Dandy & Randy DX (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

Dandy and Randy are a bird and a rabbit (not sure which is which) who love adventure and hunting for treasure.  One day they receive a flyer about an island full of treasure and a lost diamond, so they immediately set off to find it so they can pay off their debts.  But there are traps and puzzles on the island, as well as pirates!  And is that flyer really all it seems to be?  You’ll find out in Dandy & Randy DX, available on most current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.  Not sure what the DX is for, but the game is a retro styled top down viewed 2-D action adventure game where you’ll solve block pushing puzzles, defeat enemies, and avoid traps.  Kind of like classic Zelda dungeons.  Actually the game reminds me most of Goof Troop, a SNES game from Capcom (based on the Disney Afternoon show).  The Capcom team who made that game went on to make a few handheld Zelda titles and eventually form their own company Flagship, who would make a few Kirby games as well.  Anyway, none of that has anything to do with Dandy & Randy, but at least you know that game has good bones.

You can choose to play as Dandy or Randy, but both play the same.  You can play single player or co-op, too!  You’ll move around each area of the island with the D pad as you solve block pushing puzzles and defeat enemies on each single screen.  To defeat enemies you’ll usually pick up an item like a vegetable or pot and throw it at them with one of the buttons.  Your goal is to find colored keys to open gates and eventually defeat a boss in each area.  The stages on the island are typical environments: forest, desert, haunted swamp, lava mines, ice mountain, etc.

With another button you can activate a tool.  You’ll start out with just a shovel for digging up treasure.  But in most areas you’ll find another tool you can switch out with the L and R buttons to help you along the way.  Tools include a boomerang for reaching long distance items, a hammer for breaking rocks, hookshot, running shoes, and more.  You can also find coins all over the place, and use them to buy healing items, continues, and extra hearts at a shop in each level.  There’s also a handy map for each area you can view as well, plus some unlockable characters to play as.

The only problem I can see people having with this game is that it’s a bit short.  Each level takes about 20 minutes to beat, and there are only six of them, so you can finish this one in a few hours.  There are three selectable difficulty levels, and I don’t think you can even die at all in the easiest one, just lose coins when you get hit.  But even so, I had a lot of fun with this one, and it kept me interested to the very end.  It reminds me of games I would’ve rented on the SNES back in the day, too.

Kid Factor:
Dandy & Randy DX is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Fantasy Violence.  You can throw things like veggies and pots at enemies that just disappear when defeated.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, and younger gamers may need help with a few of the puzzles.  But otherwise, the selectable difficulty levels and co-op make this great for all ages.

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