STAFF REVIEW of Adventure Pals, The (Xbox One)

Monday, April 30, 2018.
by Kirsten Naughton

Adventure Pals, The Box art Published by Armor Games Studios, The Adventure Pals is a quirky game about friendship. It involves a small boy and the crazy adventures he goes on with his giraffe and pet rock. You play as a boy who must explore his childhood as he goes on an epic quest to rescue his papa from being turned into a hot dog. Yes, I said hot dog, but who knows what toppings would be included. During your adventure you will encounter mysteries and delights along your the way as you explore all five areas, with each one being more surprising then the last. These five levels also comprises their storylines too, which is a nice feature, as there is incentive to keep going to the next level.

In the first level you encounter, you'll learn how to play the game and discover it has incredibly responsive controls. The game teaches you the mechanics quickly, such as running and jumping, but everything changes when you meet your new adorable pet giraffe, Sparkles. While you can jump normally, Sparkles has the ability to use her tongue.

Overall, The Adventure Pals is a pretty standard 'jump-and-whack' your enemy with a sword type of game, nothing too difficult, which makes it perfect for anyone at nearly any age. The best thing, in my opinion, about The Adventure Pals is its capabilities of both single player and co-op modes. I mean, any game that you can play with friends automatically is more fun and interesting, am I right?

My first impression of The Adventure Pals was that I thought it looked so cute and innocent, reminding me of Castle Crashers because of its similar gameplay and style. Exploring five different locations, you get to jump around, kill enemies and collect coins. The cool thing that I liked collecting was cupcakes! You heard me right... cupcakes! You have to collect five (5) cupcakes per area to give to the cupcake king title, rewarding you with awesome new outfits for your pals. I found it entertaining, because how many games have you played that one of the goals is collect cupcakes and dress your pets? Not many that I know of. Another cool thing that you can collect are stickers which are kept in your sticker book. Some of the ways that you can get new ones are from characters or by completing certain challenges, so there's some content here for those looking to explore further.

Every time you level up, both your health and attack power increase, allowing you to choose a new ability card to add to your arsenal and make you feel much stronger in the battle against those pesky hot dogs. These hot dogs, along with a purple blobs with a red brains, red explosive blobs, and little triangles (this is the best way to describe them all), charge at you when you come near them, and they are one of the most creative things about the game that added more personality and charm.

As for the difficulty level, I felt it was set just about right. Gameplay slightly got more difficult as things progressed, but not too hard that the average person would have a hard time problem finding their way through the levels. I found the most difficult, and annoying part, were the times I didn't know where I was going, so I'd jump somewhere thinking there was a platform below, and sure enough, there was not and I'd die. That's a very small observation that doesn't affect my judgment on my score though because overall it's a pretty fantastic game.

The only glaring flaw that I could see, and one which was a little disappointing, is the combat. Most of the enemies you encounter don't need much work to defeat, so it devolves into a button mashing scenario, even including the bigger bosses with the exception of dodging attacks. I feel it's almost too simplistic at times. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind a stress free easy going game, but I felt that the enemies should have been a little harder to defeat. Such quick defeats make me feel like its not really a challenge, but more of a 'time killer' at times.

Although there are a couple flaws that bugged me, this is a fantastic game for those young and old, as well as being a great game to play with your friends or solo. The five locations are interactive and interesting to explore and The Adventure Pals themselves have quirky little characteristics about them, making exploring that much more entertaining.

The Adventure Pals is a solid indie platformer and nothing about the level difficulty felt unfair, as the movements were quick and snappy. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a laid back type of game. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to collect some more cupcakes!

Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 9.0 / 10
Sound: 9.0 / 10


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