Published on July 17th, 2014 | by octaneblue0
Review: Ittle Dew
Platform(s): PC/Mac (Steam), Ouya, Wii U eShop
Release Date(s): July 5, 2013 (Ouya/PC), July 24, 2013 (Steam), November 1, 2013 (iOS/Android), May 29, 2014 (Wii U eShop)
The Legend of Zelda has inspired countless titles over the last few decades. Ittle Dew by Ludosity takes a lot of inspiration from Zelda, but focuses more on the puzzle elements, with quite a bit of humor added in as well. If you’re looking for a fun adventure to go through, then Ittle Dew might just be for you! Read on for the full review!
The titular heroine and her pal Tippsie end up on an island filled with gold and treasures. As adventurers, how could they not explore the island and grab all of the goodies hidden about? The main map of the game is quite large. You’ll be able to explore a decent amount of it, but certain areas are blocked off and are obviously only accessible as you progress through the game. Some areas require pieces of equipment that are bought in the game’s shop. And to earn gold, you’ll have to progress through the castle. Throughout the game, you’ll return to a gigantic castle, and you’ll be able to progress further into it once you get new pieces of equipment. But besides this castle, there are some other dungeon-like areas too. But the castle is where you’ll be spending most of your time in the game.
As previously stated, Ittle Dew features a big emphasis on puzzle solving. Whether intentional or not, the game also seems to take inspiration from Capcom’s Goof Troop game on the SNES. Like that game, the puzzles in Ittle Dew are primarily block-based, featuring puzzles that require sliding blocks in rooms that activate switches so you can move onto the next one. Some of the puzzles, especially early on, won’t require too much thought. But later on in the game, there are some puzzles that will require plenty of trial-and-error moments to finally solve. And it’s very rewarding to solve a lot of these puzzles too; some of them are optional, located in certain parts of the main overworld. The chests from the optional puzzles tend to yield treasures such as collectible trading cards, which have pictures and info on various enemies in the game, as well as pieces of paper. A piece of paper would generally be useless, but in Ittle Dew, these are very valuable; collecting four pieces of paper extends your heart meter by one.
Some puzzles will require equipment found later in the game. Initially, Ittle Dew is armed only with a stick, but you’ll eventually find equipment such as a fire sword and a portal wand. And what’s great is that every single piece of equipment is used frequently in the game, and sometimes even in tandem with one another during some of the more complicated puzzle segments later in the game. If you get stuck, Tippsie is available for some small hints, but sometimes you’ll only find out what equipment is necessary to solve the room’s puzzle, so hints generally aren’t too blatant. At certain points in the dungeon areas, you’ll come across boss fights. They’re not like in Zelda where some bosses can be defeated with brute force; interestingly enough, the boss fights here are practically puzzles themselves.
While the puzzles are certainly fun and interesting, the combat is unfortunately not the game’s strong point. If you’re used to the Zelda games, particularly the modern ones, Link can swipe his sword and defeat enemies at a pretty decent range. Ittle Dew, however, must be very close to an enemy to attack it. And since most enemies are constantly on the move, it’s fairly easy to get hit from them walking into you as you’re trying to attack. In that sense, the combat kind of resembles the first Legend of Zelda. Since you only start out with one heart, sometimes it may be best to just avoid enemies altogether, unless they’re required to defeat as part of a puzzle. But later on in the game, you’ll thankfully unlock new equipment that makes fighting enemies way easier.
As you can tell from the trailer and screenshots here, Ittle Dew has a very unique look to it. The whole game has a hand drawn, cartoony visual style, it’s just nice to look at overall. The art style has plenty of charm. You’ll definitely notice the sometimes goofy expressions given off by the characters during the close-up conversation sections of the game. In addition to the eye-pleasing visuals, the game has a fantastic soundtrack. All the music tracks have a fun, cheery vibe. It’s hard to get some of these songs out of your head, they’re very catchy.
An average playthrough will take between 3-4 hours in a regular run. However, if one is going for 100%, which includes finding all of the collectibles in the optional treasure chests (meaning you’ll have to go through some of the more difficult, time-consuming puzzles), it will obviously take longer than that. What’s interesting is that Ittle Dew was developed with speedrunning in mind, and it’s definitely possible to run through this game in a fraction of the average time if you’ve memorized all of the mandatory puzzles. A timer display option is included for anyone interested in speedruns.
It’s worth noting that the initial release of the Wii U eShop version has a few technical problems, at least as of this writing. While the game supports Off-TV Play (and it looks nice on the GamePad too), no sound plays while you’re in this mode. Ludosity noted that a patch for this is on the way, but that was a surprising oversight. Another issue is that when you move from one area to another, sometimes the game will just go completely still during the loading/transition period. It’s very distracting, and hopefully that will be patched as well.
If you’re into games like The Legend of Zelda and want to wander off from Hyrule at least for a few hours, Ittle Dew is worth checking out. The game has plenty of puzzles, as well as a unique, charming art style and an entertaining soundtrack. In addition to the Wii U, Ittle Dew also available on multiple other platforms.
+ Charming art style
+ Plenty of puzzles
+ Catchy soundtrack
– Combat could be better
– A bit on the short side