You could make a case that the retro-style indie game is turning into an overused cliché, but The Adventures of Pip goes beyond appearances and crafts a clever story out of its style. The game’s opening looks like a pixelated storybook, telling the tale of a tiny kingdom where the hierarchy is determined by pixel count. The kingdom’s royals are all 32-bit sprites, while the peasantry can only afford to be lower resolutions. One day a princess was born with the power to create pixels out of nothing, but on her 16th birthday she was kidnapped by the Skeleton Queen.
The demo, which was playable at PAX South, took me through the opening level of the game. Hero Pip begins as nothing more than a 1-bit red pixel, escaping his town as it’s attacked by the aforementioned evil queen. It looked like an extreme version of Thomas was Alone, as Pip jumped his way through a crumbling landscape as the world burned in the background. It’s a fun introduction, but nothing more than standard side-scrolling platformer gameplay. Boy, did that change quickly.