The Adventure Pals Review

The Adventure Pals was born first into the world as Super Adventure Pals, a flash game that won fans all across the gaming spectrum for its charm, quality, and lack of a price tag. After a run on Kickstarter, the Super Adventure Pals egg hatched into a full-blown indie, newly entitled The Adventure Pals. The title was sweet from inception and carries much of that slap-bang flash game fun into its adulthood. Relying on button-mashing antics and pun-ny humor, The Adventure Pals is an action platformer determined to lift your mood, if it does nothing else.

Hot Dogs, Cupcakes, & Old People

Enter the world of The Adventure Pals as a young boy whose dad is kidnapped by the unfriendly Mr. B on his birthday. Mr. B has lately taken to turning old folks into violent, gigantic hot dogs, and the boy sets off on a quest with his trusty giraffe Sparkles and the indomitable Mr. Rock to rescue his father. Along the way he encounters a variety of towns and people whom he must help in order to defeat Mr. B and his dastardly plan of world domination.

If that sounds rather like The Adventure Pals’ developer Mad Monster isn’t interested in having you take the plot very seriously, your assumption would be correct. Down to the artwork, jokes, and design, The Adventure Pals is casual to the utmost. Collect cupcakes to give to a monstrously fat cat which will lay an egg that has a collectible costume in it. Defeat hot dog enemies to release ensnared old people. Swat at jelly enemies that zip away from you and make farting noises. No, The Adventure Pals is not for the more… solemn… player.

Highly Addictive Gameplay

That being said, it’s a bombastic adventure that’s excessively addictive. Sparkles the giraffe assists you with a hovering skill as you bounce your way up walls and across platforms, making movement satisfying and quite easy. Scattered throughout levels are enemies which die in a myriad of ways, including with huge chain explosions that leave your screen deliciously empty of dangers.

Each level is unlocked by interaction with an exterior map and towns. These towns are the gateway to progression, and you won’t get very far in The Adventure Pals if you don’t talk to everyone you see at least several times, before and after you accomplish a quest with them. These quests are a part of the levels that are the true meat of the game. These levels include several sub-levels of platforming challenges that include environmental puzzles, combat, and an item system. Defeat enemies to gain experience, as with every level up you get to choose a new ability. Abilities range from increasing your luck with treasure chests to giving Mr. Rock some seriously impressive battle skills.

Boss Fights? Yep, Boss Fights

There are also boss fights, which provide a slightly different challenge to the other platforming gameplay, and arenas, which focus more heavily on combat than on jumping from ledge to ledge. There’s even a mini-game or two you might have the good luck to stumble across in your The Adventure Pals escapades. Furthermore, if you’re a diehard completionist, each level is graded based on how many collectibles you nabbed and how well you did overall. Replayability for those who must have that A+ is quite high.

However, The Adventure Pals has zero interest in testing your patience, even as you scale upwards in your progression. Despite introducing new environmental and enemy hazards, the levels never really feel that difficult, and even the bosses are conquerable in just a few tries. In fact, the addictive nature of this title has a great deal to do with just how easy it is. Even gamers who typically struggle with platforming adventures will probably do well with The Adventure Pals, as the learning curve is essentially nonexistent.

Full of Heart And… Farts

There’s no denying that The Adventure Pals has its moments. It’s quite beautiful, and, undoubtedly, some of the jokes stick their landing rather well. Unfortunately, most of the jokes don’t. It’s an indie that works very hard to not take itself seriously, and the strain of being so silly shows in many places right off the bat. Furthermore, it never really presents a challenge to a serious or non-serious gamer, and seems thoroughly unwilling to shake its heavily casual gameplay that surely was a trait of its flash game days.

It’s a pleasant romp, but after playing a great deal of it one walks away feeling as though they’ve just consumed too much candy. Everything is bright and sweet, and while the immediate takeaway is positive, the aftereffects usually leave one wanting for something a touch heartier.

6

The Verdict: Good

The Adventure Pals is a cartoonish romp with bombastic platforming gameplay that’s as addictive as it is silly. Easy controls and eye-popping art contribute to a candy-sweet experience — one that ultimately leaves you wanting something a little more substantial.

Taryn Ziegler
Written by
April 10, 2018
Published in Action

Taryn is a digital content strategist with an avid appetite for literature and gaming. She graduated from the University of Washington Bothell with a degree in Culture, Literature, and the Arts, and since then has been engaged in copywriting for businesses from AutoNation to DirtFish Rally School. While she'll happily play most games set in front of her, Taryn heartily prefers a good ol' turn-based strategy RPG, such as Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia and Divinity: Original Sin.

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