hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

The Fancy Pants Adventures

Review: The Fancy Pants Adventures (iOS)

2:00 PM on 03.28.2012 // Tony Ponce
  @megaStryke

Last April, the popular Flash platforming series The Fancy Pants Adventures received a home console installment for XBLA and PSN. For some reason, despite our hyping said game extensively, no one at Destructoid ever actually reviewed it. The people gotta know, man! The people gotta knoooooow!

Just over ten months later, the console version has been ported to iOS devices. Aside from the absence of the multiplayer modes, the two are pretty much identical. So I guess now would be as good a time as any to do a proper review, right?

The Fancy Pants Adventures (iPhone, iPad -- universal app)
Developer: Borne Games, Over the Top Games
Publisher: Chillingo
Released: March 1, 2012
MSRP: $0.99

The Fancy Pants Adventures is the kind of game Sonic the Hedgehog wishes it could be again -- a solid, momentum-based, 2D platformer that offers players the option of blazing through a level with style and finesse or slowing down and mining for secrets. Every stage is a playground replete with rolling hills, half-pipes, quarter-pipes, springs, scalable walls, and tons of collectible baubles called Squiggles, and you dispose of enemies by hopping on their noggin or rolling into them. Plus, there are no insufferable sidekicks or on-rails nonsense.

Depending on how fast you are running and which direction button you holding after you launch off a ramp, you can reach any number of distances and elevations -- getting to that gold star or bonus door often requires a few attempts to find that "sweet spot." Once airborne, you have just the slightest freedom over course correction, guided as you are by momentum yet allowed just enough control. It's easy to get frustrated in the beginning, but little by little, you learn to master the game's nuances.

Still, you aren't completely bound by physics. Some slopes grow steeper and steeper until you are running up a vertical wall, then the surface curves even more and you are running along the ceiling as though you are wearing magnetic boots. You can even slide across the surface of water for short periods of time. These stylish sections are fun rewards after a particularly harrowing obstacle, yet the game thankfully never devolves into a roller coaster ride that places style over practicality.

This style extends to the ambience as well. Your hero, Fancy Pants Man, rocks a bitchin' pair of flare pants; over the course of the game, you can collect over 140 items for avatar customization, including even more outrageous pants, hats, hairstyles, and goofy weapons like a giant fork or a dead parrot. The environment itself is rendered as the kind of doodles that a middle schooler would squeeze in the corner of his or her notebook, while the soundtrack is a nice mix of chill tunes and surf rock jams. It's all, like, very mellow, man.

I mentioned already that you can breeze through levels quickly, but you can greatly extend your play time by shooting for 100% completion. In addition to collecting all the Squiggles and stars in a stage, you can also find hidden challenge rooms, where you are tasked with completing a race within a time limit, racking points in parkour-like events, or collecting a number of a certain item. These challenges are the hardest parts of the game and often demand several retries, but it's the kind of difficulty that makes you feel all warm and gooey inside once you've succeeded.

The story mode, in which you must stop a band of pirates from making your sister their new pirate princess, consists of 11 levels. Beyond that, you can play slightly updated versions of "World 1" and "World 2," the original two Flash games. Then there is the Fancy Arcade, in which you can go for the gold by attempting several challenges from the the main game with stricter requirements, in addition to several new challenges. Add that to the oodles of unlockable costume items, and you've got a hefty adventure with hours of content.

But not all is gravy in The Fancy Pants Adventures. Swimming segments are a chore -- controls are extra sensitive underwater, so it's difficult to make just the slightest of turns without veering wildly off in different direction. Then there is your weapon, which you don't acquire until late in the game. It's cool to see FPM swinging his pencil / wooden sword / lightsaber / whatever-the-hell-custom-skin-you've-applied like a little ninja, but it's only really useful against very few enemies (i.e., other ninjas). Most baddies are better dispatched using the same stomping or rolling techniques you've been using since the beginning.

Worst of all (and this ought to come as no surprise) are the touch controls -- the left and right buttons especially give me no small amount of heartache. If my thumb is placed slightly on the left edge of the right button, it's registered as a "left." If I try to overcompensate and reach further out to the right, nothing is registered at all. From the moment I started playing to the moment I finished, I would frequently find myself in a situation where I meant to go right but wound up going the other way. Not even the colored pencil doodles and smooth guitar riffs can cool my rage when I'm forced yet again to climb back up a set of platforms because I missed the game's improperly sized and placed hitboxes.

