The Adventure Pals embarks with an optimistic boy accompanied by a giraffe and a whimsical pet rock. ‘Twas Wilton’s birthday when out of the blue, his Papa was abducted by Mr. B – a madman who transforms the elderly into…hot dogs. With the assistance of Sparkles the giraffe, Mr. Rock, and some peculiar friendships acquired along the way, putting an end Mr. B’s evil schemes and saving the world from an abomination have never been so delightful.
Rather than spending his birthday unwrapping super awesome gifts, Wilton ventures out into the imaginative world to rescue his Papa. Though The Adventure Pals offers players the opportunity to team up with a buddy co-op style, taking the reins and all of the credit for total awesomeness sounded more like my style. I also don’t have any friends. Nevertheless, Massive Monster paints a colorful atmosphere by embracing the use of quirky animations, unique characters, and charming environments. The vibrant hues are instant eye candy, complementary to the five expressive worlds embodied with bizarre histories and their inhabitants.
Wilton and Sparkles gallop across the screen (Mr. Rock and his little legs trudging closely behind) as new mishaps emerge for the pals to tackle. Striking up a conversation with the native citizens unveils comical quests, marking Wilton’s map for player convenience. As Wilton is vacuumed into his destination, one of the five stages he must surpass encompasses his current task at hand, along with a shimmery ruby – the most dominant form of currency in The Adventure Pals. Every world requires that Wilton collects five rubies in order to forge ahead. Easy peasy.
The Adventure Pals isn’t what I’d consider a challenging platformer, but bouncing off jelly-headed foes while escorting an adoring sleepy kitten to its cozy cot is enjoyable nonetheless. Fighting off the bad guys with a keyboard is somewhat permissible, but button smashing via controller is recommended by the creators from the get-go. The tight controls pave an easygoing escapade for Wilton and his besties. The responsive combat against fuming hot dogs and warrior dinosaurs develop an effective way to rack up combos.
As enemies are obliterated, Wilton accumulates experience points. The RPG fragment of The Adventure Pals comes to light here. When the little dude levels up, Wilton can select one of three abilities to advance his journey. Mr. Rock, for example, can obtain the strength to knock out nearby enemies. Can I get a heck yeah? Unfortunately, Wilton eventually exhausts the ability to unlock cool stuff and reaches his full potential at level 20. After that, you’re no longer able to receive radical enhancements for Wilton and his pals. Regrettably, The Adventure Pals loses a little bit of its flare with this hindrance. Where's the magic in exterminating foes when you're no longer reaping the benefits?
Destroying barrels, opening chests, or hack’n’slashing harmless critters grants Wilton the opportunity to rack up the coins. Every distinctive world exhibits a shop retailing necessities for Wilton’s voyage. Potions are essential, but bombs prevail as invaluable when Wilton finds himself in the thick of powerful enemies. Button smashing helps eliminate most nuisances though. Adorable rainbow cupcakes also occupy each of the five quest stages and typically reside in secret compartments. Collecting enough of these tasty treats and serving them to the obese Cupcake King unlocks nifty little hats for Wilton and funky costumes for Mr. Rock. A rock fashioning a half-eaten slice of pizza has never made my heart happier.
Though cupcakes aren’t technically a required feat, they do slightly influence your ranking at the completion of quests. The Adventure Pals grades your performance based on time, the number of enemies slain, and Wilton's death count. If you lack satisfaction of the average “C” ranking and your pride has taken a substantial hit because of it, don’t you fret. Wilton and his BFFs have access to any stage once they secure its ruby.
Stickers exist as an extra fun element of The Adventure Pals as well. These cute features exist as collectibles viewable via a scrapbook located at the heart of each world Wilton visits. Every quest harbors one of these hidden gems, portraying various characters and shenanigans Wilton stumbles upon. Locating them, on the other hand, requires a bit of digging around. If you aren’t too crazy about searching high and low for the little buggers, Wilton receives stickers of gratitude for his acts of bravery. Their contents are just as weird as everything else encountered on Wilton’s journey. That's the beauty of The Adventure Pals.
Before moving onto a new domain, Mr. B and his diabolical mind challenges Wilton with a goofy boss battle. Scurrying from a dinosaur made of vegetables, for example, enriches the lighthearted aspect of The Adventure Pals confrontations, creating battles enjoyable for any age. The action-packed combat delivers easy to recognize patterns, so the battles aren’t difficult to master.
While Wilton dashes through enchanted lands with Sparkles and Mr. Rock, he connects with an abundance of offbeat characters that radiate with godawful puns and modern anecdotes. At one point, dinosaurs hold slices of bread hostage. One, in particular, symbolizes a piece of French toast who, well, speaks French. Thus, rescuing Lady Pancake – the toast’s queen – develops into an operation only Wilton and his pals can undergo. The moment Lady Pancake is rescued, Wilton wields the power to offer the toast their realm back or permit the savage dinosaurs to continue their rampage. Though an assortment of the story elements can be headscratchers, the dumb humor is so amusing that you play along with the silliness anyway.
The Adventure Pals is a game you play when you just want to have a good time without the hassle of furiously pulling your hair out (metaphorically, of course). The comical characters and witty dialogue go together like peas and carrots, illustrating a laid-back and enjoyable experience no matter what Wilton and his BFFs encounter. If you’re looking for a challenge that’ll grind your gears, abolishing hot dogs that poop detonating mines might not be your cup of tea. However, that image alone is enough to make anyone’s heart giggle – even if just in the slightest.
Our The Adventure Pals review was conducted on PC via Steam with a code provided by the developers. It is also available DRM Free via GOG and on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
The Adventure Pals is pure joy for anyone of any age. The eccentric characters bring so much light into your life, along with their comical anecdotes and witty remarks. The gameplay is very laid-back, but hack'n'slashing funky foes makes you feel like a warrior nonetheless. An entertaining escapade follows Wilton, Sparkles the giraffe, and Mr. Rock, even if the challenges aren't, well, challenging.(Review Policy)
- Instant Eye Candy
- Charming Characters
- Fluid Combat
- Confusing Story Elements
- Not Very Keyboard-Friendly