Let me set the scene for you. PAX East, 2015. My 10-year-old and I visit the Tic Toc Games booth, where a playable demo of Adventures of Pip is set up. He picks up the controller and begins playing this fun, retro platformer. He’s doing well, and clears the first major hurdle. He figures out the first puzzle on the first try. “No one has gotten that on the first try,” the developer says. A small crowd has gathered.
He beats the next hurdle, and the next. Puzzles are solved. The princess is rescued, the demo level beaten. First try, first life.
“Well @#!”, says the developer.
Today, Adventures of Pip is among the best new games in Apple’s App Store and deservedly so. My child’s prodigious video game skills (my wife and I are so proud) shouldn’t dissuade you from guiding heroic young Pip through the crumbling kingdom. This game looks great, sounds great and will delight fans of side-scrolling platformers. Here’s my look at Adventures of Pip.
Pip is gloriously retro. You start as a single pixel who awakes in rumbling castle. The evil queen is reducing everything to a single pixel. Only you can stop her!
As you play, you’ll have chances to evolve into more fully-realized 8-bit and 16-bit versions of yourself. But beware, a massive 32-bit boss is waiting for you.
The music and sound effects are great too, and enhance the theme.
You’ll find classic side-scroller tropes here: dropping floors, spikes, tricky jumps. There are treasures and gems to collect and plenty of opportunity to show off you dexterity.
The controls work well on both the iPhone and iPad. Tic Toc’s devs have managed to make them effective and unobtrusive. I never felt that my fingers were in the way of the action, and the controls themselves are quite responsive.
Remember Pip’s ability to evolve to larger forms of himself? He can also go devolve into smaller forms. In fact, you won’t be able to solve certain puzzles if you’re not in the proper form. Figuring that out is a good part of the fun and unique enough to add something quite delightful to the game.
Adventures of Pip is a delight and perfect for kicking back on the holiday weekend. Have a great time saving the kingdom…even if you can’t on the first try.