Where’s a game that comes in handy when you need it? Super Adventure Hand is the one! By Devm Games, Super Adventure Hand is a quirky 3D platformer where you must reach the coveted mug of coffee and find your stolen arm.
Super Adventure Hand is a strange concept, albeit slightly creepy. You play as a disembodied hand traveling through linear levels. Angry feet have stolen your arm (for some reason), and you must retrieve it. I wasn’t expecting much of a deep storyline than that, given that the game is mainly focused on playing through the levels, but I feel like there needs to be more of an explanation of the surrounding world. Are there no people? Why do the feet have eyes, but not the hand? This is a videogame, of course, so things don’t have to be explained. But if you wanted to create a game that was more interesting, at least use environmental storytelling to make a more cohesive world.
The mechanics in Super Adventure Hand are interesting. The hand doesn’t just walk on the ground, it can climb up walls in a “Spider-man” kind of fashion. This allows you to explore more of the three-dimensional space, rather than just the top of the world. Because of this interesting power, it almost makes the levels easier because accurate platforming is not necessarily needed. Most areas are a breeze to clamber through. Since most surfaces are accessible, it creates problems in new areas that seem unwanted. For instance, all the moveable items (like random crates, VHS tapes, etc) can be walked upon. I found myself avoiding climbing on certain crates, only for the hand to reach out, touch them, then fall off the map from being unbalanced. It’s a tricky problem caused by two seemingly fine solutions. Yes, you can walk on anything not clearly marked as slippery. Yes, there are moveable items in the world. They don’t necessarily do anything for the level in most cases, but they provide a slight variation of the world you’re traversing. Put these two parts together and it becomes a clumsy, near frustrating mess. I’m not sure what to offer as a solution to this problem, however. Should items you’re about to touch highlight slightly to mark them as touchable? Would that just clutter the scene up too much? The problem gets worse when you try to flick an item. Whatever you attempt to flick, the closest moveable item is affected, so if you’re standing on the item you’ll move with it.
The level progression makes Super Adventure Hand dull. There are a lot of levels, but they’re mostly filler content. With such interesting mechanics as being able to flick things and climb up walls, it would’ve been nice to see these mechanics put to the test. There could have been secret pathways or more intricate puzzles put on the sides of the walls, or you had to flick items into different tubes to test your timing. When a game features new actions/ideas like Super Adventure Hand does, it needs to have a steady progression of difficulty and exploration of the idea.
It feels as if the aspects of gameplay were introduced too soon and the rest of the levels were hastily put together without too much thought. I started to groan every time I saw multiple keyholes in a platform because that meant I had to go on another scavenger hunt. Collecting multiple keys extends the length of the level, but not in an interesting way. It takes on the boring form of doing chores around the house.
Super Adventure Hand’s art is well-done. As odd as the concept is, the art focuses on a similar art style to that of Yooka-Laylee and other 3D platformers. But, the levels are completely random in theme, mainly a dull brown/gray with purple atmospheric fog. There is little much else put into the set design besides a couple of large rocks looming around the place. The choices of what to include in the game turned it into a dull series of rock and wood, but at least they’re nice to look at. The hand is weirdly reflective, to the point where you can’t tell what color it is sometimes.
Music in Super Adventure Hand is intense. It’s almost as if the composer was told “Super Adventure” and left out the “Hand” part. For a game with a silly idea, the music and art are completely serious. While the music isn’t bad, it just isn’t fitting to what you’re doing. The intense strikes of brass and woodwind instruments makes the world feel emptier and colder, when there should’ve been more flutes and upbeat tempos to liven it up and fill the empty space.
In summary: While the mechanics can be fiddly here and there, it’s a mostly solid game experience with pleasing art and nice audio. The lack of exploration of game mechanics and boring level progression unfortunately bring it down.
Jordan played Super Adventure Hand on PC with a code provided by the developer.