STAFF REVIEW of Adventures of Chris (Xbox One)

Sunday, July 10, 2022.
by Heather Webster

Adventures of Chris Box art Join the adventure in this 100% autobiographical journey that takes us back in time to 1995, where we meet a chubby, dorky kid named Chris. On his way home he gets kidnapped and warped to another universe where he gets mocked and turned into a balloon by a very bratty and annoying little vampire. This is a story-driven 2D adventure platform game with tons of jokes, quirky villains and adventure!

We start out with Chris on his way home when he starts to hear a strange noise out of nowhere that does not appear until he is outside his home. When a portal orb appears above him and kidnaps him he then arrives at a castle lost and confused. Chris then enters with the purpose of finding a phone to try and get home, which is when he comes across a whiny vampire planning his own birthday party. There are kids locked in a cage put there by the vampire named Count Junior.

Explore eight different locations around the world with no specific play order. Advance Chris’s skills and strengths to turn him into an unlikely but plausible hero, learn spells and new techniques and defeat strange villains. The villains have no real set pattern to how they attack or when, they just fire projectiles at you and you are left to figure out what you need to do to defeat them. This was a massive struggle and a source of frustration.

The story on this game is packed full of humor, and as we move along in the narrative we learn that around the same time Chris was kidnapped there were seven other children from around the world taken as well. When Chris meets up with Count Junior he gets heavily mocked and then gets turned into a party balloon. Chris then manages to escape and follows a mysterious trail of cookies, lost in a 90’s style cartoon universe, which Chris then finds himself in a mysterious balloon world in the sky. Some believe he is the one to save them all, others are more skeptical.

Upgrade your gear and knowledge and a few other things while floating around the cloud place. See the Seamstress for armor, Baker for health and magic upgrades, and visit the Library to improve your knowledge as you find the missing encyclopedia.

Chris Guin and his team get a huge round of applause from me for what I think is a great triumph in the 16-bit gaming world. When he was in the 7th grade Chris used a tool called Klik 'n' Play to create a game that was full of inside jokes and other aspects of popular games of the time. Years later he rediscovered his creation on a hard drive and thankfully he decided to rebuild and improve the game with his knowledge from programming training, except he wanted to do it the way his 13 year old self imagined it. With the deliberate influence that comes through in the graphics design and gameplay, Adventures of Chris does a great job bringing me back to the early days of great classic platformer games.

The soundtrack score has been melodically planned to bring back memorable hook-driven melodies that bring us back to the old days of gaming where the tracks were 'earworms' that stayed with us and still to this day, bringing us back to the old days of gaming. The sound design in Adventures of Chris seems to be a great homage to the past and the indie games the developers loved. With inspirations coming from great games like Crossing Souls, Owlboy, Delta Rune and Shadows of Adam. If you are interested in hearing the soundtrack outside of the game there is a spot on the game's website where you can input your email and get it delivered to you as well!

With the reminiscence of the past and the continued challenge, Adventures of Chris has turned out to be a lot of fun to play. The dialogue throughout is hilarious and really adds great humor. Overall, Adventures of Chris is worth playing, especially if you were a gamer in the ’90s, so see if you can find the hidden gems curated by the developer. I found that the fact that someone chose to make a balloon world in the sky as if there was a place that our balloons we let go of as kids actually went somewhere instead of just popping or becoming a hazard to nature. Give this game a try, I promise you will laugh!

**Adventures of Chris was provided by the publisher and reviewed on an Xbox Series S**

Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 8.0 / 10
Sound: 8.0 / 10


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