Whilst innocently strolling through the forest, our handsome protagonist gets attacked by a band of no-gooder ruffians as they efeetctively remove the Hand from its best friend — the Arm. Oh, did I forget to mention that you play as detached limbs?
After fangirling over Super Adventure Hand when it was announced back in Summer Games Fest, I've been excited to try it out first-hand. That said, I will do my best to abstain from making too many hand puns, and I'll try to keep it to only a handful. There are no promises from there being few throughout this handiwork, however.
This platformer title sees you going through 50 handcrafted levels as you set out on an adventure to re-arm yourself. Literally. Each one has a handful of collectibles throughout the world to urge you to explore, all of which unlock handsome cosmetics to change your character's look: skin tones (all of which are available instantaneously), watches, nail polish, rings, and even which Hand you play as (right or left). The first few levels serve as a tutorial that teaches you how to platform (in a terrifying spider-like fashion), flick, jump, and crawl your way up obstacles on your way to the end — a mug that teleports you to the next level.
Soon thereafter, you unlock a new tool — a handy watch that keeps track of how long it took you to finish a level and how many collectibles you got from it. With this, you also gain access to the leaderboards, which allows you to face off (hand off?) against opponents to get the best time. I spent a good chunk polishing my times and trying to beat some of the prominent leaders (I will forever hold a not-so-friendly rivalry with zworp and Sr lazaro).
Trying to get the best time meant I found myself playing through the level over and over, and it never got boring. Though there were times I couldn't quite put my finger on how a level worked, it was exhilarating knowing there was something I was doing wrong or misunderstanding, and being able to snag first place from one of my eternal rivals was always a boost of enjoyment and worthy of a clap. Though I often abhor leaderboards, these added a fun and exciting aspect.
Truthfully, all forms of platforming were delightful in Super Adventure Hand, and it was its most excellent highlight — I didn't get bored playing any of the 50 levels. Moreover, its movement is genuinely fun, even if a bit clunky, and that's what matters most with these games. At the start of my playthrough, I was told I was playing with a handicap: mouse and keyboard. And though the game warned me it wouldn't feel as comfortable, and joypad was recommended, I felt that both were genuinely valid options.
On the one hand, the gameplay felt a bit clunky at times due to its physics-based approach, where handling your character and even trying to bunny hop would often lead to just flipping over, meaning I needed to do things slower (a welcome change of pace from more challenging titles like Celeste or Mr. Run and Jump). On the other hand, that is the entire point of the game, and it nails it, as getting a jump right or slowly learning how to manoeuvre around the otherwise clunky controllers felt like playing Fall Guys for the first time again, and the laughter-inducing beans falling flat on their face.
I worried that the clunky physics and controls would get in the way of enjoyment in the later levels, but Devm Games manoeuvres this expertly by adding harder levels in the form of longer obstacle courses rather than tedious mechanics to overcome. I dreaded the ever-hated ice levels beforehand, but once I got hands-on with them, it was genuinely easy to handle, as instead of making obnoxious slipping, it prevents you from climbing, forcing you to platform around.
By the time you’ve finished the first few levels, you’ll know if you love or hate Super Adventure Hand — its simplistic gameplay doesn’t change much from there onward. If you love the leaderboards, then you’ll know you have tons of levels and people to surpass, but if you don’t and prefer a relaxed platformer, then this game also offers that. Though you are rewarded for getting a specific time (in the form of thumbs), it isn’t actually a necessity, and if you’re the type to hate leaderboards, you can disable it altogether.
I’ve got to hand it to Devm Games, they made a great experience here. Truth be told, I handpicked this title because I knew I loved its comedy and platforming, but what I expected would be a fun time for a short while became a hands down enjoyable title that I didn't handticipate to love this much. Last one, I promise.
Super Adventure Hand (Reviewed on Windows)
Excellent. Look out for this one.
If you like Super Adventure Hand's humour and love platforming, you might as well get hands-on with this one and pick it up — you'll have 50 handcrafted levels to go through and plenty of fun to be ha(n)d.