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Putty Squad (Nintendo 3DS) Review

Review for Putty Squad on Nintendo 3DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Putty Squad was first introduced on the Super Nintendo in 1994. It was developed by a company called System 3 and published by Ocean Software as a sequel to the platformer Putty, released in 1992. Originally the game was intended for the Amiga 1200 but ended up never being released. System 3 has since then remade the original for a number of different platforms, most of which came out late 2013 - including the PlayStation 4 edition that Cubed3 reviewed here. The Nintendo 3DS version, however, was released in April 2014 on the Nintendo eShop. What more can we expect from this version, though?

The main character, called Putty, is a blue blob that can change his body in a variety of ways to traverse the levels in different ways. Using the Y button allows Putty to stretch his body sideways, which makes him move along the ground faster, while stretching upwards allows a quick way to reach higher places. Hitting L or R will make Putty punch left or right to dispatch foes as they get close, with the ability to upgrade later on as progress is made. Hitting the X button allows him to be inflated like a balloon to reach places that are too high to reach just by stretching. This, however, will cause players to lose health if overly used. With the amount of different abilities on offer, it makes for some interesting gameplay. The controls are tight and extremely user-friendly, which makes the platform action very fluid.

Putty Squad starts off with an easily accessible tutorial so players shouldn't worry themselves if they have problems with platform games. The difficulty starts out relatively easy with simple objectives, not many obstacles, and very few enemies - although that does change very soon after. Enemies start appearing more frequently, areas require a bit more puzzle solving, and the levels start getting bigger and more confusing. This adds a nice element of challenge that should keep gamers entertained. Unfortunately, when more enemies start appearing on screen the frame-rate may start to slow down, which can be quite distracting. This slowdown also occurs when grabbing stickers.

Screenshot for Putty Squad on Nintendo 3DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Once the tutorial mode is completed, two other options become available: Marathon and Challenge. Marathon is essentially the main single player mode that allows for progress through levels, collecting multiple unlockables and finding alternate routes for different stages. Each level completed in this mode opens up objectives for Challenge mode. This gives various tasks that need to completed, such as finishing the level within a certain time limit, collecting all stars, not using food items, and so on. The more challenges done, the better the overall score will be. This mode certainly adds to the replay value, yet because the objectives are the same on each level, it all gets quite repetitive. Having much more variety here would have greatly increased the chance of repeated play.

Collecting items, such as food, will heal Putty, while others, like nitro bombs and missiles, are used to destroy stronger enemies. There is a good amount of items to use, but a lot of the time they don't seem to be necessary for completing the levels, making them feel like a bit of a waste. Stars can be obtained throughout that fill up the star meter that allows players to increase their attacking power. Increasing it further gives Putty a variety of attacks. Collectibles, such as stickers, can be found throughout the levels while others, such as trophies, require specific challenges to unlock.

Graphically, the visuals are bright and colourful and stand out nicely with the plethora of themed stages. Backgrounds could have been clearer, though, as they do look a bit blurry at times. It may not be the most impressive looking title on the 3DS eShop but it is still a pleasant game to look at. From approaching the main menu it is already clear that the music will be enjoyable to listen to as it is extremely catchy from the start.

Screenshot for Putty Squad on Nintendo 3DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

The responsive controls and varied platform antics and puzzles make the main single-player quite enjoyable. 'Challenge' is always a nice break from the main mode but doesn't quite hold its own with the lack of different challenges. The only downside is the slight annoyance of frame drops throughout play and the instant kill enemies and various obstacles that are not easy to notice.

Graphics

The different, varied level themes, such as desert, ice and grass, are all colourful, bright and simple. Enemies are varied and goofy, which adds to the style of the game.

Sound

Catchy themes that fit the stages with clear, crisp sound effects, and an odd announcer that speaks when certain objectives have been achieved, all bring a certain charm that is not seen in many other platform titles.

Value

With nine worlds and a large amount of levels to explore within each one, it gives players a lot to muck around with. Combine that with the collectibles, trophies and Challenge mode, and there really is a wealth of content to explore!

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Average

About this score

Overall, Putty Squad is an enjoyable game that offers a wide variety of content. It nails the controls and interface, being easily accessible, and offers fun puzzles and platform antics. Unfortunately, due to its repetitive nature and frequent drops in frame-rate, it does detract from the fun. Fans of the original Putty Squad should get a lot of enjoyment from this, but for everyone else? Maybe wait for a price drop as it is quite high right now.

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06.06.2014

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Developer

System 3

Publisher

System 3

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Shame they didn't iron out all of the issues from the early builds. At least you didn't hit any points where the game froze, right? Or Putty got stuck in random places? That was a big issue when I played it at Eurogamer Expo.

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Staff Member

Yeah I didn't seem to come across those issues which was a good sign. Maybe just luck xD

Nintendo Network ID: LKR000               PSN: LKR000     
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Senior ModeratorStaff Member

On the PS4 version I didn't want to mention it in my review in case it was just a problem with my eyes at the time, but I found the frame rate to mess with my eyes and give me a bit of a headache whilst playing. Something seemed really off when the screen scrolled. The background and foreground also clashed so much, it was hard to tell what was a platform to jump on - it was impossible to tell if it was part of the b/g or in the f/g.

Cubed3 Staff :: Senior Editor
...Upupu.
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