Damn, them pants are fancy!
Taking a hand-drawn stickman hero, the player has to work through numerous platforming levels, collecting squiggles and stars along the way, in an attempt to rescue his kidnapped sister. Fancy Pants Man is his name, and he wears some pretty fancy pants.
Playing as a high speed platformer, The Fancy Pants Adventures will see the player jumping, sliding and springing from walls to the exit of each level. The story itself gets kind of lost within all of the high speed shenanigans as the player negotiates the simply drawn levels. There will be enemies to deal with, and bosses to fight, mostly with a simple bounce on the head, although later in the game the player will unlock the pencil which will allow for a form of basic sword fighting. The game is reasonably short, but has some tricks up its sleeves/trouser legs that ensure it will be played long after the story has been finished.
The Fancy Pants Adventures seems to scream that the player should approach the game with a yearning for speed. Rush through the levels without worrying about every little squiggle and the game is a lot of fun. Add in some more players in the co-op mode, and the game becomes a riot. Although working together, bouncing off other players to reach high places and such, is enjoyable, the most fun is to be had when chaos fills the screen. Players may soon discover that by sliding into other players, or attacking them in some other way, their friends will drop squiggles which can quickly be gathered up, especially important for the winners podium at the end of the level. Once this has been discovered, it becomes utter madness just trying to finish a level, with everyone trying to steal each others squiggles. It really is hilarious fun.
Another reason to return is the number of collectibles. Players will be rewarded with all manner of leg wear, head wear and alternate weapons with which to customise their hand drawn hero. This can all be done by visiting the wardrobe in the games’ central hub, which also happens to be Fancy Pants Man’s house. It is from here that the player can access the main story, individual chapters of the story and even a couple of purely competitive multiplayer game modes; Races and King of the Hill.
Let me just talk for a second about speed vs precision. Perhaps sonic the hedgehog is the most memorable example. The first time playing the hedgehog based platformer generally will find the player working through relatively slowly, trying to collect as many rings and stomp as many enemies as possible. And this may well happen for the first few times of playing it. But eventually the player will succumb to games sense of speed and find themselves hurtling through the levels at the highest speed possible. The fancy pants adventures also has this sense of speed, but more so and the player Will find themselves rushing through the levels at an incredible speed, and having loads of fun, without even giving precision a second thought. This could well be a feature of the design, because it is when you slow down and try to play the game in a more careful manner that the cracks begin to show…
Certain parts of the level design require that the player slow down and take a breath, thinking before acting. It is at these points that the game becomes somewhat frustrating, due to the twitchy demeanor of the main character. Playing the game with any sort of precision is difficult as Fancy Pants Man has trouble standing still, often sliding even after the player has stopped moving. Even the jumping can be a bit hit and miss, springing off of walls can be unpredictable and flying long distances through the air often highlights places that the player needs to reach too late.
But it is not the careful level design or precision platforming that will have you coming back. It is the lighthearted visuals, the collectibles, the sessions of pure speed and the massive amounts of fun to be had with friends. Not one for the serious platforming aficionado, The Fancy Pants Adventures is all about quick and easy fun. Are you a fan of fun?