It seems like there’s endless potential in the cooperative-multiplayer genre. Every so often, new games come along that further explore how players can and need to work together, and this weekend, we played yet another example of this. Biped, a cute robot puzzle game, comes to us from NEXT Studio, a development team based in China, and it challenges your ability to sync up with a friend in very funny, and very aggravating, ways.
Strange as it may sound, the best way to describe the gameplay is Octodad-meets-Snipperclips. In Biped, you and a friend control two robots, and each analog stick on your controller moves one of their legs. Once you get the hang of moving each limb individually and interacting with the environment, you can perform more advanced movements like grabbing levers, using color-coordinated switches, and sliding by holding both analog sticks in the same direction. Sliding dramatically speeds up how quickly you move around the world, but it comes with a much higher risk of falling into the abyss.
With these controls in mind, solving the game’s puzzles requires cooperation and constant communication. For example, one of the demo’s most taxing challenges involved moving both robots across a rotating cylinder. The cylinder (and other platforms like it) will change colors based on which robot touched it last, and that color indicates which robot needs to step on it next; if the structure is blue, the blue robot needs to step on it, otherwise the ground disappears and both players need to start over. This leads to moments of confusion that are both hilarious and maddening; it’s not long before you’re either jokingly or genuinely furious with each other, and most of the game’s puzzles work this way. You might be tasked with pressing shaped buttons in the right order, or balancing on either side of a tilting platform, and all of this is much trickier than it sounds. The game can also be played solo, but we didn’t have a chance to try this, and it honestly sounds much less fun this way. If you’re looking for a unique and tough puzzle game to get very angry at a friend over, this might be perfect for your very specific needs.
Biped steps onto PC in March, with a PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch release to follow.