Tic Toc Games, prior to The Adventures of Pip, was primarily a mobile games developer company. The Adventures of Pip appears to be their first jump onto the PC and console. Their other games include Pug Run and Monster High.
The Adventures of Pip
Developer: Tic Toc Games
Price: 15 USD
Platform: PC (reviewed), Wii U, iOS
MonsterVine was supplied with a PC code for The Adventures of Pip
This is probably the best quality of The Adventures of Pip. This game is an adventure platformer where the hero acquires three different forms; each one providing different advantages and weaknesses. The reason the gameplay ranks so high is from the level design based around ‘evolving’ and ‘devolving’ Pip within each level in order to beat certain puzzles and platforming levels. Figuring out puzzles and platforms is satisfying and no single puzzle ever broke the flow or feel of the game.
Another great quality of The Adventures of Pip is the difficulty factor. The game eases you in but quickly picks up in difficulty after the first four levels. This increase in challenge is easily noticeable, requiring the player to make quicker, smarter, choices in wall jumping and avoiding enemies. The introduction of puzzles after the Forest world is where the difficulty peaks and plateaus for the duration of the game.
The Adventures of Pip is a 32-bit world with some graphics emulating a more 8-bit or 16-bit era.
Some areas are particularly lovely. For example, the main introduction features a castle scene with beautiful mosaics. The landscape around the majority of the cut scenes, particularly with the ghastly knight, looked great.
Unfortunately, the over-world, the interface, and the majority of levels leave a lot to be desired. This comes from incredible overuse of plain tiles and colors. This leads to an overly predictable palette that seldom changes except after an over-world transition into a new area.
Movement / Controls
The Adventures of Pip has a responsive platform feel. Pip moves swiftly and moves overall as one would expect by just watching the game.
Pip has different fighting moves depending on his form and no fighting moves if he is a single giant pixel. His second form has a short combo and his third form has a very sluggish combo. I have to make a point here on the third form; the combo is so slow. It’s practically unusable as a way to attack enemies. This leaves the primary means for killing an enemy to be by merely jumping on their head.
There is also a disturbance in flow when Pip transitions between different parts of the same level. It is not too big a deal but it is enough to break my concentration. It is about a full 1 to 1.5 seconds of lag. It is a noticeable transition where the game just pauses and then resumes dumping you into the new section; a simple fade transition effect of some sort would have made this much smoother.
The music needs work. It is severely lacking in diversity. Some boss battles had nice themes but they were far and few in between. Sound effects were very plain and re-used. Perhaps the only thing that had more than one or two sound effects associated with it were Pip. The land traversal, enemies, and even bosses, had few unique sound effects. The level music was especially stock and droning.
Story / Characters
The overwhelming majority of characters, including Pip, lack substance and are one dimensional. This works in The Adventures of Pip’s favor though and reflects the developer’s vision for a light-heart’ed experience. The trace story elements that exist are fairy-tale in nature and will leave you wondering what more could have been said about Pip’s world.
I’d like to make a special note that Queen DeRezzia is an incredible original name for an antagonist however.
The Final Word
Unless you are a huge platformer fan, $15 is a tough value proposition for The Adventures of Pip. This would be better priced around the $7-10 bracket. I would love to see some more effort put into other experiences of the game besides the gameplay and refined movement. It overall feels like a lesser version of Shovel Knight. This game was certainly challenging throughout and not to be taken lightly; I just wish it was a more enjoyable experience.
– MonsterVine Rating: 2.5 out of 5 – Mediocre