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Adventures of Pip Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . When the pixels have been sucked out of the once-peaceful kingdom, Pip sets out on the adventure of a lifetime. Adventures of Pip has a fun conceit that sees the hero switching between three different forms, each based on the evolution of old school sprites. While this allows for some clever platforming puzzles, the game is a bit overlong and it's a shame there isn't more to the gameplay. Rating: 71%
Adventures of Pip
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  • Review Score:

  • B
There's a nice heart-warming message to be found in Adventures of Pip. It's a game about acceptance, and getting along with people, no matter how simple they look. It's also about being brave and opening yourself up to brand new experiences. Oh, and there's something about seizing the day and not letting life pass you by. On second thought, it doesn't matter what message you take from Adventures of Pip, because this 2D platformer brings enough thrills and fresh ideas to the table to make the a journey worth taking.

After the Skeleton Queen attacks his peaceful kingdom and kidnaps Princess Adeline, Pip is tasked with escaping the castle and finding a hero brave enough to save the day. Pip is but a mere pixel; just a tiny cube with nothing special to offer. But if you've played a video game before (or remember the title of this game), then you'll already know that the pixel everybody underestimates is destined to be the hero the kingdom desperately needs.

What Pip doesn't realize is that he's about to come face-to-face with a real hero, Sir Elwyn. Sadly, the brave knight is dead, but that doesn't stop his ghost from offering sage advice and, more importantly, handing down the Bitstream. This allows Pip to magically transform, turning him into the only character capable of defeating the Skeleton Queen.

Pip has three different forms, each resembling the evolution of pixel graphics. He starts out as a single block, resembling the rudimentary visuals from early generation Atari 2600 games. His second form is also very simple, but it gives our hero legs, arms and a proper face. In this form he looks like what you might have seen in a game for the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System. By the time he's evolved in to the third form, he's a fully-realized 16-bit sprite, complete with a weapon.

Beyond the obvious graphical differences, the three forms allow Pip to solve certain puzzles. As a single pixel, the unlikely hero is able to fit into cramped areas and light enough to ride on objects without notice. The 8-bit form is fast and capable of hanging on to walls. In his final form, Pip is heavy and capable of fighting off enemies with his powerful sword. He'll need to constantly switch between these three characters in order to save the day.

Adventures of Pip (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

But wouldn't you know it, there's a catch. Pip is able to manually switch between forms at any time, but it only goes in one direction. That is, you can go from the 16-bit model down to the 8-bit down to a single pixel, but never the other way around. In order to evolve, he'll need to find a special kind of enemy and absorb its pixels. The good news is that this type of enemy is everywhere, but it does force you to use the transformations carefully.

While the three different forms may be unique, there isn't much about Pip's adventure that stands out. The game is split up into familiar five regions, each with a number of smaller levels and a boss fight. Pip starts out in the forest before moving on to the swamp, lava cave and beyond. Each area has its own set of unique obstacles to overcome, requiring players to strategically use all of Pip's forms.

Along the way he'll pick up money and save the scattered villagers. The game is rich with hidden areas to explore and treasure chests to open. Back at the remains of the castle, Pip is able to spend his money on upgraded weapons and extra items. He'll also earn heart containers by defeating bosses, which can make the rest of the game a lot easier.

Developer TicToc Games has managed to get a lot of mileage out of what is a very simple concept. But as hard as they tried, the theme often feels like it's stretched a bit too thin. While each area does a good job of introducing new challenges, the different regions drag on two or three levels too long. With the exception of the final region, every area has eight levels to complete. This adventure would have benefited from some of the filler being trimmed out.

Adventures of Pip (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

It's also disappointing that the game doesn't do more to introduce new gameplay mechanics. There's little more for the player to learn after the three forms have been introduced, which ultimately made the final few areas feel repetitive. The game introduces a second brave hero trying to save the day, but it's not enough to keep the story engaging across nearly 40 different levels.

On the other hand, I really like the look of Adventures of Pip. Even as a pixel block, Pip looks great in movement and has a lot of personality. It's his 8-bit form I like best, but mostly because his final 16-bit design looks like a rejected Kingdom Hearts character. All this sets up a fascinating world full of possibilities. My only complaint is that there isn't enough variety between the regions.

Adventures of Pip isn't an especially difficult game, but I get the feeling that it's aimed at a younger audience. But no matter how old you are, fans of clever platforming puzzles owe it to themselves to check out TicToc's newest game. It's a bit overlong and the story could use a punch-up, but Adventures of Pip has a lot of heart and at least three inspirational messages.
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