Originally found on the SNES and the Amiga 1200, “Putty Squad” was a fairly unique platformer that saw gamers assuming the role of a blue blob on a mission to save their buddies. What made the title so appealing of course was its gameplay, and its influence still seems to linger on in the minds of quite a few gamers out there to this day. Naturally, when it was announced that the PS4 would be receiving a bona-fide Putty Squad remake, there were mixed reactions. A lot of gamers were left standing around scratching their heads asking “what’s putty squad?”, while others might have already been preparing to shell out some cash for the game as soon as it hit store shelves.
Whether or not you’ll enjoy the game is largely dependent on what sort of experience you’re after. Even though this is a newly brandished title, it is based off of a somewhat old set of concepts. This isn’t an ultra-flashy platformer that wows you with its graphical prowess (even though it looks fine for a side-scroller); instead, think of it as a colorful and fun strategy game of sorts. For instance, the blob you control is capable of pulling off different sorts of maneuvers such as stretching to grab stars, firing arrows, or even inflating to rise from platform to platform. All in all, putty squad is a game with decidedly old-school aesthetics that’s adorned in somewhat modern 2D visuals.
Speaking of visuals, Putty Squad really isn’t a bad-looking game at all. Sure, if you stack it up against one of the new top tier 3D titles it’s going to fall short, but if you give it an honest assessment compared with the slew of other 2D side-scrollers out there, it’s not that bad at all. In fact, there’s often quite a lot of action taking place on-screen sometimes – bright and highly colorful exploits that harkens back to the roots of console gaming. Landing at the main menu, you’re treated to a parade of activity along with a catchy little tune that appears to emanate from the Blob band in the background. Yes, this game is goofy at times, but it’s also a blast.
Each level is uniquely themed as well, with an assortment of intriguing (and sometimes hilarious) background textures rounding out the fun. In one scene you might be surrounded by a rather Aztec-looking pylon and suddenly see such things as toilet seats dotting the landscape. In the course of playing through various levels you will also complete certain challenges which provide you with stickers (that are displayed in a book) and the best part is, after completing them you are presented with new levels. As you are doing these things, each screen is bombarding you with bright and flashy graphics which seem to spur you forward.
With any platformer the most important thing is its gameplay, of course, and Putty Squad doesn’t disappoint. From the main menu you have a number of categories to click into, but only two real game modes to choose from – “Marathon’ and “Challenge”. Unlike its predecessor though, this incarnation of Putty Squad will also feature all new levels as well as DLC (which has yet to be fully outlined).
Simply put, some gamers are going to feel as though this game poses a real challenge, for a platformer, that is. Yes, it looks funny or even goofy at times, but within its framework Putty Squad really defies you to make it through all of its levels. Moreover, the challenge mode is particularly enthralling as it has you trying to complete a number of objectives within each level. For instance, maybe you have to finish the level without losing a life (relatively simple), or perhaps eat no food.
Unlike a lot of platformers, which tend to be mostly horizontal in nature, Putty Squad places obstacles in your path in such a way that it forces you to think more vertically, at times. In other words, you’ll be dotting across the landscape, over moving over certain terrain above and below in order to collect stars and complete objectives. It might not seem like an interesting mechanic at first, but it really does grow on you.
To make a long story short, this Putty Squad remake is a definite win for the PS4. Sure, there are plenty of other more graphically amazing titles to sink your teeth into on the new platform, but that shouldn’t mean that 2D action is finished though, right? What this title offers isn’t flashy, realistic 3D brilliance; instead, it challenges you within the constraints of a more classic platforming environment while delivering entertaining visuals. As far as games in this genre are concerned, Putty Squad (2013) is a definite win, and gamers who have yet to experience its charming gameplay now have a chance to do just that.