What it is:
A top-down action RPG from Nicalis.
The game is out November 14 on Switch for $29.99.
In Elementary School, I thought I could impress a girl by telling her I beat The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on the SNES. It didn’t work. Mainly because she didn’t believe me. That game was pretty hard back then, relying not only on problem-solving skills, but reflex and fighting technique.
That style of Zelda game continued on with the Gameboy and other Nintendo Handheld consoles. And it was glorious. With the N64, Zelda games became 3D, third-person adventure games, and that’s continued all the way to the modern era with Breath of the Wild.
I’m not going to lie: I love the modern Zelda games. However, a part of me still wants to impress young girls with my skills at the classic approach. Yeah, that sounded weird, I know.
Thankfully, Ittle Dew fills that gap. Instead of Link, the main character is a brave girl named Ittle, and her flying fox, Tippsie, replaces Link’s fairy companions, serving as a helper to guide you when you feel lost.
And feel lost you will. The world of Ittle Dew is large, and you start the game with only a stick. It sounds funny, but actually, the game boasts that every dungeon and cave can be completed with only that stick, which gives the game a truly open-world feel. Sure, you gain treasures, weapons, and abilities as you pass through each dungeon, and sometimes those items can provide shortcuts in other dungeons, but they aren’t needed to complete them.
For me, the biggest selling point to the game is its humor. The game begins by Ittle and her fox washing ashore on a strange island where she’s greeted by an even stranger man. Her boat in shambles, she quickly learns that the only boat to be found has been taken apart into 8 pieces, one of which can be found in each of the island’s wacky dungeons. Because…of course, it is. The point of a game like this isn’t necessarily the story as it is the experience, the puzzle-solving, and the accumulation of heart-pieces and weapon upgrades. This game doesn’t pretend to be something that it isn’t, and it has fun with being what it is.
Nowhere is the humor more on display than in the game’s dungeons, which range from a weird art gallery/exhibit to some guy’s flooded basement filled with shark people — flooded because he left his sink on. The game doesn’t boast a huge time commitment either, as I breezed through three dungeons in about an hour one evening. That isn’t to say the game is shallow…there’s plenty of side quests for the completionist.
The weird and wacky abound, and as you progress through your travels, you’ll come across these artistic standees that are designed with no other purpose than a photo opp (see below).
Ittle and Tippsie are shipwrecked on an island, where they must brave the monsters and crazy dungeons to compile a new raft and sail away to home and safety.
The controls are pretty straight forward here, with each of the face buttons controlling a different move/attack and the shoulder buttons used to roll/evade.
The art style is humorous, but adequately so. I appreciate the cell-shaded look over a throwback 8-bit graphic style (or 16-bit) that they easily could have chosen.
Why you should play it:
I love a good indy game, and I love the way that most try to recreate the feel of a classic game with adding modern sensibilities. This game does that at the highest degree. The humor here is a very welcome addition, and the gameplay is both challenging and accessible. If you’re looking for a game to make you feel like a kid again this holiday season, this is a good place to start.
Let us know what you think of Ittle Dew 2 in the comments section below!