Ittle Dew is a block-pushing game. It’s dressed up like Zelda, just as all its villains have dressed themselves in furry suits to hunt down the protagonist. But, really, Ittle Dew strips away the non cube-shoving components of Link’s varied verb sheet. By the end of the game you’ll have a flaming sword (that can melt ice blocks and set off bombs), a portal wand (which can summon blocks and swap them with other level furniture) and an ice wand (which can, essentially, turn enemies into frozen blocks), and while puzzles crank up the complexity as you gradually acquire these tools, their nature never changes.
And that can get rather fatiguing. Ittle Dew has no solution for the problem at the core of any convoluted block puzzle: the fact that actually executing the solution can be a chore once you’ve figured said puzzle out, but it does let you instantly reset rooms when you inevitably shove a much-needed block into a corner. This hassle-minimising attitude manifests itself in other ways, too: you don’t need to select a sign to read it, and your sardonic Navi substitute will tell you if you’ve entered a puzzle room without all the equipment you need.
That player-considerate attitude is offset by less reverential treatment of its inspiration, however. Ittle Dew isn’t really a parody, more a loving pastiche, but its gently sassy mockery of Zelda’s conventions ties with the beautiful, vibrant art to ensure that while this really is mostly block puzzles, they’re some of the best presented ones you’ve ever played.
Ittle Dew is out now on PC, Ouya and Mac, and is coming to Wii U, iOS and Android soon. PC version tested.