There’s been a push these days to turn games into vehicles for messages. Me? I’m more interested in fun. Lots of fun. Saccharine candy-sweet fun that makes my teeth rot and fall out. How fortunate, then, that there are games that aren’t remotely interested in teaching anything or imparting any sort of message! Adventure Pals, for instance, is all about the wonders of having your own pet giraffe instead of something dumb like the existential dread associated with war. I couldn’t wait to play it and I know you can’t either.
It’s your birthday! Hooray! What’s more, you’ve gotten the greatest gift any kid could want: your very own giraffe! Yes, you and Sparkles are going to be the best of friends. That’s a good thing, too, because there’s a baddie trying to turn every old person in the world into hot dogs. Not only is that gross, it includes your grandfather! Better get to work saving all the seniors before the nursing home fields go fallow.
You’ll do that by engaging in fairly simple and straightforward platforming. Push a button to jump, push another to slash with a sword, use items like bombs with another still, get from one end of the level to the other and don’t die. Upgrade your character as you go with levels and money and you’ll be in good shape! It’s all got a classic Flash game feel, bringing to mind the classic days a decade or so ago when we got to play games like this on Kongregate for free. Oh well: Adventure Pals is still a pretty solid game thanks to its snappy controls and significant number of hidden collectibles.
It’s a very cute and endearing game – just watch how you fly around using Sparkles’ tongue and you’re bound to fall in love. There was clearly some degree of affection built into this one, given how it looks and sounds much better than the average indie platforming shovel–er, labor of love. Adventure Pals’ presentation is, really, better than it has any right to be, and in turn that helps spice up a game that really feels like it came from 2007 or so. You’ve even got the option of co-op play if you’re into that kind of thing!
If you miss the classic days of gaming on Nitrome and other similar Flash game portals – and really, who doesn’t? – Adventure Pals just might be for you. It’s absolutely adorable and would ever so much prefer if you’d like it. Give it a shot. You just might. Who wouldn’t want their own giraffe, after all?