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Review: Ittle DewLudosity Steam indie GOG Ittle Dew
The Legend of Zelda started something big when the game first graced Nintendo Entertainment System/Famicom in the 80s. The template designed by this action-adventure game with a top down perspective was loved by players everywhere and, as we all know, the series persists to this day. Of course, things have changed since then. Since then we’ve seen a handful of games attempt to rekindle Zelda’s old flame, to varying degrees of success. Ittle Dew is the latest indie to try and utilize Zelda trappings in a more entertaining way.
Without playing the game, it might be easy to write off Ittle Dew as nothing but a Zelda clone. After all, checking out the screenshots reveals much the same top down colorful dungeons to explore. And that's the point! Ittle Dew is very much riffing off the existing formula that many of us are well aware of. Instead of using pixelated graphics though we’ve got some really cute hand drawn-style art to accompany the world. Everything is bright and cartoony just as we may have imagined when playing the blockier The Legend of Zelda.
It might seem unfair to compare an indie game to a classic but when they are purposefully attempting to connect to the game it seems fair. In any case, much of the gameplay is focused around pushing blocks, flipping switches, and a few other puzzle types to open up new doorways. Block pushing is the main feature though as you’ve usually got to get blocks onto pressure plates or other specific spots. These puzzles start off relatively simple and amp up in difficulty as players go along.
Although you may consider yourself a puzzle powerhouse, you’ll still have to wait until buying at least two items from the shop before tackling them all. Dungeon rooms sometimes require one or more of these special weapons and you’re effectively locked out until they are purchased. The items include a fire sword, portal wand, and ice wand. And although the game says you can beat it with using only two, it seems much easier to do it with all three. Of course, to buy them players still need to find some amount of gold in the dungeons beforehand.
On one hand, Ittle Dew is designed to be accommodating to all ages and skill levels. Hint-giver Tippsie is always available to ask for help. Unfortunately, Tippsie does not give hints in every puzzle room (unless you’re in a room that cannot currently be completed). On the plus side, hints are always available with solutions to boss battles. There is also a feature to quickly reset a puzzle room in case you’ve destroyed all your bombs or pushed blocks into the wrong alignment.
The negative side of the game is simply that most puzzles reset when you leave the room. This does make sense but caused a lot of issues for me. Perhaps it was due to being raised with games that allow you free roaming back and forth, but it was quite annoying. One instant I would get fussed with a puzzle and try to backtrack, only to see the previous path was now blocked due to the puzzle resetting. The only way to proceed was to figure out those puzzles that were vexing me! It’s not the worst thing, but certainly a little annoyance that grew more annoying the longer I played.
Unlike its inspiration, Ittle Dew is a very short experience overall. Beating the game requires around 2 to 4 hours of your time (even if there’s an achievement for finishing it in 15 minutes!). After this, you are free to go back and try and fully explore dungeons and collect all in-game trading cards. Just so you know, this means trading cards within the world of the game and not Steam Trading Cards - although it has those too!
After touching on the gameplay and visual aesthetic, there’s still one topic to discuss, and that is the humor of the game. This is the main selling point (aside from art) that it offers to potential buyers. Good jokes are pretty hard to do in games but you’ll at least get a chuckle out of various moments. Tippsie in particular is amusing, as his name also seems to play off his habit to swig potions behind Ittle’s back. Overall, you won’t be laughing your head off but it’s still a cute little game.
Ittle Dew is best described as a cute and briefer Zelda adventure. With a host of easy to difficult puzzles, boss battles, and various amusing enemies you’ll likely find something to like while playing. However, there’s not too much depth here beyond solving every puzzle to get to all the cards. Play Ittle Dew if you have any affinity for classic Zelda games and you’ll have a pleasant few hours.
+ Cute art and designs
+ Good deal of puzzles
+ Collectible cards to search for add length to game
- There aren’t hints for every tough room!
- Resetting puzzle rooms can keep you from “quitting” a current puzzle
Overall Score: 7.0 (out of 10)
Ittle Dew is a mostly fun little adventure that should bring a smile to the face of many gamers.
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