Biped is finicky fun. Best experienced in co-op, NExT Studios’ latest often captures the absurd, bumbling playfulness of games like Gang Beasts and Octodad, testing your cooperation and coordination with challenging physics puzzles. However, with only a handful of levels and a solo mode that frequently substitutes fun for frustration, Biped feels a little lacking beyond its short but sweet coop campaign.
When a cosmic anomaly extinguishes Earth’s light beacons, you, as bipedal robots Aku and Sila, venture to the blue planet in a quest to locate and restore these beacons. Aku and Sila are cute and endearing but lack some of the personality you’d expect from the game’s charming Pixar-inspired art design. Bright, bold colours make this a pleasant world to explore although similarly, it feels slightly uninspired, the repeated use of treetops, deserts and ruins as environmental aesthetics lending a certain staleness to its style.
True to its name, Biped’s gameplay centres around utilising your two little limbs to traverse levels and tackle puzzles. Your analogue sticks control these respective limbs while circle allows you to grab on to certain objects. It’s an elegantly simple control which works well, balancing the inherent awkwardness of operating individual limbs with a level of precision that proves vital to conquering the game’s many physics puzzles. Your toddler walk soon becomes a confident stride while the skate function takes some the hassle out of navigating levels as you glide around with ease.
Biped continues to stay fresh, introducing consistently inventive puzzles across its seven levels. These force to think in new ways, whether that be using balance, momentum, colour coordination or even a certain number of limbs to progress past each obstacle. In co-op, this demands keen coordination as timing each movement down to the split-second is often essential for success. While at times this makes for some rather tiresome die-and-retry repetition, with a companion by your side it rarely descends into genuine annoyance, instead provoking defeated delight as one of you stumbles clumsily to their death.
Unfortunately, Biped only really works as a co-op experience. Although playable entirely in single player, this mode lacks teamwork and thus any of the novelty or joy that comes with it. Puzzles are altered and seem significantly harder, an issue not helped by infuriatingly uncooperative AI that replaces your player partner for certain puzzles. Those that do leave you unassisted simply feel a bit mundane, a quality that only amplifies the frustration of each failed attempt. While it’s commendable that the game accommodates those of us that can’t rope a friend or loved one for some local or online co-op, playing Biped solo feels redundant.
For an evening of fleeting co-op fun, Biped is ideal. This jaunt through a charming, albeit rather generic, world is full of smartly designed physics puzzles that are sure to test you and your partner’s cooperation, coordination and maybe even patience. Unfortunately, a lacklustre solo campaign and a lack of content, aside from the extra-challenging “pro” levels and a handful of cosmetic unlocks, prevent Biped from providing the complete package.
Biped PS4 Review
Overall - Very Good - 7/10
Biped offers a short but sweet co-op campaign with inventive puzzle design and delightful visuals. Unfortunately, a lack of content and a solo mode that is more frustrating than it is fun ultimately let down the overall experience.
- Smart physics puzzles that are consistently inventive.
- Lots of fun to be had in co-op.
- Cute, albeit slightly generic, art design.
- More frustrating than fun in solo play.
- Not much content beyond its handful of levels.
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Reviewed using PS4 Pro.
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Max is a lover of games, carbs and soft-faced dogs. Often seeking out games that Chris dubs “artsy sh*t”, Max is Pure PlayStation’s resident indie games zealot, passionately championing anything underground or underappreciated. His other hobbies including leading a cult, being an art school dropout and telling everyone he’s vegan.