When the Nintendo Switch debuted earlier this year, it didn’t just bring a new way to game. It brought a new Legend of Zelda game to the franchise in the form of Breath of The Wild, completely revamping the legendary game series by taking it to the open world and letting players loose in the land of Hyrule. While the general consensus was that going in this new direction was the best possible decision, there were fans still yearning for the days of gameplay reminiscent of old-school Zelda games like A Link To The Past. We might never see another entry like that in the Zelda franchise but we do have Ittle Dew 2 Plus to satisfy our gaming hunger.
From Sweden-based developer Ludosity, Ittle Dew 2 is an action adventure game in the same vein as the old school Legend of Zelda games with a top-down perspective. You are placed in the shoes of the titular Ittle as she and her flying fox friend, Tippsie crash land on a magical island. They must traverse this mysterious place armed with a magical map, a stick and their wits to find seven dungeons. Defeating powerful enemies and solving tough puzzles along the way to find pieces to fix their raft. The story is not a reason to pick up this game as it’s very simple, containing none of the arching storylines or major character arcs found in most modern day video games. However, its writing is charming and witty enough to keep you engaged and wanting to see the quest through to the very end. Its gameplay is simple enough as it’s almost a mirror of the Zelda franchise with one button for attack, one for defense, and one more for magic. Incredibly easy to pick up and play, for newcomers and vets alike, and very hard to put down although it’s easy difficulty may deter players looking for a challenge.
Graphically, the game is beautiful with its cell-shaded graphics that give it the appearance of a comic book or cartoon. Each area of the overworld has its own aesthetic, including a desert area and a snow area, giving each biome its own unique look. No matter how you play it, whether on the living room tv or in handheld mode on the Nintendo Switch, the game looks fantastic. Colors are bright and vibrant, fitting the tone of the game perfectly and helping to capture what kind of world you’re in. Smoke and explosion effects look great as you defeat enemies as do the particle effects of torches or sparks from attacks. Not once over the course of my playthrough did I experience slowdown or frame drops, which is nice considering there were often more than a few effects going on at once.
Sound design is one of few strikes against the game as nothing really stands out. Going back to the Zelda comparison, one of the things many remember from those games is the soundtrack. Once you heard the Hyrule field theme for the first time in the very first Legend of Zelda, that song’s melody was stuck in your mind. It’s a big part of that game’s history as is anything else and Ittle Dew 2 lacks anything close to that. There is no main theme or hero’s ballad that you’ll keep humming long after you turn off the game. Even the in-game sound effects are generic for the most part, a shame considering the rest of the game is anything but bland.
If Ittle Dew 2 Plus looks like a run-of-the-mill Zelda clone on the surface, that’s because it is. It doesn’t advertise itself as anything more either, that’s what makes it fun and worth playing especially if you own a Nintendo Switch and crave the proper old school Zelda game that console currently lacks. The game features the same level of exploration as A Link to the Past. Every time you come across a new dungeon, you’ll find yourself searching it to see what new item you may find inside or what new treasure is hidden behind any puzzle you encounter. It’s hard to put down at times. You keep telling yourself “just one more dungeon” until you suddenly realize 20 minutes have turned into 2 hours.
If you have the chance to play Ittle Dew 2, take it. You won’t be disappointed with this simplistic but amazing adventure game.
Ittle Dew 2 is currently available for purchase on:
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