Hand-drawn platformer Fancy Pants leaps on to iOS

Fancy Pants Adventures has been around for several years as both a free online game and a downloadable console title, but the heavily stylized platformer is now available for iOS thanks to developers Over the Top Games and Borne Games, and publisher Chillingo.

Fancy Pants Adventures casts players in the role of Fancy Pants Man, a mute protagonist represented as a stickman wearing a pair of brightly-colored pants. His adventures typically begin with him being informed of some disaster which only he can deal with, and this incarnation of the series in no exception — Angry Bathtub Pirates have commandeered the King’s Royal Tub, and it’s up to Fancy Pants Man to recover it.

Gameplay takes the form of a high-speed, acrobatic 2D platformer similar to Sega’s popular Sonic the Hedgehog series. Fancy Pants Man runs through various landscapes collecting Squiggles, avoiding or stomping on enemies, collecting stars to unlock extra game features, and attempting to get to the end of a level as quickly as possible. Players control Fancy Pants Man using simple touch controls — left and right arrows on the left side of the screen, jump and duck/use buttons on the right. It’s a very traditional game concept wrapped in beautifully-animated, heavily-stylized art.

Besides working through the game’s main levels, there is also an “Arcade” facility, challenging players with a variety of different minigames ranging from simply racing through a series of checkpoints as quickly as possible to playing golf with a giant squiggle or collecing as many squiggles as possible. There’s no leaderboard facility for these levels, however, which seems like something of an oversight for a mode which could easily be adapted to be social and competitive.

Progression through the game unlocks additional customization for Fancy Pants Man, with players able to choose the color of his pants, his hairstyle or headgear and the weapon he wields when he obtains the facility to attack via means other than bouncing on enemies’ heads Mario-style.

Fancy Pants is available in two versions on the App Store — a free Lite version, which limits access to levels and the arcade modes available, and a full version for $0.99. There’s no facility to unlock the full version from within the Lite edition as an in-app purchase, so players progressing from one to the other will have to start again after purchasing. Some App Store reviewers have complained that the full version appears to take up 1.1GB of space on their device while the App Store listing claims the game is just 269MB in size. When tested, this was confirmed to be the case, with the Lite edition taking up 251MB compared to the full version’s 1.1GB — a surprisingly large footprint considering the game’s relative simplicity.

The full version of Fancy Pants is currently the No. 7 top paid app, No. 6 top paid iPad app, No. 6 top paid game and No. 5 top paid iPad game. The Lite version, meanwhile, is the No. 25 top free app, No. 23 top free iPad app, No. 14 top free game and No. 13 top free iPad game. Fancy Pants Lite was also the top gainer in the free app charts last week.

To follow Fancy Pants’ progress through the App Store charts, check out AppData, our tracking service for iOS and social games and developers.