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Fancy Pants Adventures Review

Digital distribution channels such as Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Store are undeniably pleasing, delivering economically-priced diversions without requiring players to leave the house. Yet, the services also have an additional, oft-unappreciated virtue: they have reinvigorated the 2D platformer. Without the constraint of large-scale publishing operations, indie developers have been able to craft imaginative efforts such as Explodemon, Super Meat Boy, ‘Splosion Man, ushering in a modern run-and-jump renaissance.

The most recent exemplar of this trend is Fancy Pants Adventures– which like N+, began life as a free Flash-based game before expanding into a full-bodied, pay-and-play affair. Recalling a frenzied run through Sonic the Hedgehog’s Green Hill Zone, Fancy Pants’ early stages encourage players to maintain momentum. With levels comprised of springboards, ramps, and s-shaped curls, environments deliver a sense of edgy excitement, as players teeter on the precipice  on control. Scattered across each of the story mode’s  eleven levels are an assortment of asperand-looking  squiggles, three well-concealed stars, and a hodgepodge of miniature time trials, each defying collection from completionists. Guarding these trinkets are a unlikely band of villains, ranging from spiders, snail, gun-toting mouse, as well as the sporadic boss, which are typically dispatched with either a formidable slide or a crushing leap.

Later, the game adds a bit of variety by giving players a baton to swat away unruly protagonists. While the bludgeon has a variety of techniques, none of the strikes are as blissfully intuitive as an old-fashioned  head stomp. These attacks are also included in Fancy Pants‘ multiplayer modes, but are only necessary is the title’s King of the Hill variant- where participants battle for placement under a squiggle-spewing volcano. In the game’s race-based competitions, players with a sizable lead don’t have an interest in waiting around to hit dawdling opponents. Regrettably, even two-player online matches were beset with a bit of lag- reducing the responsiveness of your on-screen avatar.

Smartly, Fancy Pants‘ multiplayer contests aren’t the heart of the title. Instead, the game delivers a devoting a satisfying amount of material to solitary gamers. Beyond scavenging the story stages for collectables, and unlocking a variety of hats, attire, and weapons to customize your character with, players are encouraged to  locate enough stars to unlock the two original Fancy Pants Flash games. Throw in a virtual arcade cabinet filled with challenge levels, and the game easily warrants its ten dollar price with a cornucopia of content.

Visually, Fancy Pants Adventures employs a hand-drawn aesthetic to convey a sense of child-like wonder. Although the game’s protagonist is a simple stick-figure, he is animated with fastidious fluidity. With a mohawk which shifts each time the character changes speed or direction and quick-moving limbs which depict  the dexterity required to perform ninja climbs, the title is positively smile-inducing. Backdrops are minimal- allowing for the game’s platforming pathways to be discerned with minimal effort.

Consider Fancy Pants Adventures the easy-going brethren of titles like N+ and Super Meat Boy. Forsaking frustration for a simplistic charm, the title’s is a skilled addition to both XBLA’s and PSN’s growing library of gratifying platformers. If creator Brad Borne can find a way to tweak the multiplayer and squeeze in a level editor, these Pants could remain fashionable for a few additional iterations.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.


  1. I’d like to play, but oh- PSN is STILL FREAKING DOWN.

  2. Maybe it’s me, but I could just play the flash games for free. Why would I want to pay for the game?

  3. infinite horizon

    I’ll get Fancy when Fancy goes on sale.

  4. Yeah, tell me about it- I just bought MK and have no one to play it with. My friends on the other side of the state that I game with bought it too.

  5. Electric Relaxation

    that beach scene reminds me of Cool Spot. Anyone remember that game?

  6. Good review Deagle. Glad this one’s not balls hard.

  7. feels a bit like old school Sonic, and I like that.

  8. First shot reminds me of Line Rider. that game was sick.

    Deagle if you want a level editor- have you heard of this game called Little Big Planet? HAHAHA

  9. I gotta ask- can you go Pants-less?

  10. maybe to support a independent developer. Have you ever thought of that?

  11. For the MP- that’s not in the flash games (of course).

  12. I wish there were more 2D platform games. Thats the type of game that got me hooked, and now there’s not a lot of them anymore.

  13. Have you tried New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Donkey Kong Country Returns? Nintendo still makes them.

  14. I’ll try the demo..on XBLA, since PSN is still down.

  15. original gamestar

    I like the flash game but not quite sure if it’s worth $10. Might have to wait for a sale.

  16. sounds better than an issue of Cat Fancy.

  17. Played it and it seems cute, but not worth my $10.

  18. Seems fun and all but the game just seems a bit too expensive. For the price I can buy 10 indie games like Applejack…

  19. “asperand” you mean ampersand, right?