I can't stop thinking about The Plucky Squire and its magical storybook concept

The Plucky Squire
(Image credit: Devolver Digital)

When I was young, a good storybook was like magic. Words and illustrations ignited my imagination, characters and adventures would come alive before me, and I would get lost in fantastical lands and places that burst from every colorful page. As I've gotten older, I still think of books in the same way. Of course, I know this is a universal feeling among readers who get swept up in gripping novels and engrossing tales – but the magical power that books can harness is partly why I can't stop thinking about The Plucky Squire, a new upcoming action-adventure from developer All Possible Futures. 

Since it was officially announced during the Devolver Digital showcase back in June, I've lost count of the number of times I've watched Plucky Squire's debut trailer. Inviting us into a bedroom, we're first introduced to Jot, a storybook hero who journeys across pages in the form of a wonderful, intuitive-looking 2D platformer. Brought to life with a delightful artstyle, we see the ways Jot can complete sentences to build bridges, and how words on the page describe what's happening. The colorful illustrations that come alive draw you in as the plucky little fellow fights an oversized, honey-fisted badger, and runs across a series of different landscapes. Playing a character in a storybook was already enough to sell me on the idea of The Plucky Squire, but as Jot suddenly leapt from the corner of a page and into the 3D world outside of the book, then I became really interested. As soon as I clapped eyes on the shift between worlds, I was completely enchanted by this game's concept.

2D and 3D worlds

The Plucky Squire

(Image credit: Devolver Digital)

"The Plucky Squire appears to really capture the childlike wonder of storybooks, tapping into the daydreams that powered my younger years."

I wish I could bottle the joy I felt when I first saw the jump from 2D to 3D worlds in the trailer. When Jot leaps from the page and transforms into a three-dimensional character, the platforms change from the storybook to the bedroom, with the small plucky squire running across a desk decorated with large paperclips and a big pencil which provide a sense of scale. Toys become foes, and come to life like something from Toy Story. From its concept to its design and execution, everything is just so charming. 

What makes it all even more exciting, though, is the fact the 2D world isn't just limited to the storybook. As Jot ventures through the bedroom, there are certain belongings that take the little hero back into a two-dimensional world. One example sees Jot make his way around the surface of a mug, while another has him blasting across the decorative label of a plastic tub. It's a wonderfully creative way of shifting between the two styles, and could very well deliver different kinds of challenges as we jump from one to the other. I'm already excited about the prospect of exploring both worlds, and to see what surfaces will transform me back to 2D. 

The jump from 2D to 3D here also brought one of my favorite features in Super Mario Odyssey to mind. Back in 2017, when the inventive adventure launched on Switch, one particularly endearing throwback was when, in one section, the Italian plumber was snapped back to his pixelated 2D state of old, and I began running and jumping along the surface of a wall. It was a wonderfully nostalgic touch in one of the biggest entries in the Mario series, and I'm excited to see The Plucky Squire creatively play around with a similar feature. 

The Plucky Squire appears to really capture the childlike wonder of storybooks, tapping into the daydreams that powered my younger years. As our first look so far, there's only so much we can speculate on in terms of how the game functions, but the synopsis provided by the devs has definitely piqued my interest. In the adventure, we'll be solving puzzles and taking on mini-challenges as we try to save our friends from Humgrump. Upon realizing he's the villain of the storybook who's destined to lose, Humgrump forces Jot out of the pages and tries to change the story. It can't be easy to learn you're a villain out of book to begin with, but knowing you're fated to fail? Well, you can understand why he might be eager to rewrite his own destiny. 

There were plenty of memorable trailers that debuted during the not-E3 season, but no game has stayed on my mind quite like The Plucky Squire. From the character names to the plot and the magical shift between styles and dimensions, I can hardly wait to jump into the adventure myself and recapture the magic of a storybook coming to life before me, with a character who quite literally jumps off of the page. 

The Plucky Squire is set to release on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC, and Nintendo Switch sometime in 2023.

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Heather Wald
Senior staff writer

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.