Review – Biped

In times like these that we are currently living, in which we are constantly looking for casual entertainment in order to divert ourselves from the chaos ensuing outside of our homes, I can’t stress how refreshing it is to play something as light-hearted and charming as Biped. Just like last year’s Horace, this is one of those small indie titles I wouldn’t have ever heard of if it wasn’t for a press release sent to my inbox. I’m oh so grateful for finding out about it.

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I know he means no harm, but damn if that didn’t sound creepy.

At first glance, Biped will obviously remind you of Astro Bot due to its setting and main character. The game is populated by an absolutely adorable bunch of little robots. However, while Astro Bot was basically about rescuing your peers scattered throughout various planets, Biped features a very basic story about reactivating beacons scattered around Earth. The story isn’t the reason you’re going to play this game anyway, you’re here for the gameplay.

Biped is a puzzle-platformer with a heavy emphasis on physics and a unique control scheme that sounded incredibly off-putting at first, but ended up being the game’s highlight. You use the left and right analog sticks to control your little robot’s left and right legs, respectively. You’re basically teaching a little robot how to walk, and you’re also going to use this weird but efficient control scheme to solve small puzzles, avoid certain traps, and destroy a few targets, since you can break barrels by grabbing them with one leg and throw them onto a wall. Don’t ask, just do it. You can even slide around as if you were on a skating rink, if you’re currently on a smooth surface. You lose a bit of control over your character, but it’s so fun to skate around that this will end up being your primary way of walking around.

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The only thing that doesn’t smile at you in this game is this type of platform. I can live with that.

Biped can be played solo or with a friend, and if you choose for the latter, you’ll notice how similar to Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons this game can be. Nothing is inherently complicated and there isn’t a big emphasis on storytelling like Josef Fares’ cult hit, but it’s a neat little couch co-op pastime. It will be fun by yourself or with a friend while it lasts, which sadly, isn’t that long. Biped is very short: you’ll most likely be able to beat it in just a few hours. There are some incentives for replayability, namely the aforementioned co-op, some challenge medals, and hidden treasure, but the game will leave you wanting more. Thankfully, that’s the “best” kind of criticism a game like this can receive.

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I got swag.

Biped won’t win any awards for its graphics, sound, or the half dozen lines of dialogue that comprise its plot, but it will win you over with its control scheme and entertaining gameplay loop. It’s small and very short, but surprisingly competent when it comes to its level design, responsiveness and lack of bugs or glitches. It’s a simple pastime that won’t require much from you, but will most certainly leave you (and a friend, if you wish) with a smile.

 

Graphics: 7.5

The graphics might not push the PS4’s hardware to any limit whatsoever, but the game’s art direction is downright adorable. I love the little robots and their janky movements.

Gameplay: 8.5

Using both analog sticks to control your robot’s legs isn’t the most innovative control scheme of all time, but the combination of that and excellent level design makes the game a joy to play.

Sound: 6.0

The soundtrack and the sound effects aren’t anything that will impress anyone, but they get their job done.

Fun Factor: 8.0

The gameplay loop is fun, the level design is competent, the co-op gameplay is fun, and the characters are all adorable. Biped is a great little title which is only hampered by how short it is.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Biped is available now on PS4 and PC.

Reviewed on PS4.

A copy of Biped was provided by the publisher.