If you like difficult puzzle games, Ittle Dew is the game for you. You need to solve some puzzles with various weapons at your disposal.
Genre: Puzzle, Action Adventure
Release date: 23 Jul, 2013
Ittle Dew is a puzzle game with weapon utilization as its focus. You can buy up to three weapons that will help you progress the areas and eventually reach the final boss. Every weapon works differently and will change your way of solving the puzzles.
The game uses hand-drawn, cartoonish visuals. Characters look lively with their cheerful look, matching well with the enemies that look dumb and cute. Although there isn’t much in the overworld that you need to explore, Ittle Dew makes it up with its unique environment. The main island is full of green color with its grassy area, while dungeons are more varied, focusing on a certain theme on their own.
If you’re looking for a story-rich game, you’re in the wrong place. The story in this game is a carefree one, filled with jokes and cheerfulness. The main character, Ittle, seems to be someone who familiarizes herself with how games are supposed to work, knowing exactly what you’ll think in almost every situation. The seemingly dumb and illogical characters that reside on the island also help to make the story more enjoyable.
The game gives you the freedom in purchasing weapons in any order that you want. The final dungeon is accessible from the start, although your progression will be blocked due to the lack of weapons at the beginning. Chests that contain money will be spread over the dungeon, allowing you to buy more weapons. There is no need to purchase all weapons to finish the game though – shortcuts are available in the final dungeon, allowing you to take on the boss with only two weapons of any kind.
Ittle Dew is a puzzle game at its core. Most rooms in the dungeon will require you to solve puzzles to pass through, whether it’s in the form of pushing some blocks or lighting some woods after you lit your stick on fire. Puzzles will be more tricky as time goes, forcing you to buy more weapons to solve them. The weapons will change the puzzle mechanic by a lot, and you’ll need to approach the problem differently. The game also seems to reward those who are looking for some challenges by introducing harder puzzles that act as shortcuts to finish the dungeon faster.
If you’re still looking for more challenges, look no further. The game has one optional dungeon with a greatly increased difficulty. You need to be very well versed in using your weapons before solving these, as you need to utilize them to solve the puzzles. However, some levels require precise timing to clear, changing the game into a trial and error to solve.
Being a puzzle-oriented game, its combat features are lacking. Your hitbox is very small, and it’s hard to get your hit across. The delay between attacking and moving also doesn’t help to defeat the enemies without getting hit. Although these look horrible at first, it turns out that the enemies aren’t meant to be defeated by repeatedly smacking them with your stick. It is stealthily made as another puzzle, with you having to utilize your weapon to defeat the enemies. Enemies react differently to different weapons, allowing you to defeat them with ease. Figuring out how to utilize your weapon to defeat the enemies is also one of the charms in this game.
There aren’t many bosses in this game, but when they do, they are made to utilize your newly purchased weapons. There are more than one ways to use your weapon, and the bosses might seem to be impossible to beat without knowing this fact. What interested me is how the final boss is designed. Its difficulty will be adjusted based on the weapon that you have at that point, increasing the difficulty with a certain weapon mix if you are not used with them. The monsters that are spawned in the middle of the fight will also make it harder to beat due to the clunky combat.
Length and Difficulty
The in-game clock states that I finished the game at ~4.5h, obtaining all collectibles and exploring everything that I could find. It isn’t hard to collect the collectibles – the game list all treasures and items that you can find from the map. As for the difficulty, some puzzles were hard for me, while others took some time to finish. I also spent a long time learning how the purchased weapons work, especially their alternative uses. The puzzles that require these mechanics also tend to be hard to solve even after I learned the mechanic, mainly because you need to visualize the solution in your head, which is not what I usually do when solving puzzles.
It was hard to learn the control since there is no tutorial nor keybinding option to check the controls. The game is more suited for controllers though – I tend to misclick the controls a lot since there are too many buttons to press. I also had a hard time understanding how one weapon works because of the minimal explanation in the game. Lastly, your puzzle progress will be reset after you move to the next room, forcing you to solve everything again. This just adds extra annoyances, especially since some rooms can only be explored from one side.
Intel Core i5-9300H 2.40GHz, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
As a puzzle game, Ittle Dew does a brilliant job with it. Puzzles are challenging, to the point that you need to think for minutes or even hours to solve. The game isn’t suited for combat though, and every combat is designed as another puzzle where you need to use your weapon to defeat them efficiently. It’s not a game where you need to whack your enemies – it’s more of a game where you need to whack your brain to think. People who like challenges also can try replaying the game by limiting the weapons that they use, utilizing all shortcuts that require you to solve harder puzzles. Everything in this game is about puzzles, and I’m sure you’ll like it if you enjoy these things.