The hitbox issues aren't limited to play controls, either. Text links as well as the arrows and buttons in the Fancy Arcade are so damn tiny that I wonder if this game was made for the dude with the tiny hands in that one Burger King commercial. My fingers and thumbs aren't that fat. There's no reason why I should be jamming the screen repeatedly because an arrow is the size of a pinprick. Maybe this isn't an issue on an iPad, but on an iPhone, an otherwise wonderful game is marred because I am not Salad Fingers.

Still, this iOS port is just as beefy as its console counterpart, only it's a full $9 cheaper. The multiplayer modes were sacrificed, but this is a single-player game first and foremost, anyway. If you consider yourself a patient player, hop aboard the Apple caboose and get all fancy and stuff.

Ultimately, The Fancy Pants Adventures is a chill, stylish platformer that is both fulfilling and satisfying... when its touch controls aren't giving you the business. If you can get over that really, really, really obstinate roadblock, you'll be just dandy.



THE VERDICT

7

The Fancy Pants Adventures - Reviewed by Tony Ponce
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Tony Ponce, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure megaStryke Tips
(Decommissioned) Super Fighting Robot more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Xbone journey continues! I thought I would like Dead Rising 3 well enough as a huge fan of 1/2, but I must say I find it's emphasis on hard drama laughable and the game fundamentally disingenuine. Guess I'm moving on to Forza Horizon 2.
TheDefenestrator avatarTheDefenestrator
I dig the feature in Until Dawn where, if you have the Playstation camera, it will record you briefly during jump scares for you to watch later. It's a really neat use of an underused peripheral. Too bad I'm dead inside and never react to them.
Shinta avatarShinta
[img]http://i.imgur.com/oZ7CQJa.jpg[/img]
nanashi avatarnanashi
Fallout Shelter: Impossible to Learn, Easy to Master.
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Not saying this is the case, but Kojima has gone on record as being a huge Mad Max: Fury Road fan. Konami decided to release MGSV on the same day as Mad Max TVG. They're trying piss on Kojima's lawn, man.
ooktar avatarooktar
Downloading Phantom Pain. ETA, 16 hours. Just in time for lunch tomorrow.
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
OH WOW. Talk about a complete about face. After slogging through the horrid beginning and slow ass swap sequence this game picked up exponentially. So far, I'm enjoying the hell out of it now. All if forgiven. Thank you based Kojima.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
Oh, joyful night. [youtube]https://youtu.be/6EfhAFA2yFE[/youtube]
techsupport avatartechsupport
After a summer of on-and-off casual play, I've finally reached lv. 34 in Destiny :')
nanashi avatarnanashi
also Fallout Shelter just made me utter this: "I have to get these pregnancies done.." life is trivial in this game!
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
Let it be known that Metal Gear 2 for MXS has aged horribly and is no fun to play. In the midst of a MGS marathon, looks like I'm skipping ahead to MGS.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
"Available: 31 August - This game will unlock in approximately 2 hours" HOLY SHIET! [youtube]https://youtu.be/9jK-NcRmVcw[/youtube]
nanashi avatarnanashi
-nudge nudge- hey Sony, discount Ys: I and II Chronicles and Ys: Seven on the PSP :D
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Just out of curiosity, does anybody here still play Mario Kart 8 at all frequently?
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Neighbors ended up calling the cops. I hid under a cardboard box. Police officers were perplexed but went back to their patrol routes after a minute or so.
techsupport avatartechsupport
!a new MGS: Ground Zeroes update file auto dl'd and installed..the day prior to MGSV... hmm.. coincidence? OR... coincidence?
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Just got an email from Nintendo saying that my Club Nintendo reward has been shipped and is on its way. Now it's the end of an era. *pours one out for Club Nintendo*
wutangclam avatarwutangclam
I've been thinking of starting up a criticism-minded "game of the month" type podcast. Would anyone be interested in something like that? If you'd wanna be part of it, let me know, I'm generating ideas and looking for contributors
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Playing the most difficult strategy game ever: trying to figure out what order to beat your backlog in.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Transient Ryu stays ripped by riding the rails and throwing other transients off of his rail cars - [IMG]http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b321/Felth/homeless%20ryu.jpg~original[/IMG]
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
The Fancy Pants Adventures


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -