Ittle Dew is an action-adventure title in the mold of a 2D Zelda game – so much so that some elements are directly lifted from Link’s adventures! This is both a good thing and a bad one. Good in that Zelda games are brilliantly crafted experiences, but bad in that it necessitates comparisons I wouldn’t normally make. An indie game compared to a Nintendo made one may sound ridiculous, but Ittle Dew is such an homage that comparisons are unavoidable. Believe me, for better or worse this channels Zelda at every turn. Nonetheless the game fares quite well thankfully, and surprised both my wife and me with how enjoyable it was!
There isn’t much of a story with Ittle Dew. It’s an island adventure for adventures own sake, and we actually didn’t mind it. Dew is a spunky lead, her sidekick Tippsie is a welcome companion, and the other characters and enemies are colorful and memorable. The comical dialogue made us laugh out loud on more than a few occasions!
Ittle Dew places its priorities on dungeons. As someone who enjoys vast overworlds (exploring, finding secrets, and random battling). Personally, I would’ve liked a bit more attention paid to the surface. It’s still enjoyable in spite of its limits though, and the dungeons are very well designed with smart challenges and alternate ways to tackle them. The boss battles are fun, proving to be a big highlight. They’re clever, and offer a good challenge, with Tippsie on hand to provide optional hints should you desire them.
The puzzles are primarily the block varieties not dissimilar to those found in Zelda. They’re fun, but very numerous. I would’ve enjoyed seeing some new ideas to add variety, though my wife was content with what’s on hand. More variety would have been welcomed with the items too, of which there’s just three. This choice was deliberate however, and to be fair the tools are versatile in how they can be used. This design also helps separate Ittle Dew from Zelda in spite of all the similarities. These puzzles really make you think.
Visually Ittle Dew’s graphics are colorful, with a lively, well-defined art style (looking much better in motion than still shots) and humorous cut scenes. Off and on stuttering is the main graphical hiccup, which could prove to be an annoyance. On the audio end, the tracks are likable, but didn’t make a strong enough impact with us – they sound too subdued for an adventure game and more like puzzle tunes. No audio from the GamePad whatsoever is very unfortunate, and unacceptable!
Ittle Dew is short – the credits rolled for us at just over three hours. Collectables and a Master Cave add replayability, but the main quest is still brief. The length, coupled with some technical issues (including further reported bugs that we thankfully didn’t encounter) hold Ittle Dew back somewhat. But this is still a very good indie game, which the Gould family recommends to 2D Zelda fans especially. This brief review isn’t able to give this game enough credit, but hopefully it’ll do (thankfully my only bad pun). Ittle Dew is a short but sweet game! Download it today, have fun adventuring and solving puzzles with Dew and Tippsie, and hope for a sequel!