Get ready to cooperate with yourself or with a friend in Putty Pals from Harmonious Games. In this lighthearted 2D platformer, you’ll play as two colorful, squishy friends who must work together to navigate their charming yet perilous universe. When playing alone, you’ll operate both Pals with both joysticks, but when playing with a friend, you’ll each have just one Pal to control.
In Putty Pals, getting from point A to point B is truly a team effort, and you’ll have plenty of puzzles to solve along the way. Common puzzles include scaling cliffs, crossing gaps, and collecting colorful orbs to achieve needed effects. (In the image below, the collected orbs will weaken and ultimately crumble the rock on the right.) But almost just as common as puzzles are checkpoints, which appear as pink flags when you reach them. The checkpoints in Putty Pals make this game quite forgiving, which makes it perfect for younger or less experienced players.
Color is crucial to solving the puzzles you’ll find. For example, consider this: any surface or wall that’s the same color as the squishy blob you control is solid to you; you can stand on it, and you can’t walk through it. But a surface or wall that’s the same color as your friend is not solid to you; when you interact with it, you’ll pass right through like it’s air. So you need to focus on color to avoid jumping to your death when you think you’re jumping on solid ground. (Side note: surfaces blended with both Pals’ colors are solid to both Pals!)
There are many special things you can do as a Pal, and you’ll learn new tricks with each new world you find. For example, you can jump, but you can also flatten yourself by pressing ZL/RL, making yourself a bouncy platform for your partner. Another simple trick is the thumbs-up gesture achieved by pressing B: give your partner (or yourself) some encouragement with a quick thumbs-up for a job well done! (This was one of our favorite parts about Putty Pals!) Of course, there are many things you can do as a Pal, and you’ll need to play to learn about them all!
Because this game requires complete cooperation between both Pals, you’ll need some serious focus and skill in single-player, but you’ll need excellent communication skills in two-player mode. Playing with a partner requires lots of talking between yourselves, since you’ll often need to make a plan together and talk out your next steps.
All in all, you’ll find 28 full-sized levels spread across several lively worlds with unique color schemes, 35 unlockable mini-levels, and an unlockable time trial mode. Putty Pals offers tons of content for just $9.99, and we think it’s a fantastic Nintendeal.
While playtesting for this review, we (Nick and Sarah) had a blast together. We loved supporting, helping, and talking to each other while playing this game, and we especially enjoyed those moments where we didn’t even have to communicate verbally with each other to know what to do; we just did what we knew we had to do in perfect sync. Of course, these moments were rare, but that makes them all the more special. Once again, for just $9.99 on the Nintendo eShop, Putty Pals is a steal for anyone interested in this bright and bouncy platformer. So if you can see yourself and someone you know having fun with this feel-good game, we think you should download Putty Pals now. You won’t regret it!
Nick and Sarah are the ultimate gaming couple. Nick is a Super Mario Maker 2 enthusiast, but working with Nintendeal has fostered a love for tough-as-nails indies such as Enter the Gungeon, Celeste, and Cuphead. Sarah prefers sim games like Animal Crossing, Don’t Starve, and Stardew Valley, but she challenges herself by grinding Slay the Spire from time to time.