Ittle Dew 2 is the sequel to Ittle Dew, a game that the company Ludosity also created in 2013. It's a top-down, almost Zelda-like game, that follows two characters, Ittle and Tippsie, as they land on an island and must craft a raft in order to escape. The opening begins as the two characters sit miserably bored on their raft, and then crash land onto the new island. After you wake up and realize your are stuck, and that your raft has been destroyed (while sitting in a tiny pond), you meet the island caretaker who warns you to just start swimming away. His words go ignored though, and you receive a map of the island, where in you'll learn that there's 8 pieces of a raft located throughout different dungeons. Instead of simply cutting down some trees, you decide the best adventure would be found in exploring and retrieving.
After the introduction scene ends, and you are given all you need to set forth on your raft collecting journey, you have the option of where to go first. It's completely open without any linear path, and you can track down the first seven raft pieces in any order you wish, but skipping the recommended order will mean some slightly more difficult enemies and puzzles. Initially, you'll only be equipped with a stick, but in time will have one tool or weapon for each of the face buttons, to total 4 items. Things like dynamite and a magical staff that will double as weapons and puzzle solving tools. As you find them again throughout the dungeons, they'll level up in tiers, making them even stronger. Combat plays out in a tricky manner. 5 hearts will be where you start regarding health, but this too can be upgraded in time.
They will quickly deplete though since you won't gain any temporary invincibility after being hit by an enemy's attack, meaning one unlucky encounter could deplete you of more than one heart. If you're already short on health, or you're extremely unlucky, you'll find death to be a more than common consequence. One trick you'll have to use to your advantage is the roll. A very simple, yet very effective defense, rolling will give you that temporary invincibility that you so desperately need at times. You can roll under nearly anything that could cause damage to you and it puts a good space between you and your enemy. Just as everything else, your roll will be upgraded the more you play. When you clear a whole area of enemies, exiting and entering again will cause them to respawn which is incredibly annoying, especially if they already knocked you down quite a bit in health. I often found myself just running and rolling past them unless it was important to a puzzle or something similar.
Talk to whoever you want and assist them as you deem fit. The characters will usually reveal locations of secret dungeons that, with a little work, can then be explored and conquered. It'll increase gameplay time and offer some more crazy puzzles to solve; well worth located all of them to get the most out of the game. Puzzles come in the form of hitting all the crystals, pressurized plates, moving blocks around, or flat out surviving a massive amount of attacks from numerous enemies (Sometimes a bit of both). In the beginning, the puzzles feel slightly too simple or easy to solve, but in time you'll come across a few head scratchers that will make you pause for a minute or two, or simply make you back out of the room and re-enter for a fresh start. The game finds a good balance for everything, and will challenge you enough to make beating it feel pretty rewarding.
Presentation and Performance
Presented in a top-down view, the game makes a big jump from its predecessor. It keeps the squiggly outlines and colorful shadings of everything that made the first one light-hearted in appearance, but upgrades it to better the experience. The developers did a great job as the game feels like a world of it's own. Graphically, it feels almost like a tribute to a Zelda game, but adds some of it's own unique enemies and effects. The draw effect look is less extreme in this one than in the first one, which makes everything feel cleaner and defined. As you explore the dungeons and environments, you'll come across unique appearances in the environment but they'll all keep the general description similar (trees, defined pathways, grass, building structures, etc). Performance-wise, the game ran as smooth as anyone could hope or expect from a game. I experienced no bugs or glitches while playing. If there was any, they must have been so insignificant that I didn't notice. It's not an overwhelmingly complex game, but it's appreciated to know it'll run smoothly.
Ittle Dew 2 provides players a good Zelda-like action adventure that will test you with puzzles and combat scenarios. The puzzles bring progressively more challenges and encourage you to think more, but never feel impossible. It's a healthy balance between the two. With so many dungeons to explore, people to talk to, enemies to fight, players can expect several hours of gameplay from this, and even more if you're attempting to complete everything in the game fully. Everything it attempts to do is done very well. The presentation and performance was excellent with little to no issues throughout.
|+ Open world for exploration and non-linear play||– Enemies can/will get the best of you at times|
|+ Excellent performance||– Enemy respawn once re-entering an area|
|+ Light-hearted design and story|