The Plucky Squire devs explain how challenging the wild 2D to 3D gameplay was to pull off: "Can we do this? Is this even possible?"

Devolver Digital
(Image credit: All Possible Futures)

The Plucky Squire takes a particularly innovative approach to blending classic 2D gameplay with modern 3D action and a slick presentation. Focusing on a trio of heroes from a storybook, the protagonists literally jump from the pages of their 2D realm and into the broader 3D world to find new adventures, allowing them to bounce between 2D and 3D gameplay at will.

Speaking to Edge Magazine, developer All Possible Futures co-founder Jonathan Biddle spoke about the decision to make The Plucky Squire the best of both worlds for adventure gaming, and how they pulled off the ambitious transitional gameplay between 2D and 3D.

"The very first thing we said was, 'Can we do this? Is this even possible?'" Biddle said in the Edge Magazine interview. "And I'll hold my hand up and say I'm actually not a very good programmer. But I'm really stubborn. If someone says something can't be done, I just kind of get on and do it. They're full Unreal levels; they're just tiny, and they have sprites on them instead of 3D."

Set to be published by Devolver Digital, which has a history of releasing subversive games that show a fondness for retro gaming, The Plucky Squire channels much of the charm and sense of adventure from classic console games like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past or Earthbound. But with the twist of the game focusing on storybook characters leaping from the pages and into new worlds (both 2D and 3D), it presents an experience that showcases environments and scenarios that focus on different genres of gaming - such as a Punch-Out-style battle sequence in one 2D realm, or a Chrono Trigger-style town to explore in another.

In the interview, Biddle explained that he had to rethink how he believed 2D and 3D games should present action for players. As The Plucky Squire allows players to leap into books and other flat surfaces like the side of a toy container sitting on a table - which turns the game into a side-scrolling shooter - it presents several opportunities for players to dive into unexpected levels while exploring.

"On top of that, you need to coordinate where you are in 3D space with where you are in 2D space -- there's a conversion going on every time you do that, and you just have to perfectly line up each one. You jump into this world, and that character gets destroyed, and then you spawn a different character up here in the corresponding location, and you carry on from there."

The Plucky Squire looks to be an interesting take on a classic, and modern-style adventure game. With its release set for sometime next year, you'll be able to dive into the game's clever 2D/3D parallel adventure sooner than you think.

If you're interested in checking out other adventure games, check out our round up of the best adventure games that you can play right now.

Alessandro Fillari

Alessandro is a freelance writer and editor based in the San Francisco Bay Area who has covered the games, tech, and entertainment industries for more than 13 years. Having previously worked at GameSpot, CNET, and various other outlets writing features and coordinating event coverage, Alessandro enjoys playing games on PC, but also gives plenty of time to his Nintendo Switch. You can find him on various socials at @afillari.