If you can’t stand cutesy visuals and lighthearted humor with a twisted undertone, then The Adventure Pals may not be for you. Everyone else however will have an interesting action platformer with well-designed levels and solid controls to enjoy. With some additional RPG elements and exploration over 105 stages, The Adventure Pals has a lot to offer. Who would’ve thought that a game about the friendship between a boy and his giraffe going out on adventures would be good to play? And yet somehow it works out very well.
The visuals of The Adventure Pals is whimsical and cheery all around, even when the game gets to some darker moments. Everything has a cute demeanor that is immediately disarming, and in most cases will make you laugh just by looking at it. But the backgrounds of each stage and the over-world you explore is vibrant with colors and many little details to spot throughout. There’s a heavy inspiration from cartoons like Adventure Time, which is found in both the visuals and the dialogue in the story.
Characters you find are as cheeky and silly as they look, which works the entire time because the game stays committed to it throughout the entire story. There’s giant hot dogs and bears that attack you relentlessly, but they look funny with their goofy expressions as you fight them. The only downside here is the music, which isn’t special and sounds very basic through the entire game. While it may go well with the visuals and events happening on screen, it’s pretty much forgettable.
The platforming and combat are the best parts of The Adventure Pals. Controls are incredibly responsive, which is key for getting across gaps to reach platforms and maneuvering around obstacles the game places in front of you. Combat is simple but effective. You can swing your sword at enemies like any action game, but you have a number of other abilities at your disposal to mix things up.
Leveling up with the game’s light RPG elements from defeating enemies opens up even more perks and abilities to use within the game’s 105 stages. Progressing in levels doesn’t take a long time, as your overall level will coincide with your progress through each area of the world map. You can return to previous stages to grind for XP or discover new secrets you missed the first time around.
Most of the time you’re traversing levels and collecting various items before reaching a stage’s end, which can be broken up into 4 – 5 parts per area. It’s not difficult finding every collectible within The Adventure Pals, but some are cleverly hidden and require some finesse to discover. However, there are many things to collect throughout the whole game. You’ll find yourself returning to levels multiple times to search for what you missed.
There is drop-in/drop-out co-op that can allow two players to team up, which makes most of the game easier. However, it’s not necessary to use in order to discover all of the secrets or complete the main game. Rather it’s there as an option for those that want it, even if you don’t need it.
Just because it’s lighthearted and silly at times, that doesn’t make The Adventure Pals less enjoyable. The controls are great and the platforming is well-thought and designed in each stage. The RPG elements may not be as in-depth as other games in the genre, but it gives you just enough to be helpful, yet unobtrusive to the rest of the game. It you’re feeling the need to play for a colorful game that isn’t difficult and has a cheeky sense of humor, you can’t go wrong on this adventure with a boy and his giraffe.
This review was based on a digital review code for The Adventure Pals on Nintendo Switch, provided by Massive Monster and Armor Games Studios.