One of the first things you’ll notice about Ittle Dew 2+ is that it wears its inspirations like a big and bright badge of honour, with the game clearly inspired by Nintendo’s famed Legend of Zelda series in almost all facets of its design. Whilst lots of games have tried to take a few pages out of Nintendo’s book as far as their adventures are concerned though, few manage to replicate it in as charming and entertaining a way that Ittle Dew 2+ does. Believe me, it offers one heck of a fun adventure that fans of Link’s previous escapades are certain to enjoy.
Ittle Dew 2+’s tale sees protagonists Ittle and Tippsee end up stranded on an island after their raft breaks apart, with the only means to leave being to gather eight pieces of raft from the dungeons that are scattered across their somewhat dangerous environment. These dungeons are pretty unusual though and include the likes of a sand castle, a trash cave, a grand library and… uh… someone’s basement.
So yeah, Ittle Dew 2+ certainly doesn’t take itself TOO seriously as far as its narrative is concerned, though that doesn’t mean you won’t find yourself invested in it. In fact, I found myself interacting with each and every inhabitant I encountered on the island; not only to find out more about the world and its lore, but also to hear the witty and cutting remarks they make. Believe me, Ittle Dew 2+’s characters have got a heck of a lot more spunk than some of Hyrule’s citizens, so chatting with them always brought a smile to my face.
It’s with the gameplay where Ittle Dew 2+ shares most of its similarities with the Legend of Zelda series, with the player able to explore a large open world, beat up baddies with simple action-orientated combat mechanics, and then tackle the many dungeons that can be found – you can do these in any order like, so it does change the formula up a little there. There are plenty of secrets to find along the way too, with mysterious cave-challenges aplenty as well as an assortment of different landmarks to uncover. There’s a whole lot of freedom given to the player in how they approach the game and it just makes the world all the more enjoyable to explore.
The dungeons are the highlight of the experience though and, again, they’ll be familiar to anyone who has played one of the 2D-style Legend of Zelda games before. You’ll tackle an assortment of rooms as you progress through each dungeon, with each full of enemies for you to take down or puzzles to complete. These puzzles are all very creative in design and will certainly leave some players scratching their heads, whilst new mechanics are introduced in each dungeon that ensures there’s variety to be found across them all – this means getting new tools to use too, which can be useful when exploring the world map.
All of the dungeons are fun to complete and each brings with them an epic boss to beat at the end, with the nastier baddies offering tougher but still enjoyable showdowns. It was a little bit disappointing that some of the same bosses were re-used in places, but it didn’t stop me from appreciating taking them on. There are five additional dungeons included since this is the ‘plus’ version of Ittle Dew 2 too, so players who experienced the original on the PC have something extra to dig into.
There’s a whole lot of cutesy appeal to Ittle Dew 2+ (seeing enemies burst into confetti when defeated is proof of this), but it can still provide a stern test. I actually found myself stumped on some of the dungeon’s puzzles for some time, whilst some of the boss battles will really put your skills to the test. Admittedly, the battling of Ittle Dew 2+ could be a bit button-mashy against standard enemies, but you’ll need your wits about you when facing off against its nastier foes. It’s hard to complain too much though, with the neat blend of exploration, puzzle-solving, and combat making for a really enjoyable time.
And those cartoon-like visuals? I love them to bits. There’s something so whimsical and almost child-like about the way that Ittle Dew 2+ is presented, whilst the comical dungeon locales show that the game isn’t afraid to embrace an imaginative and silly line of thinking. It all helps make the world feel really jolly to explore though, and it was easy to find myself completely absorbed into its charming aesthetic.
Ittle Dew 2+ offers a whimsical and enjoyable adventure that’s packed to the brim with character and charm. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring its jolly world, whilst the puzzle-fuelled dungeons and neat boss encounters offered a stern test on my journey to fix up my raft.
Whether you’re a fan of the Legend of Zelda series or just want to partake in a fun-filled escapade across a colourful world, you will REALLY want to check Ittle Dew 2+ out.
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC