Games & Tech

Review: Biped Stumbles Gracefully Onto Nintendo Switch

Screenshot: Biped

When our Games and Tech Editor originally reviewed Biped on PC, he said it was a hilarious blast to play with a friend, and that he would wholeheartedly recommend it. So how does this goofy, co-op centric puzzle game stand up on the Nintendo Switch? As it turns out, really well.

Biped is a third-person, co-op focused puzzle game where being able to put your left foot in front of your right foot might be your biggest challenge. In Biped, you control each of your robot’s legs independently, with each leg corresponding to one of your Joy-Cons control sticks. Imagine playing Portal 2, but you and your partner have to think about walking as much as you do the puzzles you’re solving. The controls can feel a bit finicky at first, as you feel out the correct time to alternate your sticks to get yourself moving. It’s not even finicky in a bad way; watching your little robot lean and flip around while it high steps around the world constantly put a smile on my face. Once you get it down though, it feels great to weave between obstacles and shimmy on the edges of cliffs.

Screenshot: Biped

Biped has eight different levels, each with its own unique mechanics for you to master. These range from swinging yourself over gorges on ropes, coordinating with your partner to cross bridges which can have only two feet on them or they’ll slowly vanish, having to balance on seesaws–the list goes on. While these puzzles aren’t exactly mind blowing in their complexity, the added difficulty of having to do it with another player whose legs also don’t work perfectly all the time make them feel special.

While Biped is, at its core, a co-op centered game, there is a solo mode, but it’s just not as good. The levels are altered in ways in order to permit a single player to complete the puzzles, but some sections are not changed, and these team you up with an actual bot, who merely move on a pattern. These sections can become really frustrating, as you try to perfectly try to sync up your movements with these robots-on-rails, and they feel less like puzzle solving than they do a struggle with the computer.

Screenshot: Biped

Even after you beat every level, Biped offers a lot of replayability. Every level has Super Mario-esque stars to collect and coins to gather, the latter of which can be used to buy cute cosmetic hats for your robot pal. All the base levels also include time limits and death limits to meet, which will definitely appeal to the perfectionists and speedrunners. Additionally, each level includes two challenge levels, which will push the coordination between you and your partner to its limits.

One of the major highlights of Biped is its art style and general atmosphere: the bright, punchy colors, cel-shading, the charming character designs, the music, the adorable sounds your robot makes; these all serve to make the game a joy to watch and listen. I never felt like I was going to lose track of my character in the world, and the distinct design of each robot means that you won’t have any issues wondering who’s playing whom.

Screenshot: Biped

Compared to the PC version, Biped on Switch looks a bit less crisp: it’s running at a lower resolution, and the game’s framerate has a tendency to dip during level intros and sections/levels that have a lot going on, like the High Treetop level. However, because of Biped’s simple, cartoony style, the graphical downgrade isn’t nearly as noticeable. There is a definite grainy look to the game if played in handheld mode, but it isn’t a deal breaker.

There is one small issue I have with Biped on Switch, and it has to do with the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers. The Joy-Con’s incredibly short sticks can occasionally cause some difficulties when trying to make slight adjustments to your biped’s legs, which can be annoying when you’re trying to turn a level in a specific direction and you just don’t have the accuracy to do so. This isn’t a huge issue, but if you’ve got access to another controller with longer joysticks, like a Pro Controller, I’d recommend you use that.

Biped has taken the move to the Switch like a champ, and has all the goofy charm of the PC and PS4 versions. There is a bit of a learning curve, and the solo mode might be a bit disappointing, but once you get the movement down it’s an absolute joy to stumble around this bright colorful world, completing puzzles with a friend.  

Biped comes to Nintendo Switch on July 2nd.

 

 

 

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