Review: The Fancy Pants Adventures

Anyone who has ever kicked over a spare twenty minutes/wasted an entire lunchbreak/used up an entire day/spends most of their life on the internet will have dabbled in the world of online Flash games. And chances are they will have stumbled across Armor Games’s Fancy Pants Adventures. Well thanks to a collaboration between Armor and EA 2D, now the pointy-haired, fancy-panted stick-figure adventurer makes its way to consoles!

The premise of Fancy Pants Adventures is pretty straightforward. He goes on adventures while wearing fancy pants. What more do you need? Oh, okay. Pirates have kidnapped his sister (and the mayor’s bathtub—no, really). You have to run, jump, slide and battle your way through several simplistic but enjoyable levels to save the day.

The fun of Fancy Pants Adventures lies in the smooth, fast pace. It’s very Sonic the Hedgehoggy in that way (Hedgehoggy is totally a word). At least, that’s what I enjoyed the most about it. Picking up speed along the ground will mean you can easily run up the next slope, jump to a high platform and maybe even do a complete 360 degree turn. It’s all about looking good.

There are also enemies to jump on/slide into (spiders, yuck! Also, not a continuation of the Hedgehoggy theme), and later in the game you can thwack them with a stick. There’s also the obligatory things-to-collect element, with squiggly spirals that remind me of the Sega Dreamcast. There’s not much else to say about the game; because, well, nothing much else happens.

Here’s the thing. Fancy Pants Adventures is well executed. It is cute and quirky, cleverly written and easily picked up. It is also as dull as dishwater, and not worth the time it takes to fire up the Xbox. As a tetchy little rectangle on your work PC? It’s a fine game. But on your fancy TV in your comfy chair with a bucket sized margarita cup of tea in hand? It’s just BORING. It has zero replay value, and even the first-play value is a little questionable: I was sick of the game before my little pant-man’s sister was even kidnapped. Even the multiplayer element is just more of the same. Compared with, say, Ms. ‘Splosion Man, which I continue to go back to and play over and over again, even when it makes me want to gnaw off my own arm in rage.

For the price of a console arcade game, you could get something better.