Wednesday 9 July 2014

Putty Squad Review (PS Vita)

It’s certainly taken a while for Putty Squad to make its way onto multiple systems. Aside from the Super Nintendo the game never originally made the light of day – even on its main platform of the Amiga. Now, many years later, the Amiga version has been released for free and Putty has made his way onto the current generation of consoles. Even this version has certainly taken its time as it was originally planned for release on the PS3.

In truth, very little has changed from the original version. The graphics have been given a bit of an overhaul and a few minor changes have been added such as Putty auto-absorbing things, but on the whole the game is the same one you may or may not remember. This fact hasn’t seemed to play well with a number of PS4 reviewers but then we here at Retro 101 are probably closer to the core target audience.

In terms of how the game plays you have to move Putty around a level collecting all the other Putty creatures on the stage. Once this has been done a door will appear which allows you to exit to the next level. It screams Amiga and anyone familiar with the system will instantly remember how platformers used to be on it upon playing this.

Our little blue hero is remarkably flexible and has a host of things he can do. As well as jumping he can stretch up or along, inflate himself to float around and absorb enemies and objects. Absorbing objects gives Putty different weapons to use which take over from his standard punch attack. Putty can also despatch some enemies by jumping on them.

The game is full of little touches that games of the time were noted for. For instance - If you knock over one of the cats you can use their stomach as a trampoline, while jumping on the top of the cat soldiers with helmets squashes them and allows the hat to be punched at other enemies like a Mario-style turtle shell.

The main issue with the game are graphics. While it’s not ugly as such it certainly is bordering on the garish in places. It’s also very busy in levels which will certainly cause some confusion until you get used to it. It’s a situation not  helped by how the backgrounds are layered. It can be very difficult to tell if a ledge is a solid platform or simply a piece of background art. Some of the smaller enemies are also difficult to see and tend to blend in with things. It’s a shame as the Vita screen is about as good a display as you’re going to get, but it certainly isn’t anything that can’t be coped with.

The other issue is the price of the thing. There’s no way the game should be asking you for around £20 of your hard earned cash. We don’t normally look at price too much but it’s so off the mark here that it needs to be mentioned. The price will surely drop but you’d have to be a real die hard Putty fan to bite at the minute, even with cross-buy.

Issues aside we certainly feel Putty Squad still has something to offer. Yes, it is a certain type of platformer that certainly feels like it was made for the Amiga. But then that is kind of the point and because of this it’s actually quite different to most of the other games in the genre currently available. It’s good fun in small chunks and suits the Vita much better than thePS4 in terms of how it looks and plays. If you are looking for some retro platform fun then this could well be the game you want. Just hold out for a price drop first.



  1. I think you're being too nice to this game, lol.

  2. Nah, it's a good fun game. I can understand why people might not be using it to showcase the power of the PS4. But on Vita it works fine.