Toodee and Topdee sounds just like the output of a speedy innovation brainstorm below game-jam strain: “What if side-on, but additionally top-down?” In all probability type of true, as developer dietzribi conjured the sport’s earliest type for Ludum Dare 41 in 2018. It’s a throwaway concept that they have been completely proper to not throw away. This totally fledged recreation retains stunning and difficult for a number of hours, with charismatic presentation and a real sense of humour.
So, what if side-on but additionally top-down? It really works like this: Toodee lives in a side-on 2D platforming world, and Topdee lives in a top-down 2D puzzley journey type of a world. Because of some self-deprecatingly hand-wavey but entertainingly animated online game codswallop, the 2 worlds are smashed collectively like two gaming tropes in a recreation design parody tweet. Single display playfields are traversed with good tight jumps by Toodee, till urgent ‘Y’ tilts the view a little bit and all of a sudden Topdee’s strolling on what was the wall. Toodee is in the meantime pale out, mounted in place and invulnerable till the swap again, permitting Topdee to shuffle blocks to develop into platforms, intrude with enemy assault behaviour, and get caught on top-down obstacles the place Toodee might want to return the favour, till each meet on the extent’s exit portal.
Ranges are divided into worlds, every world introducing new gadgets, enemies and ideas, then coaching the participant to make use of them. The issue curve is completely judged, with no dumbing down simply because a brand new thought’s come alongside. Properly-designed bosses cap off every world. The puzzles are a formidable Jenga tower of creatively repurposed concepts. Maybe we have been too cynical in anticipating much less, nevertheless it’s true that few puzzle video games can get as far with out really fizzling out.
There’s a pondering/doing stability to be struck in a puzzle platformer. The figuring out of the answer is a large a part of the enjoyable of the sport, so as soon as it’s labored out, you don’t need to be slogging by the precise execution simply to get to the subsequent puzzle. Toodee and Topdee does nicely for probably the most half, nevertheless it positively has an motion aspect to it, which means the execution of your resolution is as a lot part of the sport because the lateral pondering. It’s crucial, then, that the motion elements are satisfying, and so they solely type of are. Toodee’s motion is correct, flowing and readable, with simple and unequivocal physics that don’t get previous. Topdee, although, is a drag. It’s unnecessarily difficult to guage place because of the tilt of the playfield, and a single slip-up in a dynamic resolution can imply a complete reset. To the sport’s credit score, the degrees are quick, so there’s a pure restrict to how a giant an issue that may be, however elective time-based assessments lean into the pressured put-one-foot-wrong territory the place the sport is weakest. And though they’re elective, there’s substantial content material to unlock, so be ready to grind the duller elements for those who love the remainder of it.
Total, Toodee and Topdee is fantastically imaginative puzzle recreation with distinctive selection wrung out of its core conceit. It struggles most when it asks for dynamic execution of puzzle options, however even then it’s fairly first rate. This side-on / top-down puzzler is one which different video games ought to look as much as.