Thursday, 17 April 2014

3DS eShop - Putty Squad

I'd been busting to play this game since I first read about it almost two years ago and now it's here!

To give you a bit of background, Putty was originally released on the Amiga but ported to the CD32 and, more importantly for me, the SNES as Super Putty. Super Putty was a bit of an oddly charming game; it has a weird sense of humour with abstract enemies and a plot I'm not sure I entirely understood when I was 7. I distinctly remember we picked up a copy from the local shopping centre after doing the weekly food shop. I had french stick bread and watched Diff'rent Strokes, playing Super Putty afterwards. I played round-robin with my brother (You play until you lose a life and then pass the controller over), which worked to my advantage as he was 3 years younger and not particularly good at video games. Now 21 years later, I get to try the sequel on 3DS.

The game starts you off with a 'Training Level', which is much needed as there are quite a few abilities and power-ups to get to grips with including stretching, inflating, absorbing, jumping and throwing bombs at enemies. The button layout is pretty simple, using L and R to punch left and right respectively, with X, Y, A and B used for the various other commands. There is some use of the touch screen too, primarily as a head's-up display but also allowing you to choose between your power-ups. Subsequent levels require you to save all of the red putties before you can exit the level.

The graphics are quite nice, simple and quirky. This is definitely a throw-back to when game featured some bizarre collectibles and enemies, thinking back to games like Manic Miner and Dizzy. This game makes use of the 3D feature, however I'm still on the fence as to whether or not it adds much to the experience.

Sound and music fit in with the off-the-wall look and feel of this game. There aren't any tracks that immediately jump to mind but they seem natural and work well to enhance the experience. The sound effects retain a lot of the idiosyncratic appeal of the previous Putty outings.

Game-play wise, the first few levels are simple enough but it does get progressively tougher and there is plenty of replay value with each level having three goals, secret levels and achievements. There are over a handful of worlds with each having 7 or 8 individual levels. There's also the addition of challenge mode, where you can replay the same levels again with additional goals (e.g. Don't lose a life, kill all enemies) which earn extra stickers.

It's unfortunate that the majority of the reviews this game received are based on the PS4 release of it. Understandably it is panned as not being worth the money by people who've just spent about £450 on a brand new console with precious few games. It harks back to a simpler time of gaming where you could have your protagonist throwing up down a toilet as cover art (Seriously! Google the cover for Jet Set Willy!), freaky characters and odd concepts were developed and fostered. It is a throw back to when indie developers weren't trendy or cool, but hardcore gaming fans working out of a garage or bedroom, creating games they enjoyed. At £17.99 it is a little steep in comparison to similar games like Mutant Mudds, but if you're a retro gamer looking for something that seems vaguely familiar, I'd suggest checking this out.


  1. Really wanted this as a retail/boxed game on 3ds but still isn't available.

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