(3DS)

Putty Squad (3DS)

Game Review

Putty Squad Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Tom Lenting

Putty in your hands

Putty Squad is a platform game that was originally developed by British developer System 3 for the Amiga in the '90s, but the official release had to wait until 2013, when the Amiga version of the game was rolled out on System 3's website as a Christmas gift. However, the original was actually published in 1994 for the Super Nintendo, with versions for the Sega Genesis and MS-DOS also planned but never finished. In 2014 Putty Squad made a remarkable return as a launch title for the PlayStation 4, and soon after got a multi-platform release on the PS Vita, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC and — of course — the Nintendo 3DS.

Putty Squad is an action-platformer in which the player assumes the role of Putty, a flexible and lovable amorphous blue blob. Being a blob, Putty has the advantage of being able to morph into different shapes. He can stretch to all sides, absorb items (that can be used later), attack (the attack range differs from a simple punch to throwing cans of nitroglycerine to shooting arrows, depending on the upgrade that's used) and inflate himself (Putty fills himself with hot air to fly). Besides these abilities, Putty is also invulnerable from falls of great heights. The control is tight and makes good use of the capabilities of the 3DS — on the lower touch screen the player sees all of the collected upgrades and can activate them by touching them, making the process much faster. A level map can be viewed on the bottom screen, while the game itself is entirely controlled with the D-Pad (or Circle Pad) and physical buttons.

The goal in each level of Putty Squad is to gather multiple red 'M.I.A' putties. They are spread all over the levels, so the player can finish a stage in any way they like, whether from right to left or from bottom to top; some levels are designed in a traditional horizontal way, while others have a vertical design. When all red putties are collected, a door appears that gives access to the next level. Though the levels have standard themes — jungle, desert, snowy plains and so on — they still feel very imaginative and it's all very cute and colourful. On a few occasions the screen is so busy that it can be hard to see where the bottom of the level actually is, which can cause a few frustrating deaths when you accidentally jump into a bottomless pit. Luckily, this is not a problem that occurs too often.

Like the levels, Putty's enemies are offbeat and funny. There's a cat that can be knocked down so his belly can be used as a trampoline and there are robotic dentures that try to kill you. However, one of the best enemies is a jumping sunglass-eyed carrot which yells "Achtung!". Levels can get quite cluttered with enemies, so the player often has to have rapid reactions in order to successfully reach the goal. There's also plenty of replay value; stickers can be gathered, secret levels can be unlocked and besides the regular campaign (called Marathon) there's a challenge mode in which certain goals for certain levels can be accomplished. Furthermore, trophies can be unlocked for quite a number of accomplishments.

The graphics are colourful and bright, while the animations are fine without being too dazzling. It looks just like what it is – a enhanced remake of a pretty 16-bit game, and retro gamers will certainly appreciate that; the 3D effect isn't spectacular at all, but it's nice to see that the developers actually tried in the first place. The music is suitable for the funny mood of the game and so are the humorous and eminently weird sound effects.

A point of annoyance is that if you restart from a save game you always start on level one on the level map screen – and you have move to your latest unlocked level by yourself; it'd have been nicer if Putty were just placed at the level we last finished. Furthermore, the game crashed a few times, especially when trying to use the map at the beginning of some levels. These crashes entirely froze the hardware, so the 3DS had to be restarted — luckily it didn't happen too often, but it's still disappointing. These are relatively minor drawbacks, of course — the main problem is the pricing. Despite being a well-produced and enjoyable game with a good level of content, its status as a budget retail title — it can be found in some stores as a physical release — belies the fact it feels like a download game; it's at a high price for the 3DS eShop market.

Conclusion

Putty Squad is a slightly overpriced but well-produced, and a highly enjoyable game for fans of retro platformers; it's well suited for the Nintendo 3DS. The game is charming, imaginative and funny, and serves as a reminder as to why many Amiga platformers where so beloved in the '90s. It offers a lot of content and will be enjoyed by anyone who has a love for classic platform games, but there are rough edges which should have been dealt with before release.

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User Comments (28)

sinalefa

#2

sinalefa said:

I always wondered what this game was. For a time I thought it was golf because of the Putty sounding like making a putt.

But still sounds a little like Potty. Never knew this is an old series.

Anguspuss

#4

Anguspuss said:

ah rose tinted glasses I will get this.
3ds version of the original amiga xcom now that I would buy.
No zool tho to much sugar

KillerGBH

#6

KillerGBH said:

my friend bought this on ps4 for 40$ and we played around 20mins total , this game awful

Extremist

#9

Extremist said:

Is this still coming for WiiU? I'll get the 3DS version (on sale) only if the WiiU version gets (officially) cancelled. It's still listed at coming here on NintendoLife WiiU games list, but System 3 website doesn't mention the WiiU version any more...

