The Switch is rapidly amassing a library of wonderful titles, both from major, big-name developers and publishers, as well as creative indies. Ittle Dew 2+ is definitely the latter, and we mean that in the best possible way.
To answer the inevitable question around what this young series is all about, the most direct answer is that Ittle Dew 2 is a lot like an old-school Zelda game, specifically that it's most reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. We know that's a fairly bold comparison to make, and while Ittle Dew 2 is not on the same level as one of the greatest games of all time, it's a gem in its own right.
Itlle Dew 2+ feels like what you would get if you crossed the gameplay of a Zelda game with the art style of Costume Quest and the humour of Adventure Time. Ittle and her magical fox Tippsie break the fourth wall and crack wise about the conventions of adventures games regularly.
There's much more to Ittle Dew 2 than jokes though. The gameplay feels enough like Zelda to have fans of the series right at home with Ittle, but developer Ludosity made enough changes to make this a fresh take on the genre. The first and most convenient of them is showing where your next recommended dungeon is on the world map, even if you haven't yet uncovered that location.
You can take on dungeons in any order you desire but, as with any open-ended, top-down adventure game, you're going to have an easier time doing them in the order the developers want you to. As with other games in the genre, each dungeon yields an item for you to collect. There are eight dungeons in total, each containing a raft piece for you to collect so you can be on your way.
The dungeons are going to be immediately familiar to fans of the Zelda series. There are enemies to fight, puzzles to solve and keys to collect before taking on the dungeon's boss. The bosses themselves are occasionally repeats, but that's part of the game's humour. Rather than simply dropping in a familiar boss, the two will banter before engaging in battle, acknowledging that they've encountered each other before.
The world is one of our favourite parts of the game, being every bit as whimsical and wacky as you might expect. The dungeons themselves range from a pillow fort, to an art gallery to a trash pile. To drive it home, rather than a sword, Ittle starts out with a stick to do battle with. When you kill an enemy they burst into a hail of confetti that's as cute as it sounds, boxes of crayons take the place of the Zelda series's famed heart containers, and bosses never truly die, they just get bored and go home.
Beneath the cutesy exterior a hardcore challenge awaits, however. This game is hard. Enemies take a serious beating to keep down, and puzzles in these seemingly joke levels can be major head-scratchers. There were many times where we found ourselves resetting rooms multiple times just to figure out the perfect order in which to push a few blocks, or dying to enemies that required a bit more finesse than we would have expected.
We spent about 10 hours playing through the main quest line in Ittle Dew 2+, but your mileage will vary based on how much you want to explore the island. There are also numerous caves scattered throughout the large overworld. Any cave you happen upon can be completed with just the items you start with, meaning you won't need to mark or remember locations, though some can be made easier with items you find along your way.
Ittle Dew 2+ is a fantastic game. On a console with a library full of wonderful indies like Shovel Knight and FAST Racing NEO, Ittle Dew 2+ stands among the best of them. The Switch version commands a $10 premium over the PC version but it also adds five new dungeons, a worthy addition in our opinion.
Ittle and Tippsie's adventure is charming and funny, and embraces the spirit of exploration from the series to which it pays homage. If you're looking for the next great indie title for your Switch library, look no further.