Reviewed on Sony PlayStation 4Also available on Microsoft Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch
The title may clue you into this but Biped is a puzzle game based entirely on your two legs. A weird prospect, no doubt, but somehow NEXT Studios have managed to make this prospect into a challenging and entertaining puzzler.
The premise is simple, you are a tiny (adorable) robot tasked with reactivating a series of beacons dotted around the planet. To reach the beacons you have to traverse an obstacle course with nothing but your two legs. Simple in concept, tricky in the execution. Do not be deceived by the aggressively cute graphics, Biped is not for little kids. You see, the robot is controlled by the two analogue sticks on your controller, each stick controls an individual leg and you have to work out how to walk. In the same way Death Stranding layered in new walking mechanics to emphasise the importance of the journey, Biped complicates the process of walking to make you think about what you are doing. Every step matters.
The puzzles and obstacles are easy enough to understand, the challenge is in getting to grips with the amusingly complicated walking mechanics in order to overcome them. Some puzzles are speed challenges, some rely on button pressing, some rely on balancing, others on weight distribution, to name a few.
Certain surfaces can be skated along, to help you move faster, others react to your steps by either shrinking when you lift a foot or breaking down if too much time is spent idling. The deeper into the game you get, the more intense the challenge gets, as there is quite a significant difficulty spike after three levels as the game expects you to understand the fundamentals by this point.
It was surprising to see how little of Biped was frustrating, despite numerous mistakes made throughout my time with it, because there is something innately comical about an adorable looking robot that walks like a new toddler and the noises the robots make as they clumsily fall off a platform ensure most failures are met with a laugh rather than rage. Of course, some rage will occur naturally, but it was a matter of personal error rather than poor game design.
The primary experience is a co-op mode, and it can be amusing to see your robot partner flailing around or accidentally dropping you to your death. This will likely happen a lot so it is recommended to have a sense of humour about it. There is a solo mode which is just as engaging and challenging as co-op, so do not feel like you will be missing out if you have no one to play Biped with, they have you covered with puzzles and perils aplenty.
Biped is not a long game even with the difficulty spike and hilarious, frequent pratfalls taken into account, but it is entertaining and engaging for the short time spent with it. If you have someone you can co-op with, it is definitely recommended for the low price point, but solo players may want to wait for the game to appear for free on PS Plus or Game Pass or a sale.