Impressions- Adventure Pals (PS4)

What would happen if BattleBlock Theater and Adventure Time had a child? Well, it would definitely look like Massive Monster’s The Adventure Pals, which released this week.

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The Adventure Pals is an action platformer “inspired by cartoons” (and chances are, it will be painfully obvious that the antics of Finn and Jake were a source of inspiration in both the visuals and dialogue within the first few minutes of play). I’m glad Massive Monster went with hand-drawn visuals over pixel art for the presentation. As much as I love the 8 and 16 bit era, the market is swamped with games aping that particular look (some doing a fantastic job, others not so much). Seeing a game like this is incredibly refreshing with that in mind.

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When you’re not traversing the world map or visiting towns, you’ll be completing various sidescrolling levels that feel like a blend of The Behemoth’s BattleBlock Theater and Wonder Boy. It’s definitely not a bad thing, though, as these levels are well-designed and offer plenty of secrets to discover including cupcakes, stamps, and treasure chests full of goodies.

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Thus far, the game has been on the easy side at around the three hour mark, although new gimmicks and enemies seem to be popping up more frequently. There are also combat arenas a la Castle Crashers that see the player taking on waves of enemies. While the first one was simple enough with a stockpile of healing potions, I’m willing to bet these will get a bit tougher in later worlds.

So far, I’m loving the game even with its relative ease. With the constant barrage of “difficult platformers” being churned out by indie studios these days, it’s a pleasant surprise.

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