Seeking to grow upon their first attempt at a puzzle adventure game, Swedish developers Ludosity have teamed up with Nicalis to bring Ittle Dew 2 to Xbox One . Inspired by classic top down adventure titles such as The Legend of Zelda, Ludosity hopes to rekindle the excitement and wonder of exploring a large 3D world but with their own take on style and humor. Is Ittle Dew 2 worth adventuring into? Read our review below to find out..
Ittle Dew 2 begins with our protagonist, Ittle, and her cynical flying fox sidekick, Tippsie, crashing their raft and washing ashore a mysterious island filled with loot and puzzles. In order to leave the island, Ittle and Tippsie must steal 8 raft pieces from dungeons located in oddly improbably locations around the island including an art exhibit and some guy’s basement.
While the player receives a magic map upon arriving on the island, Ittle Dew 2 leaves it with very little value. There’s quite a bit of trial and error involved in learning to navigate and using the map effectively due to the lack of a legend or key to guide the player, but this is really what Ittle Dew 2 wants to see happen, anyway. Even the ‘fast travel’ system of warps scattered around the island are not labeled, making it a bit difficult to land in the location the player is actually attempting to fast travel to. There’s an overwhelming emphasis on simply exploring the world and stumbling upon the treasures it holds as a happy accident. This is encouraged even more so by the fact that 7 of the 8 dungeons can be tackled in any order that the player chooses, and likewise can be tackled using nothing more than the stick that Ittle starts off with.
While Ittle can find all 8 raft pieces and complete the game using nothing more than her stick, that doesn’t mean that the stick is her only option. Hidden within the various dungeons are additional tools that can help Ittle with her adventuring, including a flaming sword, magic wand, and dynamite. These items not only help Ittle to defeat some of the more heavily shielded (and considerably frustrating) enemies but to also complete puzzles that lead to even more loot. Or more puzzles, as the case may sometimes be. While there are only 4 weapons available in Ittle Dew 2, the developers take advantage of hiding those same weapons throughout various locations. Finding a duplicate of a weapon Ittle already owns levels that item up so it does more damage.
Ittle Dew 2 makes a conscious effort to ramp up the content that was found to be lacking in its predecessor. Each dungeon contains multiple paths to the exit, some of which may not be accessible with Ittle’s current stash of loot. So while it is possible to complete the game using only the stick, it’s inadvisable to actually do so as the player would miss out on a large portion of the exploration that the dungeons of Ittle Dew 2 has to offer. Exploring the dungeons in order also means an inability to explore every aspect, but this is reconciled with the ability to go back and replay dungeons at your leisure in order to explore what you may have missed the first, second, or even third time around.
The majority of the rooms in Ittle Dew 2’s dungeons contain a puzzle. Some are as simple as standing on a switch plate or whacking a crystal with Ittle’s stick to open a door. Others are much more difficult, requiring the player to push around blocks or avoid traps. The puzzles are usually straight forward, however, and the player can receive a hint on how to unlock any door or chest simply by hitting it. Each dungeon also contains one room with a boss battle. The fact that the bosses can be beaten with a stick speaks monuments to their difficulty (or lack there of.)
Ittle Dew 2 is incredibly self aware, and at no point is the the story taken too seriously. Ittle and Tippsie frequently make quips and jabs at the ‘adventure’ genre, right down to Tippsie’s penchant for slipping “health potions” when Ittle isn’t looking. This makes Ittle Dew 2 as much of a parody of the genre as it is an enjoyable experience of it. That map, though, could really use a legend.