Games that are meant to be played through with two players can be quite hit and miss. Thankfully, Putty Pals offers a simple and enjoyable cooperative adventure so grab a buddy by the arm and get ready for one adorable 2D platformer.
Putty Pals is extremely simple to play as all you do is move around and use three buttons: one to jump, one to form a trampoline, and one to grab on to an object or your partner (referred to as merging). You can also tap a fourth button to give a thumbs-up but it has no practical use besides being super-cute. Plus, you can use the same button to high-five when you're close to your buddy. Anyway, the stages are composed of a succession of tricky situations that are as fun to figure out as they are to master. For example, you may have to alternate swinging off a sticky surface to inch forward or use trampolines to reach high-up collectibles. There are also coloured platforms and you'll fall through them if they don't match your character's colour so you regularly have to give each other a boost. Overall, it's a simplistic setup that makes for one incredibly enjoyable 2D cooperative platforming adventure.
As you can already tell, Putty Pals is insanely cute. Having just finished and reviewed Yono and the Celestial Elephants, I wasn't expecting to play a game that's even cuter right away. The adorable little balls that you play as have such charming facial expressions. They become sad when faced with danger, are delighted to see each other, and always seem to smile except to pull a goofy face once in a while. The music is fantastic, too, with a lighthearted oompah tune at the world map and suitable upbeat tracks during each stage.
The campaign in Putty Pals is divided into three worlds: Mount Puttuvius (a volcano-filled land), Puttarctica (a cold, snowy, and barren area), and Puttazon Island (a tropical paradise). In total, there are 28 stages to work through plus 25 bonus mini-levels to unlock and master. You do so by collecting 3 tricky pick-ups during the non-boss stages. Also, you'll eventually unlock time attack mode for all 53 stages so you can test your skills at working together. As you progress in the campaign, you'll encounter a few new mechanics that help mix the gameplay up a little and it all comes together to make a rather lengthy journey that has a good amount of replay value.
Although Putty Pals is certainly a fantastic game, it does have its issues. The most notable of which is that you'll find certain scenarios are repeated a bit too often throughout the campaign. When you find yourself going through the same motions again and again, it gets a little repetitive. In other words, the stage designs could have used a bit more editing. Next, if you want to play solo then you'll be quite disappointed as doing so is incredibly frustrating. Trust me; you'll need a friend to play this with you.
Finally, my wife and I encountered a few glitches during our playthrough. There was nothing game-ending but there were certainly a few annoying moments. During one boss stage, platforms kept collapsing and reappearing randomly whenever we perished so we had to wait in order for things to stabilize before we progressed. Also, whenever you finish a level, you have to fling the other player via a slingshot. Sometimes, it just wouldn't register properly and looked very awkward as a result.
Although it isn't perfect, Putty Pals is a fantastic game to experience with a friend. The cooperative gameplay and adorable world go beautifully together to form an adventure that'll make you smile from start to finish.
- + Cooperative platforming gameplay that makes playing with a pal super-fun
- + So adorable that it's ridiculous
- + Fairly lengthy and lots of replay value
- - Similar scenarios are repeated far too often
- - Much less enjoyable solo
- - Plenty of weird glitches