Super Adventure Pals
Is there anything more adorable than a boy and his tiger? Well, how about a boy and his giraffe? There used to be a pet rock in there too, but the jealous Mr B has stonenapped him, so now it's up to you and your trusty reticulated steed to get him back! Jay Armstong's quirky, bouncy platforming adventure Super Adventure Pals combines sword-swinging and RPG elements with a heavy dose of cuteness and absurdity for a weird and wacky title that's good and good for ya despite a few bumps in the road.
Super Adventure Pals has two control options for you to choose from in the form of [WASD] for movement and the [arrow] keys to perform actions, or vice-versa. In your quest to save your rockin' pal, you'll have to travel around the land defeating enemies and hunting down quest items for yourself or the hapless villagers you meet. As you defeat enemies, you'll earn experience points, and eventually level up which will allow you to upgrade either your strength or your health. Health, as you might expect, is kind of important since none of the baddies seem to care that you're a little kid and will happily pound the snot out of you, but as long as you're carrying potions they'll automatically be used when your health drops below a certain point. Use the gold you'll find strewn around to buy more potions, or bombs that you can hurl at enemies, and replay stages to earn diamonds that can be spent on more useful magical items.
No two shakes about it, Super Adventure Pals feels like it's expressly made to make you smile, from the goofy story and dialogue to the giggle-inducing character designs and bouncy soundtrack. The quests you'll undertake are all simple fetch-quests for the most part, but it feels like anything else would get in the way of the simplified approach to the RPG elements that makes it so much fun to hop right into. Super Adventure Pals's greatest flaw, however, will be the lack of customiseable controls. Neither option's choice of action keys feel particularly intuitive and will take some practice to get used to, and it seems like allowing players to rebind keys to what they're comfortable with would cut out the frustration some are going to feel that's going to hurt the experience for them. As a result, as simple in concept as the combat is, it's going to require a bit of finesse and practice to keep from getting backhanded off platforms. Super Adventure Pals is well worth playing through if you have the patience to wrangle the controls, and provides more than enough grins and cheers along the way.