This weekend I’ve been taking a look at an interesting puzzle game, a game which is built for two people to play in co-op yet also allows you to play it on your own as you control each character independently at the same time. Just like Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons, this game, albeit being much simpler in its design, also requires you to co-operate with your partner, or yourself, if you wish to overcome the puzzles in front of you. The game is called Super Co-op Adventure and it’s out now over on Itch.io
Although technically still in early access at the moment, there’s a decent amount of content currently within the game and enough challenge to keep you entertained throughout. I’ve played the game both on my own and with a friend via the interesting control scheme, here’s what we thought about it…
The story within the game is rather simplistic, you take control of two protagonists, P1 and P2, who have set out on a journey, along with friends P3 and P4, as they leave the EmptyNet in hopes of a better life over in the ExtraNet. Unfortunately, their ships crash within an unstable part of the ExtraNet, splitting up our four cuboid companions into two groups. With the help of P0, a mysterious guide who appears in order to offer hints and tips along your journey, you must make your way through a number of increasingly difficult and complex puzzles in order to reunite with the others and escape this puzzling place.
As I said above, you can play the game either with someone else or on your own within local co-op. However, the controls all revolve around using the keyboard and mouse – no gamepads are currently supported. If playing in two-player mode, one person uses A and D to move P1, and L to jump, and P2 is controlled by the second player using the left and right mouse buttons (he can’t jump on his own). If you don’t have anyone to hand to play the game with you, the controls are the same for a single-player only W is for jumping as P1 instead of L.
Although I would have loved controller support, for both co-op and single-player (working like Brothers, each side of the controller controls a separate ‘person), I soon became accustomed to the defined controls.
So, what is Super Co-op Adventure? Do you remember that hit indie title from a few years ago, the game which was one of the original Indie games that went mainstream and brought a lot of attention to indie games in general? That’s right, I’m talking about Thomas was alone, that brilliant puzzle-platformer which was accompanied by some brilliant narration from Danny Wallace. Well, Super Co-op Adventure reminded me a lot of that game in its mechanics, unfortunately, there’s not a deep and narrated story but there is a rather catchy set of 8-bit chiptunes from Ozzed which play in the background.
The game requires you to collect shards whilst solving a bunch of environmental puzzles which you must overcome by utilising both of your protagonist’s abilities – independently and piggy-backing off the other. For example, P1 is a big square who can jump a little and cause blocks to shatter if he falls from a great height – opening pathways and uncovering hidden mandatory collectables. P2 is shorter so he can fit through small gaps and floats much slower, allowing him to glide further distances. As the game goes on, new abilities are given such as P2, who is using the mouse, can move a cursor around the screen and delete and activate blocks so that P1 can jump on them and create new paths.
The co-op aspect comes into play when you have to use both of our little P’s together to overcome the obstacles. P2 can’t jump but if he’s stood on a certain tile and P1 jumps on it, it’ll send P2 up in the air as well. Similarly, P1 can jump on P2 to bounce off his head like a trampoline at any point. The game also introduces new hazards and mechanics such as teleports, numbered blocks (which are similar to the coloured blocks in Mario where a switch turned them off), and other obstacles to try and stop you in your journey.
Considering the build we got to play was only a preview build, I’m impressed and can’t wait to play more – hopefully on consoles as well if they find a publisher (**ahem**Ratalaika**ahem**) However, if you do download this build – which is currently on Itch.io HERE at a ‘name your own price’ – there are a few ‘issues’, or things I would like to see.
1. The game seems to run great for the most part but the smash ability (butt-stomping the floor with P1) only seemed to work when the game was running above 50fps on my PC. On my friend’s laptop, which was running it at around 30-40fps, the stomp never worked.
2. There’s no save function in this build. Sure, it’s only a preview and not that long, but a save function would be nice in a future update.
3. Similarly, if you make one mistake in the game, you have to replay the entire puzzle again – it would be nice if there was a rewind function or maybe a checkpoint created each time you grab one of the mandatory collectables? The game can get pretty frustrating if you keep dying (which is quite entertaining when watching someone else play).
4. The game is very flashy (Warning – if you suffer from epilepsy, don’t play this game in its current build). To make it more accessible for everyone, as it’s a good family-friendly game which I can see people playing with their kids and family, maybe add an options menu with the ability to turn off the flashes in-game.
5. Similarly, the screen wobbles from side to side a lot, to give the impression that you’re in an unstable part of the world. However, I know that the slow movements from side to side can make some people motion sick and nauseated. So, an option to also disable that would be a positive as well.
But, based on what I’ve seen so far, I’m certainly going to keep an eye out for any new updates in the future.
If you like puzzle games which progressively get harder whilst introducing new mechanics to help you solve the puzzles ahead, Super Co-op Adventure may be for you. Although the game is based around playing it in a two-player co-operative fashion, the game works just as well when playing on your own, thanks to its unique control method. However, some of the mechanics, such as bashing the buttons and activating blocks with your right-hand whilst your left-hand controls P1 as he jumps on blocks, can be a bit difficult to coordinate on your own. All-in-all though, I had a lot of fun playing through the game both solo and with my friends – if you’re looking for something to play together which requires you to work together to figure out solutions and progress, download this today.
Super Co-op Adventure is available in its current state over on Itch.io here: https://2players.itch.io/super-co-op-adventure and you can keep up with any news and info on the game from the developers on their website here: http://www.2players.it/ or Twitter here: https://twitter.com/2players_it
As this is only a preview build, we won’t be giving out any formal score at this point as this is merely a preview of the game in its current state.