Indie 2D platformers are a dime a dozen and it takes a lot for one to stand out. The Adventure Pals sure is a silly and fun-filled entry in the genre but is it worth playing? Put your pet rock in your pocket and let's see.
The Adventure Pals has you control a boy whose father is abducted. If he doesn't hurry and rescue him, he'll be turned into a hot dog! So, he journeys forth with his giraffe friend and pet rock in the hopes of rescuing his dear old dad from the sausage factory. The 2D platforming that follows is simple and satisfying stuff. Besides just running and jumping around, you can hold the jump button to hover with help from your giraffe, attack enemies, and take advantage of a variety of items. Meanwhile, your pet rock thinks on his own accord as he attacks enemies from time to time. There are plenty of stage features that'll give you a boost, too, such as toasters that allow you to super-jump, grapple points that send you flying, and switches that open doors. Traversing the stages while taking out hordes of foes is enjoyable stuff and it all controls extremely well.
Just by looking at the screenshots, you can probably tell that there's a strong sense of humour in The Adventure Pals and you'd be right. There are so many ridiculous side-quests that you can complete while you meet dozens of wacky NPCs and watch their goofy stories unfold. Whether you're giving underpants to a whale or reuniting a farmer with his pig wife, you're bound to laugh out loud as you watch the insanity play out. The highly energetic music helps establish a lighthearted atmosphere and the sound effects add a great deal of satisfaction to the onscreen action. To tie it all together, the charming cartoon visual style fits the goofy game world perfectly.
As you progress through the campaign, you'll level up which allows you to choose an extra perk. These will come in handy when you fight the hordes of dinosaurs and zombie pirates as well as massive bosses (including a giant enemy crab). The campaign itself is impressively large and will take you hours to complete it. You start on a smallish island and once you beat all the levels on it, you'll find yourself on another one. At that point, you'll be happy that there are a whole two islands to master but by the time you finish the campaign, you'll be amazed that you actually worked through five of them. It's a huge game that'll take quite a long time to beat.
Although its length is impressive, I found The Adventure Pals to have an overall lack of challenge which made it far less satisfying than it could have been. Fighting the enemies is super-easy and even if you run out of health, your character will revive himself if you happen to have at least one healing item on hand. Amassing a wealth of them is very easy so you never really have to worry about perishing. Along the same lines, each stage features a handful of hidden cupcakes and a sticker pack. The stages are rather elaborate and intricate but finding every item isn't difficult in the slightest. I never had to backtrack as I found every single item on my first attempt.
Finally, you can play The Adventure Pals cooperatively with a chum. However, doing so is counterintuitive. There are no co-op mechanics so whenever you play with a friend, one player will rush ahead while the other lags behind. You may as well stick to playing solo.
The Adventure Pals is a huge 2D platformer with a fantastic sense of humour. However, the lack of challenge will make genre veterans wish that they could put their skills to the test instead of just going through the motions.
- + Solid, simple, and fun-filled 2D platforming
- + Great sense of humour, energetic music, and charming visuals
- + Lengthy campaign full of elaborate levels
- - Campaign provides very little challenge
- - Collectibles are far too easy to find
- - Co-op mode is tacked on