REVIEW / Adventures of Pip (Wii U)

 

Hey kids! Are you a fan of classic Nintendo games such as Super Mario Bros.? Is your favorite catch-phrase “It’s on like Donkey Kong?” Do you…umm…hmm. Sorry, I wanted to make a Legend of Zelda reference but didn’t want to tri and force it. If any of those were an enthusiastic (and possibly nostalgic) yes! Then boy do I have a game for you! Adventures of Pip for the Wii U.

Pip’s story is one of grand adventure, filled 8-bit bravery and high-definition heroism. No HDMI cord required! Once upon a time, the King and Queen of Pip’s kingdom gave birth to a princess who was born with the very special ability of creating pixels out of thin air! Unfortunately, word of Princess Adeline’s gift got to the evil Skeleton Queen! The Skeleton Queen decided she wanted the princess’s power all to herself. So one night, when the princess was much older, she attacked the kingdom!

 

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Pip

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Baby Princess Adeline

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Evil Skeleton Queen

 

No one could stop the Skeleton Queen’s attack. She ravaged the land, destroying everything in sight. Most citizens managed to escape but others got turned into a single pixel (like Pip), the King and Queen included. With the kingdom in ruins and everyone turned into helpless blocks, the Skeleton Queen easily captured the princess and made her exit. Enter the Pip.

Pip was born a single pixel. So being turned into one was not really an issue for him. The King and Queen, now single pixels too, tasked him to find someone who could save their daughter. So off he went! While on his quest, Pip used all his pixel know-how and eventually discovered (he fell into a hole) an ancient spirit who told him of his destiny. The spirit also bestowed on Pip the power to absorb the pixels of his defeated enemies. This unique ability is what allows Pip to become the high-resolution hero he is destined to be!

 

Pip evo stages

Pip’s evolutions: Low-Res, Medium-Res and High-Res

 

Each of Pip’s evolutions come with certain benefits and drawbacks. He doesn’t just get taller and more pixelated, he gets stronger and heavier. He also has the ability the devolve himself to a lower-res form at will. He cannot however freely evolve to a higher-res form. He must first defeat an enemy and absorb their pixels.

 

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Low-Resolution Form

 

As a low-resolution, single pixel, Pip cannot do much to be honest but he makes it work. He can fit into tiny places, jump incredibly high due to his low density and even stretch himself into a rectangle to glide. That’s about it though. In this form, the only way Pip can fight is by jumping on top of enemies Mario-style.

 

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Medium-Resolution Form

 

Medium-resolution Pip is a lot more useful. With his newly acquired arms and legs, Pip gains the ability to hold on to walls, wall-jump and punch things! Punching does more than just hurt enemies too. Punching can clear away some obstacles that low-res Pip couldn’t even touch! He is a bit heavier as a 16-bit character however so he can’t jump as high as low-res Pip.

 

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High-Resolution Form

 

In Pip’s fully evolved form, he is the 32-bit, sword wielding hero is was always meant to be! This final form gives Pip the strength to push and pull blocks his previous forms were too weak to move. He also gets a sword which provides a much safer way to dispatch enemies than punching or jumping on them. The sword is also able to destroy certain obstacles that medium-res Pip was too weak to punch through. High-res Pip does have one major drawback though: his weight. Due to his high pixel count, high-resolution Pip is too heavy to cling to walls, wall-jump or even use the mushroom jump pads found scattered throughout the world. He can grab hold of ledges. That’s it.

An additional power of Pip’s is the ability to downgrade his resolution. As stated previously, Pip can lower his form at-will but cannot improve it. Whenever he does this a small pixel explosion emanates from Pip. This explosion is another way Pip can hurt enemies or clear away certain stage obstacles.

 

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Pip uses all three of his forms in a variety of different ways to successfully complete each stage. The levels are all side-scrolling platformers that play similarly to classic Mario and Donkey Kong Country games but with a lot more puzzle solving thrown in. One of my favorite things about Adventures of Pip is how creatively Tictoc Games makes the player use all three evolutions interchangeably in every stage. Never will you have a level where you can stay in medium-res form the entire time. Each stage requires proper usage of all of Pip’s forms and their respective attributes in order to make it to the end.

 

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That’s not to say Pip has to do everything the hard way. In every level Pip finds and rescues the citizens of the kingdom that fled during the Skeleton Queen’s attack. Two of those villagers open back up the item and weapon shops within the kingdom. Those two stores allow Pip to buy things to help him on his way. The Item Shop sells “Boosts” which are one-time use temporary buffs that Pip can purchase to make his life a little bit easier. Some boosts are potions that Pip can use to heal himself Legend of Zelda-style. Others are power-ups that can make Pip stronger for a short time.

 

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A 32-BIT BOSS!!!

 

The Weapon Shop sells permanent upgrades that Pip can buy after saving up quite a bit of money. One upgrade allows Pip to get twice as much money from defeated enemies. Another allows Pip to smash blocks in medium-res form, a power originally reserved for his high-res form. There are five upgrades total but to unlock them all will take time. Earning bits (money) is something I’ve found to be the most tedious thing in Adventures of Pip. I have made through two regions of the kingdom so far and still only earn 200-400 bits a level. While that may sound like a lot, the cheapest upgrade is 2500 bits. The most expensive is 8000. The money grind is real.

 

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I loved Adventures of Pip. I keep wanting to play it more and more every day. It is challenging, fun and brings back fond memories of the 90’s and my days growing up with a controller in my hand. While I did review the Wii U version, there is no difference in the platform aside from the controller you use. That being said, you can grab Adventures of Pip for the Wii U on the Nintendo eShop for only $14.99. Or pick it up on PS4, Xbox One, PC or OSX. Happy Gaming!

 

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