Let's be Pals, Putty Pals!
I recently received a review code from the folks at Harmonious Games for their Nintendo Switch game, Putty Pals. This game is charming and challenging at the same time. It was originally released on Steam and on Windows/Mac, Putty Pals is an adventure that will make you think and keep you thinking every step of the way.
The game can be played solo or co-op but feels much better with two people, each controlling one of the balls of putty. You can play solo and it doesn’t lose much of its appeal but it does add to the challenge. What I mean by that is, you need to think about the controls every time you attempt to make a move to make sure you use the right move and the right piece of putty to do said move.
The controls are simplistic and the “work together” mechanic is intuitive, having to form one entity at times to perform certain tasks in the level, such as moving blocks or cross lava. However, with all the interesting control mechanics in the game, there were plenty of “one putty at a time” actions where you didn’t need to use both pieces of putty at the same time to cross lava or make a certain jump. You could jump the lava and make the jumps and then bring the other piece of putty across the lava after. There isn’t anything wrong with having jumps/actions like this but it would have been nice to see teamwork play more of a factor in progressing through a stage rather than being able to complete things one on one.
There is a minor tutorial at the start of the game where you get the basics of the game, get a feel for the controls. The controls are very simplistic and work well for Putty Pals and there are combo moves that need both putty balls to use that range from trampoline mode that allow higher jumps to “forming,” allowing you to move certain multi-color blocks or cross lava.
You’re trying to find all the secret colored orbs in each level, which you have to stumble upon because the game doesn’t tell you there’re even things to locate in the first few levels. However, the orbs are simple enough to locate but if you perish and regenerate after you collect one, you will have to collect that orb again so don’t die before getting to the mini check point, which there are plenty. The levels are pretty long and just when you think you’ve finished it; you have another two to three mini checkpoints to go.
Graphically, Putty Pals looks like you’re playing inside of a children’s coloring book, and that just adds to the charm I described earlier. The different, vibrant colors jump off the various screens, especially the Green and Blue balls of putty you get to play as. I played a majority of the gameplay just on the gamepad and it was easy to see what I was doing and the same held true for the graphics and vibrant colors.
During my gameplay, there were some moments that I would describe as “issues” These issues would rear their ugly head when I was trying to perform a combo/forming and would have to move a combo block. The block would get stuck in an area where it should be movable but the game deemed it wasn’t movable. At that time, I was thrown forward, past the combo block, unable to get the multi-color orb that I needed to collect for the bonus stage and level completion. There also wasn’t a way back to this area with the combo block without playing the whole level again. If you didn’t need to collect the orbs, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal but without the combo block, the jump even with trampoline ability is nearly impossible. I had a couple of other minor issues like this with sticky/glitchy jumps during gameplay but nothing that makes the game unplayable and unenjoyably.
It’s these reasons that I’m giving Putty Pals for the Nintendo Switch an 8/10. I would like to thank Harmonious Games for the review code.