Kevlar44

#10

Kevlar44 said:

I am sure i'm one of a very few people on this site who actually owned a Putty game. I had Supper Putty and beat it as a kid, it was fairly tedious to play at times and i'm shocked they would make a remake. Me and my brother both had forgot this game even existed until a few years ago we found the game at my grandparents during a family function. If companies are going to do random remakes of games hardly anyone remembers someone should do 'on the ball'.lol

unrandomsam

#12

unrandomsam said:

Does this have anything to do with Silly Putty (I thought that game was quite good when I was young). It was quite well rated at the time and by the looks of it by the same guys.

KnightRider666

#16

KnightRider666 said:

This title always had my interest, but the game crashes concern me and are inexcusable in today's market. Will wait for a major price drop or pre-owned copy.

Blue_Yoshi

#17

Blue_Yoshi said:

This game actually looks pretty neat. Sad to know that its not on Wii U or Xbox One, I wonder if this game is better on the 3DS or the Vita.

arkady77

#18

arkady77 said:

wait till its on sale. the 3d works really nice but the game mechanics are not very satisfying. it is hard and has tonnes of content though.
i would love some more amiga games on 3ds. xcom/laser squad, paradroid, the amiga had some of the best shootemups as well.
as angusspuss said though. no zool

DestinationMoon

#19

DestinationMoon said:

@Extremist
Sadly, the game seems to have been cancelled for Wii U. A while back I mailed System 3 about it and this is what they had to say:

"I am afraid that plans to release the WiiU version have been halted because we failed to get any stores to guarantee that they would stock it."

Lobster

#20

Lobster said:

@DestinationMoon "because we failed to get any stores to guarantee that they would stock it"

I know that bodes ill for Wii U but honestly this made me laugh. Not that this game is bad or anything but that just sounds like a snub. Like the Wii U knows its little brother was full of shovelware and is trying to do better, or something.

DestinationMoon

#21

DestinationMoon said:

@Kevlar44
I own and beat Putty on the Amiga, which is the same game as Super Putty on the SNES. I actually liked the game a lot and it is one of my favorite Amiga games. I guess we all like different games, which is good. I played the demo of Putty Squad on the Amiga and though I liked it, I never liked it as much as the original Putty.

TeeJay

#22

TeeJay said:

Oh my gosh, is this the same little putty dude I played on the Super Nintendo as a kid? I mean the article says it was on the SNES but could it be the very same one I'm thinking of? I actually kinda enjoyed that game! I remember battling some kind of bird...

Henmii

#24

Henmii said:

I am very confused! Was this game released in the past, or not? Is this game at Retail only, or can it also be downloaded? If it is a very expensive download, then I'll wait till the price goes down!

appel

#25

appel said:

@Henmii This game is available since the 17th of April 2014 as download in the 3DS eShop (only in EU/UK regio) for a quite high price tag of €19.99 / £17.99. The release in the US will follow on the 17th of June 2014. It's not yet clear when it will be available as retail title.

tigermask

#26

tigermask said:

Amazon UK have it listed for £30 despite the original pre-order price at around £19.99. It seems to be in stock too. There are a few big bugs once you've completed Marathon Mode that won't allow you to load or save using the feature, which doesn't seem to be a problem because it auto saves/loads anyway!
Also, System 3 have teased SpotPass levels based on Super Putty for SNES but the time it took them to release this, I'm not sure if I'll hold my breath.

zool

#27

zool said:

I've had it for a week now, bought the physical release from Argos, £19.99, so I get to trade it in when I'm finished.

It is a budget game and it is a good game. Loads of levels. The concept is like Angry Birds in that you play a level, anything from 5 to 15 minutes and try and get all 3 stars.

The review said that levels can get quite cluttered with enemies; but that is part of the game. If there were no enemies or fewer, there would be no challenge. Once you have 'hit' the enemy it go from the screen, it does not replenish unless you loose a life. So the idea is to get rid of the enemies to make it easier to collect the putties.

The game is simple to get use to, easy to play, but not so easy to complete each level. Again I would compare it to something like Angry Birds, some levels you can do first time others may take five or six goes.

The 3d effect adds to the game without changing the concept of the original game. Like Yoshi new Island does. It's the sort of game you can dip in and out of if you have a spare 15/20 minutes. My game has not crashed, maybe it's just the download version.

6/10 maybe because £19.99 is a lot for a download copy with no trade in value but I would give it at lease 7/10. Although I have not finished it yet. And I did read that there maybe more levels to come.

Henmii

#28

Henmii said:

@appel,

Thanks for the answer! Yes, that's a pretty high price. I think I'll wait till the price goes down drastically!

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