After seeing The Adventures of Pip for the first time, I mistakenly wrote it off as “another indie adventure platformer.” Sure, it looked like a fun enough experience, but what was it adding to the nearly overwhelming landscape of indies that fit the same genre? Well, after getting a hands-on demo at PAX south, I can wholeheartedly say that The Adventures of Pip is shaping up to be a whole lot more than a mere throwback to SNES games of the past.
Players control Pip, a pixelated character who can transform from a single bit character to a 8-bit, then 16-bit character using the power of the Bit Stream, a mysterious force that fuels the Pixel Kingdom. An evil queen steals the kingdom’s pixels, and it’s up to Pip to retrieve them and save the land.
The platformer’s five environments are gorgeous, getting more and more complex as the levels progress. Vibrant colors and simple backgrounds paint the forest levels of the beginning, and the queen’s fortress is covered with ornate sprites and rich, dark tones.
Pip’s transformation allows him to execute different abilities. The single bit Pip is small and able to traverse narrow paths, his 8-bit version can run and wields a sword, while his 16-bit persona is stronger, able to push large blocks and swing his sword in a much larger arc. Players can “devolve” in an explosion that damages blocks and enemies surrounding Pip, while they can “evolve” by jumping on holographic creatures tied to the Bit Stream.
The evolve and devolve functions, combined with the mechanics associated with each of Pip’s forms, makes Adventures of Pip a challenging and enjoyable platformer. I found myself jumping, running between platforms, breaking blocks, and devolving with satisfying ease.
Adventures of Pip is developed by Tic Toc Games. The game will launch on Steam Early Access in March as a content complete beta, looking to take comments from the fans, and will be released for for PC, Mac, Wii U, PS4, and Xbox One sometime later.