Ittle Dew 2, the sequel to silly top-down puzzler Ittle Dew, is set to bring combat, new puzzles, open-world gameplay, a slew of magical items, and dozens of wild, silly monsters to the formula when it comes out on November 15 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Siliconera reached out to the game’s designer, Daniel Remar, to ask about all of the elements the team wanted to add to the sequel, and how they intended to make all of the game’s dungeons accessible with the game’s starting equipment.
What brought you back to do Ittle Dew 2? What do you want to do in the sequel that you didn’t get to do in the first game? What do you want to change?
Daniel Remar, Game Designer of Ittle Dew 2: Most of all, we wanted to make a more exploration-based game where the dungeons are found by traversing the overworld, rather than simply catapulting the player into them. We also wanted to add some mystery by not letting the player know in advance what each dungeon, cave, and secret area contains.
Combat is also more fluid here, and Ittle has gained a new combat roll that lets her pass through attacks and projectiles unharmed – at least for the first half of the roll. Where the first was a puzzle game, this is more of a puzzle-and-action game, which simplified some of the design but made other things more challenging.
What’s the story of Ittle Dew 2? What is Ittle up to that landed her here?
In this game, Ittle and Tippsie have again crashed their raft onto an unknown island filled with adventure. They meet a grumpy old man named Passel, and immediately set out to recover eight pieces of a new raft from the island’s various dungeons. The rest is up to the player to discover. :)
Ittle Dew tends toward the ridiculous with some absurd situations and enemies. What silly locations, enemies, and things can players expect to run into in Ittle Dew 2?
Nearly everyone involved understands that the island is pretty much a theme park for adventurers – even the bosses are mostly just there for the paycheck. This time Ittle will have to conquer sentient candy, gunslinging buntaurs, hedge mazes, heavily armed gardeners, and an art exhibit. Some familiar faces return, but most of the enemies and characters are brand new. Each overworld also has a different theme and atmosphere, ranging from hot sauce prairies to frozen graveyards.
All of the game’s secrets can be found with the game’s starting equipment, and the dungeons can be tackled in any order. Why did you choose to do this?
Personally, I’ve grown weary of the lock-and-key mechanics of adventure games, and wanted to try something new. It can be frustrating reaching one too many dead ends or secret spots in a game where progress is halted because you lack an item that may or may not be halfway around the world – if the game even decides to tell you where it is.
There are a few notable exceptions where you do require something specific in Ittle Dew 2, but I considered each one carefully, and made sure the player knows that something is missing. Instead, what you usually require may be a hint from someone on how to enter a particularly devious secret cave, but on subsequent playthroughs you can open it right away – you already know how.
How do you keep things fresh across the game’s seven dungeons and entire world when you’re limited to designing them to only using the basic equipment?
The first game was heavily centered around pushing blocks, with enemies and other elements offering some local variety. This time around, there are more types of puzzle elements. Combat also has a larger focus, with different enemies in each overworld and dungeon, making it easier to create challenges that don’t revolve around item gimmicks or block pushing. Most dungeons also requires you to use the item found within it to complete it.
In short, the game offers more variety than the first in what you can do with only a stick and a combat roll, but it’s not correct that the whole thing is beatable without the items.
If the player can do anything with the basic equipment, what will entice them to go find secrets and get better items? What will those found items do for the player that makes them special?
While the player can solve any cave, and enter any dungeon (except the last) and proceed to solve it with the item found within, each item enhances the player’s combat and/or puzzling abilities in some way. Having more items means being able to use more dungeon shortcuts, and defeat some enemies more effectively. Most items are also passive, offering various benefits without having to equip anything, such as improved defense or resistance to statuses. Like the first game, there are only four active items mapped to four different buttons, so there is no item switching.
This could potentially make the player too weak or too powerful for a given challenge depending on the order of completion or finding optional items. Therefore Ittle doesn’t grow too significantly in power throughout the adventure, but is rather buffed little by little with each trinket found. The dungeons are also revealed in the recommended order – going to the "seventh" dungeon and beating it right away is going to be a challenge, but you get a useful item in there to compensate.
In order to scale the bosses properly, they are also independent of the dungeon order. No matter which dungeon is completed first, you will have faced the game’s first boss there. Most players will do things in the recommended order though, and their difficulty curve will be less bumpy for it, but they always have the choice to go around mixing things up.
Items get upgraded by finding multiple copies. How will the weapons/tools grow with each new copy? What are some of these weapons/tools?
Most items simply grow more powerful with additional copies, rather than gaining new abilities. One new item is the Force wand, which can push puzzle elements from afar, and its projectiles will bounce on certain surfaces. It goes well with the new Ice ring, which creates magical ice blocks that can be cut and even pushed diagonally. Chilling enemies with the short-ranged Ice ring not only does a lot of damage and slows them, it will also prevent them from firing projectiles for a while.
For an example of an item that does change as it grows in power, the Stick, is once again replaced by the Fire Sword a while into the game, which is permanently on fire. It is later replaced by an even more versatile and puzzle-solving weapon.