, with each one adding an extra layer of challenge to trip you up.

The basic idea is to make it from one side of the stage to the other and climb a ladder. Usually this involves moving platforms, an army of red enemies and way too many bottomless pits to count. As Simon makes his way through the five areas, he'll need to deal with strong wind gusts and pitch black caverns. He'll also find that his hat is good for more than knocking out enemies, as he can also use it to trigger switches and solve puzzles.

Adventure Lamp (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

The gimmick here is that the hat is always flying off of Simon's head. Any time he goes for a high jump, the hat is sent soaring into the air (and usually down a pit). This is amusing at first, but you'll quickly discover that having the hat bounce around can screw up the solutions and keep you from completing the stage. The hat can be especially frustrating in later stages, though the never rises to the level of being punishing.

Chances are you've seen a lot of what Adventure Lamp has to show. Most of the obstacles have been lifted out of more involving platformers and there's nothing about Simon's quest that feels especially original. It's a solid game with a lot of levels and a likable hero that is over in an hour and a half. Short and sweet, but not very memorable.

Adventure Lamp (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Sadly, the otherwise fun adventure is marred by some troubling technical issues. The game's frame rate is never very stable, to the point where it starts hitching up if you play it for too long. The game will freeze just long enough to screw up the timing of jumps and landings, the kind of things that are important in a 2D platformer. As a result, I found that I stopped caring if Simon would get that promotion or not.

Even if the developers manage to iron out the game's stability, Adventure Lamp will still be a derivative platformer with disappointingly easy stages. It's fun and competently made, but there's nothing here you haven't seen countless times before. And with the added technical problems, I'm having a hard time recommending this hat-centric action game.
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