I gotta be honest: when the trailer for the Plucky Squire opened with a view of a Toy Story-esque child's room, softly lit in the afternoon light, I was prepared to check out. "This is probably not for me," I thought. But as the Plucky Squire storybook opened up to reveal top-down, Zelda-style gameplay in a gorgeous, 2D animation style, I changed my tune quick.
That wasn't the only Nintendo homage in the game's all-too-brief trailer at Devolver's E3 season show: hero Jot also engaged in Punch Out-style fisticuffs, and, most surprising of all, jumped off the page of his storybook into the "real" world, with the game taking on an art style similar to the gorgeous, tilt shift, toybox look of Yoshi's Crafted World or the Link's Awakening remake.
Jot's adventure seems to take him through various styles of art and gameplay as he explores the environs and surfaces of this child's room from 3D and 2D perspectives, with playful flourishes like a side-scrolling section wrapping around a desert-themed mug. If the Plucky Squire is able to offer a cohesive through line for all these creative ideas and keep offering playful surprises, it could wind up being something special indeed.
That's my main takeaway from this glimpse of developer All Possible Futures' first project: it's a genuine pleasant surprise, and made me feel excited like little else aside from Skate Story in this year's not-E3 season. The Plucky Squire is planned for release in 2023, and you can wishlist it on Steam.