Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Fancy Pants Adventure: World 2

In case the name didn't tip you off, The Fancy Pants Adventure: World 2 is a sequel to The Fancy Pants Adventures (review here). By and large the game engine is the same, and the whimsical sense of humor very much intact, but World 2 adds a few features to add a little more flavor to the game.

In case you're too lazy to click on the link and read about the first one, World 2, like its predecessor, is a charmingly hand-drawn platformer. It adheres to pretty much your standard Mario platformer conventions (even down to Fancy Pants Man falling asleep if you sit idle at the keyboard too long), but its well-crafted levels and general cheerfulness more than compensate for any familiarity in the basic gameplay principles.

World 2 adds a few additional features. First of all, it's longer, with six levels, plus transitional levels between and a small introductory scene at the beginning. (Alas, there's still no level indicator.) A skeletal plotline has been added; there's not much to it, but it's cute, and it's definitely a nice addition, given that the original had no plotline at all. There's still a bunch of hidden trophies (none of them particularly hard to find, but each requiring you to go at least a little bit out of your way). More music has also been added; the new music provides welcome variety but is also excellent, so this is a quality addition. Also, the backgrounds have been spiced up, with lots of cute little tidbits hidden in the background of many levels, amking the game much less static. Furthermore, a whole new side game has been added: in addition to the normal progress of the level, each level now has a snail shell and a hole somewhere in the level; knocking the snail shell into the hole will grant you a new color for your pants! This is kind of a neat little addition, though as a game, it can be extremely frustrating getting the shell to go where you want it to go.

Anyway, this is still a very entertaining and charming game, and I can't imagine anyone not enjoying it. While the snail shell may not be a great addition, the basic gameplay is still wonderful. Like its predecessor, it's not a terribly long, nor a terribly difficult game; it's best enjoyed as a simple, well-crafted morsel.

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