Adventures of Pip is a wonderfully adorable side-scrolling action-platformer that leaves little to be desired. You play as Pip, a singular pixel who’s out to save the world and, of course, to save the kidnapped princess from the clutches of the Skeleton Queen. The princess has the power to control and create pixels, something which the Skeleton Queen wants for herself, and now the whole world’s turned into a blocky nightmare for its many citizens. The story isn’t anything to write home about, but the dialogue is witty and there are a few clever and funny moments that are memorable enough to make the plot a little more unique than other games of the genre.
Adventures of Pip doesn’t just lump you with the same-old level designs and game mechanics that you might be used to; Pip is able to switch between his singular block form, a boy form, and eventually into a sword-wielding hero, giving you different skills and abilities to get yourself out of difficult situations. Switching between the human and pixel forms of Pip makes for unique gameplay, and requires a decent amount of thought and strategy if you’re planning on reaching the next level.
This game isn’t just fun to play because of the game mechanics or cutesy characters, it’s also a visually enchanting game, with beautiful levels to traverse and lots to explore. For a game that prides itself on its use of pixels, Pip does an excellent job of inspiring the imagination through its colour, design and charming music.
One of the game’s only downfalls is the currency system. You collect jewels found in chests strewn around each level, and while this is fun to begin with, it’s soon obvious that you’re going to need to do a whole lot of hunting to actually be able to afford anything. Merchants offer lots of items for sale, but at prices that aren’t really realistic for the amount of jewels each level has to offer. You can spend your whole playthrough saving up for one item – only to find it doesn’t even have that great an effect on the gameplay.
There’s a lot to be said for Adventures of Pip, a game which celebrates the traditional pixel side-scroller whilst still bringing something new to the table. Although it follows the typical narrative of most side-scrolling pixelated games, Pip employs innovative gameplay methods and mechanics that really help to bring the world alive. From the female antagonist to the Bitstream, Adventures of Pip succeeds in subverting the traditional, creating a game that’s not only fun to play, but also a joy to explore.
THE ADVENTURES OF PIP / DEVELOPER: TIC TOC GAMES / PUBLISHER: TIC TOC GAMES / PLATFORM: PC, MAC, WII U / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW