We’re taking a look at Biped, a cooperative puzzler by Next Studios that’s available for Steam and PS4 – the latter version being the one we tested.
Now that we’re limited in what we can do for fun in our spare time, it’s always nice to see a new videogame that encourages us to play together. Biped is one such game, although it only supports cooperative play in a local setting and not online. If you’ve got two family members willing to give it a go, however, then this is a nice way to share your PS4 while you’re stuck indoors together.
At the heart of Biped lies an original control scheme where your gamepad’s thumbsticks both control one of the feet of a little robot. This can and will be tricky at first, resulting in clumsy movement where getting to wherever you need to go feels like a bigger challenge than the puzzles themselves. It gets easier after a while though, and there’s a ‘skating’ mechanic as well that lets you move around quite a bit faster as long as you stick to smooth surfaces.
Walking (and skating) isn’t all that you do though, as you can also use your feet (you don’t have arms) to stick to surfaces, manipulate objects and operate machines. This, along with a need to cooperate, eventually becomes the key to the puzzles that are laid out in thirty levels that at times look and feel a bit like those in a platformer like Super Monkey Ball with a cartoon style that’s cute and pleasant to look at. However, the controls and challenging puzzle mechanics make this game a tall order for the younger crowd, even though they’re likely to be drawn in by the visuals.
There’s a story behind it all, but it roughly comes down to a pair of robots (you can play it in single player mode with an AI buddy) having to manually reset a series of power beacons. It’s safe to say that the focus is firmly on gameplay here, and not on narrative development. It’s gameplay that’s best enjoyed with a real life buddy though, since not only is it more fun to play together, you also get to access more puzzle content this way.
Variety is the name of the game here, as Biped’s puzzles are very diverse and creative in how they make use of your little robots instead of relying on a single mechanic and repeating it over and over again. There’s a limited amount of replay value as well, since you can replay levels for better scores (often just meaning fewer failures) or to grab the game’s many collectables and unlocking cosmetic upgrades for your little robots.
Playing Biped together, we found it to be a charming and fun little puzzler. It relies on skills with the controller almost as much as it relies on puzzle solving skills, and we’ve seen better physics-based puzzlers. Few of those support playing together and have the audiovisual charm of this game though, we can fully recommend it, especially during a time where we need to come together while staying apart.