When I was about 11 or 12, I was deep into flash games. This interest led me to Armor Games’ website, and eventually to a game called Super Adventure Pals. I had played my fair share of flash games before this, but none quite like this one. The art style was adorable, the premise was absurd, the gameplay was smooth, and the humor included is similar to that of SpongeBob, such that there are more mature jokes but they are subtle enough to go over any child’s head. The whole premise of the game is that an evil genius named Mr. B kidnapped your pet rock, and you have to get him back. You travel through three worlds, meet strange characters such as an old man in a speedo, a homeless snowman, a mayor of an arctic town which has run out of ice, and a penguin couple looking to adopt a child. If you have not played this game, I could not recommend it enough. It still goes down as my favorite flash game, and, as I said earlier, I have played many.
After a while, the creators of Super Adventure Pals realized just how much attention their ridiculous game had gotten, so they started up a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a full version of the game for Steam. It eventually met its goal and development was started. During the Steam Summer Sale, I was searching for games to buy when that game popped into my head again. I looked it up, and sure enough there it was: The Adventure Pals ($14.99 $9.98). Obviously, I went for it and it was the best purchase I made during that sale. Better than buying Super Meat Boy for $1.49.
The premise of this game was essentially that Mr. B (who now rides on a mechanical bee) kidnapped your parents and is going to turn them into hot dogs for his hot dog army, and you have to stop them by traversing the game’s five worlds and defeating Mr. B once and for all. Clearly, the premise stayed ridiculous. After playing through the game, I must say, I did not regret that purchase. It had its fair share of faults, but overall it was a very good game and I would recommend it to anybody, especially those who played the original version and loved it as much as I did.
- It kept the spirit of the old game. This was something that I was deeply worried about. I knew it was made by the same people, but I didn’t know if they would have the same absurd elements that really took the original game from good to great, but they did. Everything in this game is sentient, the lighthouse where you live, your backpack, all of the collectibles, everything. And, of course, the animation is still adorable. There are sections where you will put Mr. Rock on a tiny bee and fly through courses to turn on switches, and it is one of the most adorable things I have ever seen. When you bump into a wall, the bee honks, kind of like a really tiny dog toy. It truly brought a tear to my eye.
- Better replayability. One of the things that really appealed to me was the replayablility factor to this game. For one thing, you have many opportunities to make choices. Some are minor, like what kind of underwear your whale friend will wear, but others are more significant, like who will rule Ubertown, Lady Pancake of the toast people, or the King of the dinosaurs? On top of that, there are collectibles in every level, unlike the first game. In each level you can find one sticker pack and five cupcakes. You can turn in the cupcakes to the Cupcake King (a fat cat) and get back cosmetics for your character and Mr. Rock. There is one where you can make Mr. Rock look like a penguin, and it is almost as adorable as him riding a bee.
- Better gameplay. In the first game, the gameplay was really smooth. It felt satisfying when you were fighting enemies, and it wasn’t too difficult, either. In the Steam version, however, they took that to a whole new level. The sounds that your sword makes when it hits enemies are satisfying to say the least. The feeling you get when you collect EXP and level up is fulfilling (the level-up sound in this game makes me feel things). The leveling system is also better. In the first game, you had to choose whether you wanted more attack power or more health. In this one, it automatically does both, and when you level up you get to choose an ability. These abilities vary from getting more loot in chests, to having Mr. Rock deflect arrows and support you in combat. It added a whole other dimension to the leveling system, and that was a very good idea on the devs’ part.
- The maximum level is too low. I was in world three when I hit max level. For a second I felt achieved, and then I took a second and thought, “Wait, that’s it?” If you play the way I did, where I got all collectibles, killed all the enemies, etc., then prepare to be quite disappointed when you get to the top so quickly.
- The title screen music. I know this is kind of insignificant and nitpicky, but I really wish they had kept the original title screen soundtrack. The new one they chose was not as good, and it didn’t have the same epic and adventurous feeling as the original. It also would have greatly raised the already high nostalgia factor.
- Spelling errors. While there weren’t many, every now and then I would see a couple grammatical and spelling errors. This is also a bit nitpicky, but the game was in development for years. Couldn’t they have at least run spell check?
In the end, the game was fantastic. I was constantly filled with nostalgia and happiness while playing it, and constantly engaged, but there were downsides which can’t be ignored. I would rate this game 4.6/5. The main thing that really did it for me was the leveling. If not for that it would be almost a perfect score.
So, if you are thinking about checking the game out for yourself, I highly recommend it. I certainly had a lot of fun with it.
This blog was submitted by Dominic Torre, a high school student and youth volunteer with Youth Volunteer Corps of Kansas City.