Treasure Adventure World

words manifested by: AJ Johnson

A game by Robit Games for PC, originally released in 2018.
Treasure Adventure World is an open world action adventure that acts as both a follow-up and an expanded remake of the developer’s previous work, Treasure Adventure Game, which was released as freeware in 2011. Treasure Adventure Game offered an astounding scale for a game that was created entirely by one person, and the developer has spent years giving that world new life in Treasure Adventure World. Gone are the pixelated visuals from the original game, which have been replaced with HD artwork, and the amnesiac boy who starred in the original is replaced with an amnesiac girl.


The game’s prologue shows the girl out on a seafaring adventure with two men, who are later revealed to be her father and her uncle. The trio set out to explore a series of islands on a quest to find 12 legendary treasures. Along the way, they meet with some of the islands' inhabitants, plumb underwater caverns, avoid ghosts, and occasionally flee from pesky pirates. In the final scene of the introduction, their boat comes across a giant sea serpent, and the girl’s father unsheathes his sword and dives toward the beast.


The game picks up five years later, with the girl having been found washed up on the beach and missing her right hand. Fortunately, a nice elderly couple has taken her in, and she seems to be getting along just fine with a metal hook in place of her hand… which she must recover at the start of the game. Early on, the girl meets a parrot named Whydah, and since she has no name of her own, the parrot decides to call her Peep. As it turns out, the parrot is seeking 12 legendary treasures that are believed to grant a single wish to someone who collects them all, and Peep has a map that will help to locate them.


From here, Peep and her feathered friend team up, with Whydah doing all of the talking as Peep takes on the well-trodden role of silent amnesiac protagonist. As expected, Whydah has a bit of an attitude and has his sights set solely on the treasure, whereas Peep is more inclined to help people in need. Along the way, the pair learn more about Peep’s past and mysterious events from long ago.


When the game begins, the player is restricted to an island, and there are a few NPC’s – including Peep’s caretakers – to interact with, with several of them sending Peep on short quests. This opening area demonstrates the player’s basic movements, which consist of a variable 2.5x jump, the ability to hang from ledges using Peep’s hook, and the ability to swing the hook for a slow melee attack. While players can swing the hook repeatedly, the attack takes a moment to charge and reach full power, granting more powerful strikes to those who wait, while also slowing combat.


Once the player has retrieved Peep’s hook, rescued a girl from the island’s cave, received a special treasure map, and met Whydah, it’s time to meet with Mattie, an engineer who has discovered a method for shrinking objects down to the size of a single pixel. (Scientific texts found around the game world reveal that pixels – like atoms in the real world – are the smallest building blocks of all things.) Mattie uses her discovery to modify a small ship called the Glooskap, which is then capable of fitting inside Peep’s pocket.


From a gameplay standpoint, a pocketsize ship means that Peep can travel from one island to the next, shrink the boat down to when she’s not using it, and then return the boat to full size when she reaches the water once more. So, instead of having to park the boat and return to it, the boat just appears beneath her whenever she jumps into a body of water.


The game world is completely open, with a couple of restrictions in the early going to ensure that you stay on track. Once you’ve visited the first few islands, you are free to go anywhere you like. With your starting abilities, you won’t be able to fully explore each of the islands, but on many of them, you’ll be able to meet NPC’s, take on side quests, fight enemies, and poke around to discover secrets and treasures.


Throughout the adventure, Peep discovers NavPearls that show the locations of legendary treasures and ability upgrades for Peep and the ship. As upgrades are acquired, Peep is able to reach new locations, metroidvania-style, and the game offers layered level designs to take advantage of different abilities. Eventually, Peep is able to dig down through soft dirt, jump higher, launch a projectile attack that can flip switches, mount a cannon to her ship, and even explore beneath the sea.


The open world and lack of direction are both a blessing and a curse, as the player is free to go where he likes when he likes… but it’s also possible to miss NavPearls that offer directions toward new abilities, and without acquiring new movement abilities, the player may find himself unable to advance. Since the full world opens up to the player early in the experience, there’s a lot of ground to cover when hunting for overlooked items or NPC’s, and it’s possible to miss an opportunity simply by arriving on an island at the wrong time of day...


The game has a day-night cycle and weather system that impacts the schedules of NPC’s, and can influence puzzle solutions and the appearance of certain enemies. For instance, townsfolk are generally out and about during the day, but some only appear in the evenings. An early puzzle requires the player to enter a temple through two different doors, one that is open during the day and one at night. In another example, entering an office complex on an island city during the night reveals tough sentry robots, as opposed to generally innocuous office workers during the day.


Aesthetically, the day-night cycle and weather system lead to some great moments where the player watches the sun set and the sky shift from blue to purple as he sails across the open sea, followed by darkness and the rise of the planet’s two moons. This adds to the realism of the world as well, creating a more immersive experience, and the world is filled with lively characters that wouldn’t be out of place in some of the more lighthearted action adventure games of the 16-bit era. There’s plenty of humor to be found as well, including some strange little mushroom people who speak entirely in haiku.


The player spends the game fighting enemies, solving puzzles, and searching for treasure. Enemy behaviors are predictable and they move slowly, but the player’s attacks are also quite slow, and most enemies take multiple hits to destroy. Most killed enemies drop a few coins, and there are treasure chests hidden all over the place that offer larger monetary awards for adventurous players. Some helpful items may be found while others are purchased from shops and merchant robots, such as numerous hats that offer increased defense or other enhancements. Early on, the player must purchase a sail that allows him to travel beyond the first couple of islands, and later in the game, he earns a lockpicking ability that requires him to purchase lockpicks for each door he wishes to open.


Puzzles tend to be simple to understand but lengthy to execute. In many dungeon/cave areas, the player may stand on a platform and take control of the parrot to fly around the environment. These puzzles often require the player to pick up items and use them to weigh down switches to activate them. In one instance, the player is required to fly through a series of obstacles, grab an item, bring it back to a switch, grab another item and bring it back to the same switch to fully weigh it down, then fly to a higher area and weigh down another switch, then climb up to the higher area and push a heavy block back through the environment to activate a switch and open a nearby door.


The player begins the game with four units of health, which can be lost in half-unit increments. Save points fully restore the player’s health, and these appear regularly. The game also auto-saves occasionally, so getting killed generally results in a small amount of repeated gameplay. Fruits and can be found from time to time, with most restoring a single unit of health, while some rare fruits can be found in treasure chests that offer a full health restore plus some additional temporary health units.


In all, the game offers 16 islands to explore, many of which feature areas that cannot be fully explored until abilities are earned later in the game. Islands tend to be packed with structures, caves, alternate paths, and hidden alcoves, giving players plenty to explore and reasons to return later in the game. The game offers a number of boss fights as well and sees the player facing hulking enemies both in dungeons and on the overworld. A New Game+ mode opens after the game has been completed.



2D CRED
Treasure Adventure World was developed by Robit Games, a studio founded in 2008 and headed by Stephen Orlando. Christine Crossley is credited as the game’s art director, and Robert Ellis is credited for the game’s music and sound design. Treasure Adventure World is set in the same world as Treasure Adventure Game, which was a pixelated open world action adventure developed over the course of more than two years, and released as freeware in 2011.


The game was published by Chucklefish, the developer behind Starbound and Wargroove. Chucklefish also published Risk of Rain, Interstellaria, Wanderlust Adventures, and Stardew Valley.

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