Developer: Harmonious Games
Publisher: Harmonious Games
Release Date: 19th October
Price as of Article: $9.99 £7.50
Putty Pals has a really simple story where a storm manages to sweep away the putty balls to a faraway land. The only way to get back home is to work together and traverse the volcanic, ice and tropical lands to get back to your putty friends.
The audio has pleasant backing music and fits the game well. Its very melodic and has that feel of adventure and going out to explore. The little putty pals seem like they have their own little cute language. Every time they make a successful jump or reach a checkpoint they make amusing little sounds.
I think the visuals are really adorable in this game and have a really inviting look. Everything is clearly depicted and the animations are all decent. I love how the putty balls or people, however, you want to call them have these huge eyes that show expression in any given situation. It’s those little touches which I like to see. The worlds are really bright and colourful and have a clear definition in colour palette used between worlds.
I did feel that the worlds themselves could have looked livelier as they are bereft of any life. I was wanting to see some sort of fire spewing monster in the volcanic world or some sort of snowman lobbing snowballs at us making our lives difficult in the ice world. There are no enemies here except for some starfish type obstacles in some of the water parts but not sure that counts. I would expect to see some enemies in these worlds. Maybe we could see a content bundle at some point in the future? Instead, everything is about the traps and how to negotiate them and while it’s not a bad thing my imagination wanted more.
Essentially I will stress this straight away, this game is best played with a pal. You can play on your own but it’s just nowhere near as fun because it’s hard to control each pal on your own and make them carry out the tasks needed. This utilises one of the Switches main strengths of bringing people together by breaking off a joycon each and playing together. Putty Pals is exactly the type of game to showcase this brilliantly. If you liked Snipperclips then this is another highly accessible game which will give you plenty of co-op fun.
So I enlisted the help of my brother in law and we spent the day bonding. Yes, that’s right this is a really good way of bonding and getting to know each other better. By the end of it, we had thoroughly enjoyed our time with Putty Pals and had learned that talking more often than not is good. This game is all about communication and helping each other negotiate tricky situations. Where this game excels is the fact it was built for two from the ground up. There are other games where adding the second player in just feels like an afterthought. Not here though.
Its all very simple and you use 3 buttons, one to jump, the other forms a trampoline for the other to jump on and then the third button is used to reach out your arm. If you both do this you will hold hands together which is all very sweet.
You each control a ball of putty and will need to help each other negotiate obstacles and traps. You will need to help each other swing across ceilings which you’re stuck too by holding each other’s hands and swinging each other across. One of you will need to flatten your ball so it turns into a mini trampoline so the other can reach higher spots or another example is passing through colour specific parts of the level so one can activate the gates so the other can pass. It’s all relatively simple stuff but it’s fun working it out together. The controls and mechanics all work really well and there was no slowdown in either handheld or docked mode.
The main issue other than not being a game fun to play solo and something we both said is certain scenarios are repeated too many times throughout the worlds and sometimes felt repetitive.
There are 28 levels spread over 3 worlds and the levels contain secret areas where you can collect the hidden collectables and its fun finding them. There are 3 to find in each one. By collecting these you will be able to unlock 25 mini-levels for you to master so there is a lot of replayability and game here including some taxing time trials! All for a relatively great price of £7.50 or 10 dollars. Compare this to the steam version and you will find that the extra content was added for the Switch version only and the price is the same. So in that respect, it’s a bargain!