Adventures of Pip is a 2D side-scrolling action platforming game on PC, iOS, Wii U, Xbox One, and PS4, with a Nintendo Switch port launching on September 10. Developed and published by Tic Toc Games, Adventures of Pip is a fun, creative, and challenging platformer that translates brilliantly to the Switch. In the game, you play as Pip, a single-pixel character who lives in a world dominated by a pixel-based hierarchy. The princess of the kingdom, Princess Adeline, is born with a special power to change people’s resolutions but is kidnapped by an evil queen, named DeRezia. DeRezia, of course, wants to use Adeline’s powers to take over the kingdom, transforming everyone she can into single pixels, leaving it up to Pip to save the princess and the kingdom.
Adventures of Pip has many clever mechanics centered around the idea of pixels and resolution. Throughout the game, there are three pixel-based evolutions that Pip can take: single pixel, 8-bit, or 16-bit. The single-pixel Pip can drift after jumping, crossing long distances, whereas the 8-bit Pip can wall jump. The 16-bit version has a sword to take down enemies and break blocks. To beat levels, you need to switch between the different evolutions depending on the situation, sometimes with very precise timing. This method of gameplay was incredibly engaging. Not only was the platforming itself fun, with lots of challenging sections that needed creative or skillful solutions, but it felt more unique than just another platformer. You couldn’t use all your abilities at once and had to pick and choose specific forms of Pip and stick with them until you could evolve again.
The game wasn’t punishing with the evolutions, either. To evolve, you need to jump on a specific enemy type. At first, I was worried there wouldn’t be enough of these enemies scattered throughout the levels, making Adventures of Pip unnecessarily difficult. However, the developers did a fantastic job placing the enemies in all the right places. I never felt like I was stuck because I had devolved and couldn’t upgrade Pip to the correct form needed to finish the next section, but I also didn’t feel like the game was saturated with these enemies, which would have made it too easy.
Additionally, while a lot of the levels can be fairly straightforward from start to finish, there are so many hidden treasure chests and lost villagers that make exploration worthwhile. Searching for secrets occasionally makes Adventures of Pip feel like there are two different experiences – one for players that simply want to beat the game and one that allows players to deep dive into the level design and challenge themselves to discover everything.
I loved this aspect of the game because if I wanted to just get through a world as fast as possible and beat a level in 10 minutes, I could. At the same time, I could also spend half an hour looking for all the collectibles, which got harder and harder to find. Toward the beginning of the game, it felt almost impossible to beat a level without stumbling upon all three lost villagers, but as Adventures of Pip continued, I began to really struggle and needed to put in a lot more effort to find and reach the secret passageways.
Plus, Adventures of Pip has some truly great boss battles at the end of each world. The bosses, as well as the rest of the game, clearly take inspiration from SNES platformers in the best possible way. Like most old school platformers, the bosses only take three hits to kill, but being able to land those hits is often way more complicated than it seems.
I found myself dying multiple times throughout boss battles as I tried to figure out what I needed to do to land an attack in every phase. This didn’t bother me, however, as there was always a respawn point right before the battle and once you figured out attack patterns and how to damage the boss, everything went fairly quickly. I really enjoyed the nostalgic feeling of being thrown into an important enemy encounter with no idea of how to beat it, forcing me to undergo a series of experiments to see what was effective without feeling severely punished when I died.
Overall, Adventures of Pip is a joyful experience that translated well to the Nintendo Switch. Everything runs smoothly and the game itself is an absolute blast to play. The level design was clever, as well as the general premise and game mechanics. It managed to feel like all the platformers I played as a kid on the SNES without being too punishing, essentially offering two methods of play, one for players who just want to beat the game and another for platforming buffs that really want to dig in to all it has to offer. If you’re looking for an indie platformer on your Switch, or any of the other platforms Adventures of Pip is on, I really cannot recommend it enough.
Adventures of Pip is available now for PC, iOS, Wii U, Xbox One and PS4. A Nintendo Switch version launches on September 10.
Adventures of Pip
- Rating - 9/109/10
Adventures of Pip is a joyful experience that translated well to the Nintendo Switch. Everything runs smoothly and the game itself is an absolute blast to play. The level design was clever, as well as the general premise and game mechanics.