It’s Wilton’s birthday and his dad has given him an awesome pet giraffe that you name Sparkles. Then Mr. B ruins your party by kidnapping your dad and other elderly people to turn them into hot dogs for his evil masterplan of world destruction. The Adventure Pals is an action-packed platformer about friendship, exploration, and riding your giraffe with lite-rpg elements. Wilton must save his dad and the world with his pals Sparkles the giraffe and his buddy rock aka ‘Mr. Rock’.
It shows its inspiration from classic platformers and cartoons like Adventure Time. The visuals are colorful and full of joy. It brings the happiness out the screen. Character designs are creative as well as the bosses that include zombie pirate cats, post-apocalyptic dinosaurs and hotdogs that poop explosive mines. The quirky and crude humor might not be for everyone but I enjoyed the whacky scenarios. Levels may look the same with how the game layout design was done with looking at the ground dirt and just background images different. The over-world map is amazing to look at and allows you to travel to the next area or shop.
There are five worlds to explore and each with their own side-quests that are repetitive. Mainly needing to get a request done like getting an item or reaching a certain point in the level. In each area there are levels with around five sections in each and once you get the Ruby the level is completed. Each world has their unique set of characters you meet npcs and enemies. If you want to complete 100% there are six rainbow cupcakes to collect hidden away by puzzles throughout the sections in a level and hidden stickers. The rainbow cupcakes are use to give to a cat who eats a set and lays an egg out that unlocks skins for you and pals.
Gameplay mechanics are simple and accessible for all to enjoy. Slash enemies with your sword, stomp, use pals and blast away with bombs. The platforming levels are precise and controls well. Basic platforming and the usual environmental hazards like ropes, spikes, moving platforms, lasers and more. Sparkles the giraffe and Mr. Rock are used in the gameplay mechanics well. Sparkles the giraffe uses its tongue to helicopter to platforms, attack enemies by grappling with its long neck and more swinging too. Mr. Rock is used to be thrown at enemies and to hit certain switches.
There is drop-in co-op but the character is not part of the story and they don’t have their own level up choice just a copy of main player. As you defeat enemies you gain experience to level up and choose new abilities that will earn you damage increases, new pal moves and new abilities like coin magnet. It does add to the fun playing co-op with a sibling or buddy. Checkpoints are pretty fair. There are treasures throughout the level that provide bombs and health potions as well to help succeed completion of level.
Bosses provide great battles to test your skill. The only tough battle was the final boss level. There is a boss fight when entering the level and then the final boss awaits in the next area. They give you three potions but it’s not enough. The damage output and moves the final boss does were unfair. You must buy potions in order to survive that fight before going to the level. Lastly in the over-world map there are arena’s in each world to complete that provide a challenge to survive waves of enemies. There is a bit of frame-rate drops from the amount of enemies on screen on this part.
I had a blast to play from beginning to end thanks to the amazing colorful visuals. The story was basic having to save dad from evil Mr. B but the funny scenarios along with the few cartoon cutscenes provided laughs throughout the journey. Platforming was standard but fun with the various combinations of environmental hazards and great use of your pals. Enemies were creatively design and bosses provide a great test of skill for some. Hopefully co-op is implemented more into the story next time. I am ready for another adventure with Wilton and his pals Sparkles the giraffe and Mr. Rock.
*Review code for PS4 provided by publisher*
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Title:The Adventure Pals Developer: Massive Monster
Publisher: Armor Games Studio Release Date: Apr. 3, 2018 Price: $14.99 Genre: Platform/Adventure Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Steam, Xbox One Players: 2