I’ve been playing Adventures of Pip [official site]. When I say that I mean Adventures of Pip, the 2D action platformer which wants you to rescue a princess and which is out on Steam today, rather than the adventures of Pip, my day-to-day life*.
I’ve finished the first world, plus a few other levels and what I’ve encountered so far has been competently produced but hasn’t caused any particular pangs of excitement, which is a shame.
The game’s conceit is that you start off as a pixel, gradually unlocking more complex graphical renderings of the character, Pip. You can use blue crystal monster things to evolve into more complex Pips or hold a button to devolve a step, unleashing a burst of energy which breaks some types of wall. If you have even a minuscule knowledge of the platforming genre you’ll recognise the actions at your disposal when navigating the levels as Pip. At the point I reached there’s jumping, wall jumping, slashing, punching and running about. The evolution idea then serves to group those abilities and make them available to you by navigating Pip’s different forms. Pixel Pip is small, able to access tiny tunnels and jump high. 8-bit Pip is bigger and can punch things and do wall-jumps and so on. 16-bit Pip is where I’m at right now. He can’t wall jump or use bounce pads but he does have a sword. It’s not the evolution you’ll find in Evoland (which John loved), but more to do with using the back and forth for mechanical manipulation.
The thing with all of this, though, is that I’m a dozen levels in and it simply hasn’t presented me with an interesting or memorable experience yet. Or rather, it hasn’t given me a positive one. I will remember the checkpointing system in the section I’ve played being frustrating. It has a tendency to checkpoint you several screens from the trickier parts of the level meaning you’ll need to replay some bland jumping section repeatedly or perform some access task over and over in order to attempt said trickier bit. This causes the game to lose momentum and translates a potential challenge into an annoyance.
The evolution idea could have been interesting but, frankly, what I’ve currently seen in Adventures of Pip isn’t.
*That game would include staring at the E3 scheduling abyss, going on a kill rampage in Destiny and heading out for a cheeky Nando’s (bantz as a fino side, obv)