Adventures of Pip Review

Adventures of Pip Review

Adventures of Pip is an action/ platformer title, developed by Tic Toc Games. You take on the role of the eponymous Pip, a lone pixel tasked with saving Princess Adeline from the Skeleton Queen. Pip eventually learns the ability to absorb pixels, allowing him to evolve into stronger versions of himself: Agile Pip and Strong Pip.

At the beginning of this year, I had the opportunity to play the preview build of the Adventures of Pip (check out my thoughts on the preview build here). I absolutely loved it. My general opinion of Adventures of Pip hasn’t changed that much, but I’ll recap on what I liked, since it’s not too different from my first experience with this lovely game.

Like the preview build, the final version of Adventures of Pip is beautiful. Music is still orchestrated and haunting. The art direction is vibrant, colorful, and full of imagination, while the idea of evolving pixels in an enchanted kingdom is still a very interesting premise that I praise highly. Transforming from a single pixel, to an 8-bit sprite, to a fully realized, 32-bit sword wielding Pip is exceptionally fun, especially during puzzle segments. Each evolution has its own perks and disadvantages and figuring them out in any given stage is part of the fun.

Controls in Adventures of Pip are responsive and button commands are spot on. If you die it’s usually due to an error in your own timing, or just falling victim to impatience. Everything about how Pip jumps, climbs, and moves has a nice balance. The level design is also really well done, with loads of secret nooks and crannies to explore. It really lends itself to replaying different stages, over and over, in order to find all the hidden treasure and villagers.

I also love the final look of Adventures of Pip. From the pixelated load screen, to the new opening sequence, and the overworld map that reminds me (in a good way) of the Super Mario World map on the Super Nintendo, everything has a wonderful 32-bit charm. The game is brilliant, I have to say.

However, with the final release of the game in hand at last, I need address the difficulty. While the demo, and the first handful of stages were very enjoyable with a decent challenge, Adventures of Pip ramps up in difficulty fast. By stage 1-4 I was already beginning to feel the difficulty spike as I began to die more often.

From that point on, Adventures of Pip continues to punish you. Well, not really punish you, per se. It rewards timing, precision, and lightning fast reflexes – all things I severely lack.  I get impatient. One wrong move or mis-timed effort leads to sudden death. And there are a lot of things that can kill you. Spikes, pits filled with skulls to signify instant death, creatures that fire in multiple direction, and blocks with spikes that move about, to name a few. The blocks move, not the spikes. The spikes are stationary.

Later on, after picking up several thousand gems, you can purchase various upgrades. Most of these upgrades serve to aide Strong Pip, and his sword wielding ability. The most expensive being a fireball added to his sword swing. This actually happened to be less impressive after I spent the amount needed to purchase said ability. I was hoping for something bigger, that took out enemies en masse. Even with all these new additions, they really don’t do anything to quell the difficulty.

And this was what I was afraid of in the demo: that the difficulty would ramp up to near controller-throwing rage. But I have to admit that the game isn’t that hard. It’s difficult, yes, but you can beat it. It isn’t impossible. The difficulty may be just right for most players, but I’m the kind of player that usually takes it easy, and does not thrive on hard games. If I have the choice, I put the game on easy, so you can sort of get where I’m coming from.

Adventures of Pip is a well-crafted experience, with a unique game mechanic, beautiful music, strong visuals, engaging platforming, and a wonderful story about a pixel and a kingdom. I love almost everything about it, except for the difficulty. It isn’t impossible by any means, but it will punish haphazard platforming, while rewarding patience and well-timed ambition. For those that long for a challenge, to test their reflexes, and experience something with a new twist on the platforming genre, the Adventures of Pip is well worth your time.

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