Co-op games come in all sorts of varieties but I bet you haven't played one quite like the incredibly charming and super-fun Biped.
I love 3D platformers and co-op games but I've rarely seen the 2 genres combined. The main game that comes to mind is the criminally underrated Shadow Puppeteer which I reviewed for Wii U back in 2016. Anyway, Biped has you and a friend control 2 cute robots in order to progress past tricky situations. You do so by making use of both analogue sticks as each one controls your robot's respective foot. Meanwhile, pushing the sticks in the same direction lets your robot continuously slide which makes traversing flat surfaces a breeze. Even though this is an unconventional control method, don't think of Biped as one of those purposely difficult to control games like Human Fall Flat as the controls here are intuitive, enjoyable, and streamlined. You don't even have to use anything besides the sticks.
One thing that I absolutely love about Biped is its presentation. The main campaign consists of 7 somewhat lengthy levels and each one has its own distinct theme such as a frozen mountainside, a busy lumberyard, and rainy temple ruins. The environments are impressively detailed and are even populated with NPCs that are fun to meet and interact with. The robots that you control also have a surprising amount of personality as you see them react to their successes as well as get annoyed after you accidentally bump into each other. As all of this is going on, the music is delightful and the sound effects provide a satisfying layer of tactility to the game world.
Each level within Biped's campaign is full of variety and you'll be impressed with what you'll end up accomplishing as you play. At certain points, you're even presented with a timed challenge that tests how long it takes you to complete certain tricky scenarios. Finishing these only to see that you're 100% in-sync with your co-op partner feels great, especially when you collect your reward for doing so. Anyway, the variety comes in many forms such as having 1 player stick to a wall while the other swings to the next platform and crossing bridges that shrink whenever the specified number of feet aren't touching it. Things get rather tricky but figuring out how to effectively master each presented challenge is super-rewarding stuff indeed. Oh, and you can play solo levels but they're not nearly as fun.
On top of the variety, there's a solid amount of replay value as you can collect coins that you can spend to unlock accessories as well as uncover hidden stars throughout each level. Plus, there are plenty of bonus stages and you can try and complete every level again in order to get better stats such as finishing under their par times. With all of that being said, the main campaign is still rather short as it only features 7 levels so the whole thing could essentially be completed within 1 somewhat lengthy gaming session.
Last but not least, Biped can be a frustrating game at times. For starters, some of the mechanics are far too sensitive. For example, simply lowering your foot for a split second can cause a specific moving platform to disappear. When I first played Biped, I thought this part was impossible but it turns out that one of my DualShock controller's sticks was slightly faulty so one specific angle regularly resulted in our demise. Honestly, I've been using that controller for a long time and this is the only game that's unplayable because of it. Therefore, I wish the developers implemented more leeway in this regard. We also experienced a few glitches such as one part where my robot kept spawning, flying off the side of the screen, and spawning again. In other words, Biped could use a lot of fine-tuning.
As far as challenging co-op adventures go, Biped is one of the best. So, if you enjoy adorable 3D platformers, playing with a friend, and a solid amount of challenge then you're sure to fall in love with this couple of robotic chums.
- + Enjoyable co-op gameplay with an incredible amount of variety
- + Charming graphics and sound
- + Decent amount of replay incentives
- - Main campaign is quite short
- - Mechanics can be too sensitive
- - Has a few glitches here and there