Ever wonder what a single pixel is capable of doing? Adventures of Pip introduces a pixel named Pip who can jump, talk, and who takes on a quest to rescue a princess. Join him as he adventures through various worlds in this retro-styled platformer. Will he ever be more than just a single pixel?
The story starts in Pip’s village when out of nowhere the evil Queen DeRezzia attacks the castle. She attacks the castle because the princess there has the ability called BitStream to create pixels and Queen DeRezzia desired this ability for herself. The king and queen attempt to stop Queen DeRezzia when she uses some of her magic to borrow the princess’ power and transforms them into pixels. Pip shows up once Queen DeRezzia leaves with the princess and takes on the quest to rescue her. While the main goal of the story has been done before, I still found this story intriguing as the hero is only a single pixel and wondered how he could stop such a powerful enemy. On top of that, there is some humorous dialogue mixed in where I could not help but laugh.
I found that the most intriguing gameplay element happens from the very beginning. Pip gets granted the power of BitStream where he can transform into eight bit and eventually sixteen bit. BitStream is an ability he can use where he absorbs pixels into himself which makes him transform. In his single pixel form, after jumping he can hang glide which causes him to descend slower. His first transformation he turns into a boy. This form allows him to wall jump, punch and able to move more quickly, but he cannot use his hang glide ability.
The other part of the transforming aspect is that I enjoyed that I was able to burst the BitStream and transform from the boy back into the single pixel form. However, in order to transform back into a boy, Pip must defeat certain enemies where he can absorb their pixels. This gets more complex as in the second world the player learns an additional transformation for his boy form to wield a sword. In addition to wielding a sword, this slows Pip down considerably and Pip cannot wall jump either. I found that this creates a new dynamic where the player would need to defeat two of those pixel enemies to change Pip from his original pixel form to the form which yields the sword.
I really enjoyed the level design as the levels will be utilizing all three forms. I appreciated some interesting levels as some required changing between all of Pip’s forms in mid-air to complete. I found the whole transformation aspect unique, as typically other games which allow the player character to transform; you can typically switch between all forms instantaneously. Adventures of Pip only allow the player to easily downgrade Pip’s form and in order to upgrade his form the player must defeat these specific enemies. I found the overall difficulty is balanced well as the initial levels get you used to the various transformations and introduces each form’s abilities. Within world two, the difficulty starts to crank up as the player is now between three forms. I had no major concerns with the difficulty and felt it increased at a reasonable pace.
For those players that may seem concerned about the difficulty, there are a few check points within each level. In addition to the check point, Pip starts out with three hearts to allow some mistakes. Hidden within each level are three villagers that went missing from the kingdom. The villagers are not always easy to find as I rather enjoyed the search to locate them in each level as it encouraged thorough exploration. There is a reward for collecting specific villagers as they open up their shops in the town if Pip wants to get powered up. I found that these shops to be very helpful as the platforming elements begin to get more difficult and the available upgrades can help Pip survive longer.
The controls are very straight forward and there are no motion based elements. The player has a jump button, an attack button, and a burst button which will downgrade Pip’s form. The button that performs the burst command has to be held for a few seconds so the player simply does not mistakenly tap it and downgrades Pip on command. I felt the control scheme fit well and found no issues or concerns.
I have noticed the latest trend for retro-styled games is to go after the sixteen bit. I rather enjoyed the change of pace seeing some quality sprites, levels, and backgrounds. While Pip himself can be seen as a basic pixel, a 16-bit sprite, and 32-bit sprite the changes are distinct between forms. The enemies that help Pip evolve forms have a distinct design that separates them from other foes. To go with the retro-styled graphics is a retro soundtrack. I rather enjoyed the various themes to the worlds as they complemented the graphics. With both elements combined it created a fun and engaging world.
Adventures of Pip is a challenging and creative retro-styled platformer that will not disappoint. With simple controls, a humorous story, and a unique transformation ability I found it hard to stop playing. With numerous worlds to explore and villagers to rescue with engaging puzzles to solve, Adventures of Pip is highly recommended for those seeking a fun platformer.
Final Score: 8.5 out of 10