Biped by NEXT Studios
Biped is a platforming action game designed from the ground up to facilitate cooperative play, either locally or online. Biped feels like it dropped straight out of an arcade it features options ranging from couch co-op to online play to solo.
With high production values and a cute aesthetic, Biped offers a charming way to spend time with friends close by or from afar.
Two Legs Good!
My first thoughts as I dove into Biped were that it presents itself very well: menus, animations and environments are all stunning. Three modes are available from the launch menu: online co-op, local co-op and solo. It’s telling of Biped’s intent that the latter is presented at the bottom of the list; this is a game that, first and foremost, is intended for multiplayer fun.
A gentle tutorial level introduces the basics of Biped. This is a top-down action and puzzle game with platforming elements.
Most notable, however, is the movement system. Either analog sticks or each mouse button controls the two legs of a small robot independently as it navigates the world. This makes for some clumsy but amusing movement, and whilst the control system is deliberately awkward, it never slips over into irritating.
Biped recommends a gamepad, but I found a mouse equally effective; each mouse button activates a different leg and allows for relatively precise control with the pointer.
The story of Biped is thin and provides a basic premise: a set of navigation beacons have been disabled and the titular robots must reactivate these beacons after working through a variety of tricky environments.
Controlling one of two very cute robots, the player must work through a collection of puzzles and fiddly obstacles to get to the switches to turn these beacons back on.
An Easy Stroll
Biped is not a particularly challenging game to play solo; most of the puzzles are easy, and the more control-oriented puzzles are fun but straightforward. This isn’t a bad thing; Biped crafts a pleasant and easygoing feel from the outset and never betrays this premise.
Throwing in a second player, of course, creates an element of chaos that helps to up the challenge slightly, but even then this is a pretty chilled experience.
I was pleased to see that, despite the cooperative focus, the developers haven’t abandoned solo options. Many challenges or puzzles provide AI companions to give some of the experience gained through a second player, and these can be some of the more amusing parts of the solo game. Emojis give some sense of a relationship between the Biped and these characters, with grumpy faces giving expression as they tumble to their doom.
In addition to the primary goal of reaching the end of each level, there are a couple side objectives to get stuck into. Coins can be collected throughout levels and then spent on cosmetic upgrades to the Biped.
A set of stars can also be found throughout each level, providing a “collect them all” long-term goal for replay value.
Walking on Sunshine
The aesthetics of Biped are of a very high quality with very few seams to be noted. The music is upbeat and helps to reinforce the relaxed attitude running through the veins of Biped. Characters are well animated, and the environments are beautiful, ranging from snowy mountains to rivers running through deserts.
There’s plenty to see here.
Biped is an impressive action puzzle game with a strong focus on providing fun for two players. The cooperative theme is evident throughout the game and many obstacles require coordination to get through, whether they be in the solo mode or the cooperative option.
Despite this focus, the solo mode isn’t neglected and there is some – albeit fairly short – fun to be had here for one player alone.
If you’re looking for a fun cooperative game to work through with a friend either locally or online, Biped is definitely worth considering.
Biped is available via the Sony PlayStation Store and Steam.
Watch the official Biped trailer below: