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Thursday, 12 April 2018

Review: The Adventure Pals


Review: The Adventure Pals

Why so serious? Lets put a smile on that face.



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The Adventure Pals
Massive Monster | Nintendo Switch | Digital Only
1-2 Players (Local Only)
Reviewed by: Curtis Chapman | 11th April 2018

* Review Code Provided by: Massive Monster *







While already receiving a launch in the US last week, The Adventure Pals finally arrives on EU shores today priced at £10.79. For those who have been waiting patiently from distant shores for a chance to play, it’s time to find out... was it worth the wait?

Most if not all of us have aspects of our lives that we consider stressful, whether it’s in our work or in our personal lives, there’s always something that we need to take a break from occasionally. For many, gaming is that means of escape. A way to shrug off the day’s blues, whether by intensely saving the world from an invading alien force or by merely spending a few hours tending to your crops on a virtual farm, the medium has something for everyone. The Adventure Pals by Massive Monsters attempts to strike a lovely balance between the two extremes that dominate the market at the moment by giving you an intense madcap storyline to follow, all the while reminding you that it’s only a game and as such, should be accessible and filled with as much fun and light-heartedness as humanly possible.

Super Adventure Pals was previously a web-based flash affair launching in 2014, quickly gaining a following and spawning a sequel in the process. After a successful kick-starter campaign the series has been redesigned and repackaged into The Adventure Pals, a title that tells the story of a boy, his giraffe, Sparkles, and his pet rock, as they quest to stop the evil Mr B from turning his papa into a Hotdog. This quick synopsis should give you more than an inkling of the tone of the title. Boasting 105 stages, across 5 worlds, each with its own unique characters to meet with stories to be told, there are more than enough madcap shenanigans for you to become involved in throughout your journey.



The Adventure Pals Screenshot 1


A 2D platformer at its core with a peppering of light RPG elements throughout, each of the game's levels are split into 5 short stages that task you with traveling from point A to point B while dispatching any of the cute and colorful enemies that you meet along the way. As you progress, tougher enemies with more attack patterns appear, although the overall difficulty remains low throughout the entire game. Dispatching enemies will net you experience that, when you reach the next level, allow you to choose a passive skill that will help you on your journey.

While spending a lot of time in your backpack, Sparkles is a very versatile giraffe indeed. With the ability to hover with her tongue, act as a wrench to turn nuts with her and assist in combat by grabbing on to enemies, the game constantly finds ways to pile on the cute factor with at the same time implementing mechanics that are easily understood by all ages.

A jump-in/jump-out co-op mode has also been included allowing you to bring a friend or love one along for the ride. Although the co-op mode makes the game easier than it already is, it strikes a nice balance between being easy enough for inexperienced and younger players to get involved with while providing just enough of a challenge for experienced players so as to keep them interested so they do not feel they are simply going through the motions.



The Adventure Pals Screenshot 2


For an added challenge, The Adventure Pals features collectible Cupcakes as well as sticker packs that are easily locatable on each level they feature, most often than not being out in the open or just off the beaten path toward a stages exit. Eventually, the player is even given a compass showing their exact location, ensuring you don’t miss a single one. Cupcakes can be traded in for cosmetic items that take the form of new hats for yourself and outfits for your pet rock. While the games 105 stages will take a time to work through, it’s clear and welcome that Massive Monsters don’t feel it necessary to have you obsessively combing through each level or revisit each one multiple times just to get the full experience, something a lot of titles tend to do simply to bloat out their titles overall play time.

The game maintains a lot of its old-school Adobe Flash art styling that one would expect to see from a Newgrounds title circa 2000, though this has been brought up to date and feels refreshed. Graphics are crisp pop beautifully in both Handheld and Dock Mode, with lots of bright colors to compliment the upbeat and whimsical score, making the whole package look and feel like it wouldn’t be out of place in its own cartoon series.



The Adventure Pals Screenshot 3


The Adventure Pals is a joy to play, with an amazingly cute aesthetic, plot and a cast of supporting characters, the game does a fantastic job of relaxing the player while still supplying enough in the way of gameplay mechanics to keep the player both interested and invested in the game. Most importantly, Adventure Pals goes out its way to make you both smile and feel warm inside, something that is often overlooked when creating a means of emotional escapism that players of video games often seek from their experience.


FOR THE WIN OR FOR THE BIN?



+ Wonderful smile-indcuing story.
+ Humourous cast of NPC.
+ A lot of content.
+ Vibrant art and music.

- Veterans may find the difficulty too low.

Verdict: For the Win – Essential Purchase



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