The adventures of Pip review : A bit of fun for everyone


Surprised to see a PAX online coverage this late? Well so am I but through all the information that came through and some personal RL things to deal with some stuff had fallen unintentionally between the cracks. One of those was the Adventures of Pip. A re-release from a 2015 title from Tic Toc games about a tiny pixel and his dreams to save the world.

Pip lives in the pixel kingdom Pixelonia where your status is determined by the amount of pixels you have. A bit of a classist system but overall everyone seemed happy. The kings daughter was with special powers that allowed her to manipulate pixels. Dispite the king and queens efforts to keep this a secret, the evil Queen DeRezzia from a rival empire discovers that the princess has these bit powers. She kidnaps the princess and reduces everyone in the kingdom to simple bits or worse.  The king and queen are at wits end and ask pip, who lived in the servant quarters to save the princess and the kingdom. With hit whole 1 bit being all heart he agrees and the adventure begins.


Gameplay.

Playing a one bit square might seem a little simple as a hero, but quite soon in the game pip learns he has the power to control what is called the bitstream, a life force that binds all pixels together. As a result he can assimilate bit and grow to a 8bit and eventually 16 bit character including all the moves he needs to overcome the challenges ahead of him. 

Through out the game you will be challenged to switch between the various forms to solve various puzzles. For instance if you derezz down the explosion causes certain walls to crumble allowing you through. In other cases you have to be a 1 bit character to get to hidden places. Need to get up high, use your 8 bit form to jump between walls. And the 16 bit pip has a mighty sword to dispose of enemies or bust through obstacles. 

The levels sprawl across a world map and are sprawling with plenty of secrets to find. In each you can find kidnapped citizens to rescue as well as treasures, so it it advantageous to explore the whole level. Lucky if you die the game only resets the various traps, puzzles and treasures but not the rescued citizens. With citizens saved and treasure collected you can head back into the main city and buy upgrades that can help you on your adventure. But their discounts are not as high as their expressed gratitude so expect to pay a pretty penny for goodies in the game. 

You will need some skill to get through all levels. The focus is not as much on attacks by many enemies as it it on some devious platform designs, puzzles and traps. Where do you need what form, or forms, how to you time them etc to make it through alive is where The Adventures of Pip is the strongest. 

Throughout the game you will find the tried and true environments to travers, a forest, swamp, spooky caverns, the dreaded lava level and the enemy castle. Each environment but one has 8 levels.  Once you clear a level you will re enter the bitstream fast travel giving you the option to march on or quickly hop back to town and see what is for sale. Each zone will have a big bad at the end of the last level. An end boss stage that will take some puzzling to figure out how to beat it by using all your available forms.


Presentation

For being a single bit character I found Pip to be pretty expressive. You can see sadness, anger and disappointment and determination all from a single square. The graphics of the overall game and the other forms of Pip deliver a solid pixel based look and feel with solid animation work. The ascetics work well for the game even if they are not particular standing out or separate themselves from the many pixel art games that have hit the market in rescent years.  Audio is solid with a descent soundtrack that brings some solid moments during the boss fights. Story wise there is not too much to dig into. Rescue the princess, save the kingdom. A tale as old as time itself. The self commentary on the word of pixels and its class based society if well written and light hearted enough to fit the theme of the game.  As an end result the game is solid and look nice on screen without feeling either outdated not groundbreaking.

The Adventures of Pip, while having a pretty unique hook with the bit forms, plays it overall pretty safe. It is not the most challenging platformer you will ever play but it is also not the easiest. Sitting at a fair middle ground the game offers just enough to keep you entertained without overstaying its welcome. That is not to say that the game has nothing to offer. It's bit transformation mechanic and clever puzzles are fun to beat and the challenges are not all too hard to overcome allowing a fairly relaxed experience with some intense moments sprinkled throughout. I definitely found some true enjoyment from the game and my playthroughs. It comes at a consumer friendly price that makes it worth considering to add to your library. especially with the dark winter days around the corner.





Game information:
Title: Adventures of Pip
Developer: Tic Toc games.
Publisher: Tic Toc games
Release date: Sep 10, 2020
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC, macOS, iOS
Review platform:  Nintendo Switch
ESRB: E10+ : Fantasy Violence, Use of Alcohol

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