In this age of AAA titles such as Assassin's Creed 4, and Infamous Second Son, there's a question that may well need to be asked and answered. And that question is:
Is there room for a good old fashioned platform style with a retro feel too it in this modern age? The answer is, if not then there darn well should be.
Retro gaming is in right now, of that there is no doubt. Several older games have been revamped for our HD market demands, with sharper graphics, cleaner sound and enhanced features and gameplay.
So what's wrong with producing a game that look like it would be just at home on a Playstation 2, but with the HD quality sound and graphics we demand in this day and age?
Again nothing, not when it's as much fun as this.
Putty Squad sees you controlling a globular blue fellow who has the task of rescuing his fellow putties who have (for reasons unknown) been taken prisoner. They have been locked into rooms or placed on top of high towers, floors, and platforms which would be normally inaccessible to the likes of you and I.
But your little putty is a resourceful fellow, that can jump and land on enemies heads to stun or wipe them out. He can punch enemies into the middle of next week and stretch himself to reach floors above or indeed below him.
He has gadgets and devices at his disposal as well as his own abilities. For instance he can inflate himself and float like a balloon, or after smashing a crate can access a rocket that he can fly to reach those really hard to get places or consume the food within to replenish health.
He can and will need to collect clocks to extend his time (did I not mention that there's a time limit for each level? No? Well now you know there is!), gold stars that will boost his score with a bonus multiplier for each star collected or hearts that restore his health and in some cases gives him an extra 'life'.
The game brought back memories of the old Mega Drive/Genesis title Cool Spot, based on the red spot from the label of a can or bottle of 7-Up. How many of you out there remember that one then? Go on be brave, and raise your hands...
It brings together nostalgic elements from older titles, such as floating platforms, traps that come up from under the floor, nasty spikes in the ceiling that can hurt if you hit them but you may well need to think about that when having to jump towards an obstacle or a power-up.
Little enemy troops with different weapons that need to be avoided or pummeled or jumped on in a Mario/Sonic fashion and... well Ill let you discover as you play through the game for yourself.
Each level has a slightly different feel to it as far as environments go, such as forests, jungles, palaces, etc. and they play as like a good old fashioned platformer that was popular back in the day.
The graphics are bright, colorful and nicely rendered in their own fashion. Don't go looking for dynamic explosion effects, or highly rendered textures, they would look out of place in a game like this, but what there is nicely and well presented. Up to date but old fashioned at the same time.
Our little hero punches with a meaty impact sound and jumping is, as you would expect, accompanied by a comical little sound effect. There is no vocal talent in this game, and none is needed. Explosions are sharp but not dramatic, but there are times when an event happens and you would expect there to be an accompanying sound effect but there isn't one.
It's not a major flaw, just a little puzzling as to why this happens. Don't let it distract you from the enjoyment of this title.
Controls are responsive and our hero acts to inputs on the control pad very well. The main central touch pad has the useful function of enabling you to be able to zoom out and study the level whilst the game is paused. This way you can work out the best way to rescue the putties on the level and see what obstacles lie ahead of you.
Each level presents it's own challenge and progressively get more tricky as you travel from one world to the next. It's not the longest game in the world but it is sufficiently entertaining and challenging for that not to be a major worry.
Replay value comes from the challenge mode that means you can replay previous levels trying to collect all of the stars, or beat your score. One of the modes means you have to do the level without consuming any food, challenging indeed but still fun!
A fun, quirky little game, that as said, has a wonderful retro feel to it. Bright, colorful and in some ways, it harks back to a more innocent age where games were not all about gun toting heroes, or car jacking anti heroes, or a group of combatants knocking seven shades of you-know-what out of each other.
This is a game that appeals to the little kid in us adult players (well it does for me) and brings back many happy memories of being in my bedroom at my parents house, playing my favorite platform games on the Mega Drive.
And where's the harm in that? It's child friendly, family fun that leaves this reviewer with a nostalgic smile on his face. Well recommended.