This reviewer said bromance due to the nature of the co-op experience. Each protagonist (Glo and Bulder) have specific powers which gel with each other, and it makes for some of the best couch gameplay this reviewer has been in an Indie title for a long time.
For example, one player may choose to swallow up the other to take advantage of their active ability. Imagine Kirby minus death. Although the script might not be much to take a bite out of, developer focus has been honed on the characteristics of our protagonists. From physical aesthetics to physics, players will form their own favourites early on in this co-op hit.
The Tales of Two
This reviewer felt a similar engrossment that washed over him when EA’s Unravel Two released, it’s a simple but beautiful take on the power of friendship in gaming. Protagonists Rock and Star aren’t tethered together but are very much tied by fate. By using each protagonists abilities to manipulate their surroundings, players can work their way up a mountain which will inevitably take Glo home.
One enjoyed the option of being able to play Pode solo or with a friend, as one can be quite the miserable twit at times. A simple button press switches control of the two protagonists in order for players to amend levels as they deem fit (within the boundaries of Glo and Bulder of course). Although the mechanics are sound in single player mode and work much like competing titles in the dual protagonist puzzler genre, Pode is best served with a portion of socialisation.
No Rush, No Pressure
As previously mentioned, Pode is not the type of games to push players to their limits. A protagonist falling off a ledge quickly rectifies itself with a quick auto jump back up or teleport at no cost to player progress. The challenge in Pode is working out how to best use Glo and Bulders abilities to complete the current level to move up the mountain. Whilst sometimes this process can be likened to finding a Lego brick in a builders yard, it’s still a great experience and always rewarding.
Pode isn’t a title that wouldn’t benefit from nor need HD textures and elements, this titles level of immersion and challenge is characterised perfectly in the pseudo cell shaded aesthetic. Whilst frame rates can take a hit without reason, Pode can be forgiven for it’s bags full of charm and wonderful gameplay mechanics. But seriously, the frame rate really should not be dropping with such a lightweight title technically speaking.
The Soundtrack ties together the co-operate package nicely with subtle ethereal and atmospheric notes, not to mention some cute emotes from our protagonists and sensible environmental effects. When this reviewer played with the sound down, one lost that warm fuzzy feeling that Pode excreets throughout it’s playtime.
Graphics and Presentation: 3
Overall score: 3.8/5
Whilst this reviewer wanted to score a solid 4, one couldn’t justify it with it’s frame rate issues. The overall experience in Henchman and Goons Pode is a memorable one and a title that i would recommend to all of my readers. With that said, this avid gamer hopes that the titles performance issues are patched up in a later update along with a more modest pricepoint.
Formats: Nintendo Switch (Reviewed)
Price: £22.49 (eShop)
Publisher: Henchmen & Goon
Developer: Henchmen & Goon
Release Date: 21/06/2018
Age Rating: PEGI 3+
Review copy provided by publisher