Ittle Dew 2 harkens from a scene of Zelda: A Link to the Past. It has the spike traps, the secret caves, and a world map that made me feel 10 again, but Ittle Dew 2 throws a curve ball at the theme as well. Sprinkle in a story about an old man who’s job it is to reset the dungeons in this world, giant candy cane monsters, and a flying fox who is addicted to health potions. You play as Ittle, a sassy young lass with a taste for adventure, accompanied by your flying fox friend. Ittle is shipwrecked on an island and must collect planks of wood to build a raft to get off of the island. After the main quest the adventures are greeted by a bookish curmudgeon, he promptly tells you that you should not disturb the dungeons (he has to reset them when adventures solve all the puzzles). Ittle, as a brassy young adventurer, has her eyes on the prize and sets off to find the first dungeon.
Ittle Dew is an adventure role-playing game that offers simple mechanics in the way of battling and puzzle solving. The game pays homage/pokes fun of the genre by offering up meta-conversations between Ittle and her flying friend. You will find your classic fire/ice dungeon (all in one, as Ittle and company converses about these ‘typical’ style dungeons), but the real charm comes from unique dungeons like a waste dump and an art gallery.
Those familiar with this style of game will be happy to note that it’s not just fetch quests. The dungeons offer a lot in the way of puzzle solving and fighting, but uncovering the 100’s of secrets spread across the island will boast hours of entertainment. You’ll use your weapons not only to best the baddies of the island, but also to put your wits to the test in solving puzzles. You may need to freeze your stick of dynamite to hit a switch that is far away or use your force wand against mirrors to create an ultra-blast. Although these mechanics are not difficult to master, they offer an interesting way to progress through the world.
A unique aspect of the game is that you can actually approach dungeons out-of-order (which may serve more difficult), but gives an open feel to the world. There are plenty of secrets to appeal to the gamer that loves exploration, and you will need to travel back to certain areas once you have received new items. Luckily the warp garden has you covered as you make your way through areas like the Fancy Ruins and the Frozen Court.
The hand-drawn look of the game is a welcomed touch. Even the simple shaking of animation to give a sense of being drawn gives a sketchbook feel, but with a coloring book aesthetic. What I found myself most attracted to was the character. A mix between the graphics, the humor (Both Ittle and the flying fox have a healthy dose of snark and sarcasm that I very much enjoy). The game has a lot of heart.
One thing that was a little odd was the recurrence of the same bosses. Early on, you meet Jenny and the other robot pilots, but throughout the 8 dungeons, you will fight the bosses multiple times (with increased difficulty). Since the game had so much character, I was hoping the cast of bosses would be a little larger (although there is a solid cast of enemies). With that said, the increased difficulty makes the challenge much different from person to person, and the ongoing dialogue between Ittle and the bosses helps reduce the desire for diversity. For example, the theme of Jenny is that “this is just a job” for her, but she keeps coming back and back. The banter is much appreciated.
The only other consideration of the game is the fluctuation in difficulty. For the most part, Ittle Dew 2 is a simple game that does not offer overly complex puzzles, until you reach the final (secret) dungeon that becomes available after you collect all the raft pieces. I spent more time on this post-game dungeon than several of the other dungeons combined. Although it was frustrating, I do appreciate the added difficulty, even if it was saved for the end.
Ittle Dew 2 was a complete surprise for me. I only heard about the game a few weeks ago, but seemed like it was up my alley (and seeing other published games like Binding of Isaac in Nicalis’ resume, I was intrigued). I had a blast with Ittle Dew 2 and would recommend it fully to any and all old school RPG fans. I am already hoping for another adventure with Ittle!
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
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