Putty Pals (Switch) Review
Putty Pals is a game about friendship, a friendship between two balls of putty (with arms) and the friendship between you and a friend as you play through this game. One friendship will succeed in the end and the Putty Pals will be happy, your real life friend might not be so happy.
The story in Putty Pals is a simple one, a whole bunch of blobs have been flung far away from home, and it’s up to you to get them back together. To do this you’ll bounce, swing, merge, and hang your two blobs of putty together to get home.
Each player controls one blob and you’ll have to communicate to work together to overcome physics puzzles, platforming puzzles and all sorts of environmental hazards. Each character can be moved freely by each player, and each blob can be shrunk down like a trampoline to boost off each other to reach new heights. Later in the game, you’ll find blocks which you can move around (but only one player can go through), hooks to grapple on and swing around on. It’s all about teamwork and making sure you’re working with your pal.
Luckily, if you die in Putty Pals you’re whisked right back to the nearest checkpoint, of which there are plenty. Most of the ‘set pieces’ in each level have a checkpoint before and after so if you die (and you will, often) there’s no real punishment and you’re free to try again. The game is pretty lenient and you should rarely get stuck; you’ll only get stuck when the game introduces you to something new and doesn’t really explain itself too well the first time. Having the merge mechanic on the analogue sticks can be a little annoying and you end up doing a death grip on the Joy-Con to try and press all the buttons in at once.
There are three worlds in the game, which doesn’t sound like a lot but there’s a bunch of levels in each one. There’s no boss fights or enemies in Putty Pals — it’s you against the world and each other. Each of the levels has a number of hidden “gems”, if you manage to not die and complete the level you’ll unlock a time trial bonus level. You’ll need all these gem and time trial medals to get the trophy for each world. So even when you’re finished with the story there are reasons to go back again, but it’s not overly long.
If you’re wondering if you can play this game single player, the answer is yes — but you’re not going to want to. Like Snipperclips the game is entirely playable with just one person and you use either one Joy-Con side for each character or each side of the Pro Controller to control. However Putty Pals is way more dynamic of a game and requires split-second thinking and movement to get through levels, I played through the first world by myself and it worked – but it wasn’t really that fun.
All of the worlds and the levels within have subtle environmental effects, animations, and lighting that makes the game look boring in stills but great in motion — still it is overall a little plain. The characters themselves, too, are brought to life with great animation; they’re happy, they’re concerned when a big molten rock is coming toward them and they even get worried when they’re out of sight of their pal. Bring the two back together and they’re happy again.
Putty Pals takes full advantage of the Switch’s concept and runs with it, plus it’s always great to see more co-operative games. You’ll really need to have someone to play it with, luckily for Putty Pals it’s pretty accessible and anyone should be able to pick up and enjoy it. Putty Pals is good old-fashioned fun.
Rating: 3.5 / 5
- Family friend fun
- Cute characters and world
- Looks simple, still hard in parts
- Really need two people (obviously but still)
- Actions mapped to analogue sticks
- A little short