After more than twenty years, the classic nineties video game of ‘Putty Squad’ has been refreshed and reimagined by its original creators. Since talking with Mark Cale (the CEO of its developer and publisher, System 3), it seems as though it’s been quite a journey up to this point. As I already explained in my preview of this HD successor, Putty Squad had gained critical acclaim upon its release, but unfortunately was scrapped for all platforms, bar the SNES. Out of the wreckage came just one demo from the Amiga version, which was hailed platform gold at the time, despite never seeing retail release.
It was only mere months ago that I got my first taste, as well as knowledge, of Putty Squad. Since trying the game out, I grew particularly fond of its glossy sheen and fast, upbeat retro action. Now I’ve been able to spend much more time with the final game, I’m happy to see the product finally find its feet, but also admire the passion and commitment System 3 have mustered in order to bring this vision to a reality.
If you’ve yet to play any of the titles thus far, then I’d suggest that now is probably the best time. On the other hand, if you were one of the lucky few to play the original on the Super Nintendo, your patience has probably been rewarded. I say ‘probably”’because, after all, it has been more than twenty years since the game’s first outing. How it will be received amongst the older generation will depend on a number of things. Nevertheless for the hardcore fan base, I expect Putty Squad’s revival will be nothing but warmly received.
In regards to my own experience of the game, I sure found it easy to get hooked on its upbeat music and altogether ‘cutesy’ art direction. Though I was born at the beginning of the nineties, I can still relate to what this reimagining is trying to achieve. Since watching a few videos from the original Putty Squad, I was surprised to see how similar the two games are. Even with newly created levels, different sound effects and smoother gameplay, it seems as though the creators have captured the essence of the original perfectly.
It’s no surprise, however, as lead coder John Tweedy and lead artist Phil Thornton returned from the original team to start work on the refresh. Even though this is a remake, you do get plenty of bang for your buck. In total there are sixty levels to begin with, each filled with their own set of challenges and tasks to accomplish. Furthermore, if you manage to complete all the levels and demand extra, you’ll be glad to know that downloadable content is planned too.
Another way of gaining extra levels is through the newly added sticker book. Through collecting the required stickers in each level, you can then gain access to more levels at no extra cost. Should you not find yourself with enough time however, then calm those nerves, as the extra content will be available to purchase for a small price. This therefore gives you the choice; have fun and play more to gain more, or have fun, be lazy whilst doing so and pay for more, should you want to.
- + Classic retro action
- + Huge amount of fan service from its original developer
- + Lots of levels and content to plough through
- - Might find it hard to bring in a new audience
- - Twenty years too late?