September 3, 2014 7:00 PM | Anthony Swinnich
Adventures of Pip tried its hand at Kickstarter at the beginning of summer but didn't quite reach its goal. Like the hero in any good story, TicToc Games would not be dissuaded, and the game's journey through development continued. Fast forward to the end of summer. The game has a new Kickstarter and was on the floor at PAX Prime. I put the game through its paces and came away impressed. I couldn't hide my smile as I switched from pixel to basic sprite to more complex sprite and back.
Pip is a pixel, and was born that way. One day, the evil Skeleton Queen turned all the sprites in the land into pixels as well. This sudden change was devastating to those who went through it, but Pip, who never knew another life, sets out to right the wrongs perpetrated by the evil queen.
We've all played our fair share of sidescrolling action-platformers, but the hook in Adventures of Pip is pretty unique. Pip has the ability to switch forms after defeating certain enemies by absorbing their essence. A simple pixel becomes an 8-bit sprite, capable of faster movement and wall jumps. Another form up increases the resolution of the character to a 16-bit sprite, complete with a sword for attacking.
These transformations are more than simple visual upgrades, and you'll need to switch between them to progress. While the sprite-based forms are more agile and can attack with greater power, the simple pixel can fit through tight spots on the map to uncover hidden paths or secrets. The need to change forms often is built into the level design, lending a bit of usefulness to each form.
The demo I played at PAX was probably about 10 minutes long, and the level presented was full of secrets to find. Even though all three forms felt a little different from each other in terms of control, none of them felt bad or wrong. I was unsurprised to learn after playing that the team is made up of WayForward alum. It even has a Jake Kaufman-penned soundtrack. Expect this one in 2015 on Windows and Mac through Steam and on the Wii U, though more platforms could be added if the game makes its stretch goals.