I’m not going to lie, until the folks over at System 3 asked us if we wanted to get an early look at this game I had never heard of it. Now that I have seen the game in action it has me very excited. System 3 has had great success as of late with their downloable game strategy, you only need to look at the success of Ferrari The Race Experience to know that. At this point though I am sure a lot of you not familiar with the series are asking so what is Putty Squad? Putty Squad is an old school platformer that follows the adventures of Putty, a little blue blob, as he journeys out on a quest to save his kidnapped friends.
The last Putty Squad game came out over 15 years ago so when you see the game it definitely takes you back to the days of Nintendo and Sega. \The challenge for developers when they decide to bring a game like this back is to make sure that you don’t lose what made the original so great while still appealing to today’s gamers. From everything we have been able to see, System 3 pulled this off almost flawlessly. The game embodies the true spirit of what good platformers should be and has a very lovable lead character in Putty.
As Putty makes his way through the more than 60+ levels, you have only one goal and that is save all your Red Putty friends by absorbing them and transporting them to freedom. But of course enemies won’t make it easy for Putty and that’s ok because he has more than a few weapons up his sleeve. First, Putty can use “The Stretch” which allows him to stretch left, right, up or down in order to reach thing he wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach. In order to avoid enemies he can lie flat on the ground and his enemies will just walk right over him. Putty can power up and augment his abilities by absorbing items and Firework Imps that he comes across in the environment which trust us gives him some interesting advantages. Putty has several attacks that become stronger as you absorb different items throughout the game. When you need to get to those extra high places and the stretch just isn’t enough, Putty can inflate himself to enormous proportions, just be careful because Putty can’t hold his breath forever.
During the course of the game you will come across stars that increase Putty’s attack power. Once you hit various star
levels Putty’s attacks will be upgraded from a regular punch (default), to a Star Punch (20 Stars), to darts (40 Stars), to electric prods (60) and exploding putties (80). The only trick here is to try to avoid taking damage because if you do you will lose stars which can downgrade your newly gained abilities just as fast as you got them so play smart. One of the coolest things I saw was the Putty Pod. The Putty Pod allows Putty to fly around and deal devastating amounts of damage to enemies all while being safely tucked away in the pod high above them. You will have to work fast though as time in the pod is limited.
When it comes to enemies, Putty Squad has more than its fair share. Some of them can be killed with a punch, but some can only be taken out with upgraded attacks.
- Dug-ins need bombs or rockets to take them out.
- Dweezil the cat can be knocked unconscious and used to bounce to high platforms. He can also be summoned by using Cat Food.
- Pups can be squashed and their helmets sent flying resulting in enemy kill combos (a la Super Mario).
There are tons more, but it will be on you to experiment and figure out the best way to take out particular enemies. As far as scoring goes you get points for just about everything and every time you collect 10,000 points you earn a gold-suited Spaceman which if you grab you pick up an extra life. Just like all classic platformers, once you run out of all your lives the game’s over.
I’m not always a huge fan of classic coming back, but Putty Squad has us excited. I think the game is going to be a surprise hit because it’s simple enough to attract the casual gamer but challenging enough to keep hardcore gamers engaged. If the final game ends up where we think it will, we might already be talking about a game that is a candidate for best downloadable game of 2010. The will be available on PSN for under around $6-$8. In a sidenote, the game will also be available the iPhone, iPad, and Ipod Touch for the awesome price of $.99. So what do you think folks, does Putty Squad sound like something you want to pick up?