Sometimes all you need is a different perspective to see the solution right in front of your face. This is the central idea behind Toodee and Topdee by dietzribi. The world of gaming uses a lot of different camera angles and graphic aesthetics to enhance the gameplay and create a certain experience. Toodee and Topdee does this by taking two well-established camera perspectives and combining them to make an unusual adventure game full of puzzles and platforming. It may take some getting used to, but the two dimensions and their associated characters make for a fun, charming, and surprisingly challenging title.
How Did This Happen?
When it comes to quirky puzzle games, we don’t spend too much thinking about the how or why. Toodee and Topdee is somewhat generous as to how much story it provides. At the beginning of this universe was just one being called Aleph. Aleph created various worlds with different perspectives including Toodee’s 2D world and Topdee’s top-down world. Afraid that the worlds would get tangled up, Aleph created the Semicolon to keep things balanced.
However, Aleph’s assistant Toodoo feared there would be nothing left for him to do so he stole the Semicolon causing the worlds to blend together and glitches to appear. Now stuck in the same plane of existence together, Toodee and Topdee must use their own perspectives to navigate the different worlds and recover the Semicolon. A view-bending quest to retrieve punctuation is something worth examining further.
With any game, you hope to experience as many high points as possible. Toodee and Topdee has plenty of them to go around. The first is the unique take on gaming perspectives. The main mechanic is being able to switch between the two heroes to make use of their respective properties. It causes you to take into account aspects such as gravity, placement, speed, and timing to accomplish even the smallest movements. It makes you appreciate how different these worlds can be.
Then there’s the pacing and accessibility. Even to those who aren’t familiar with either gaming angle, Toodee and Topdee is very friendly in its approach. The game is broken up into contained levels so you have all the information you need at the start. It gives you plenty of opportunities to explore and get a feel for both of the characters and their actions. There’s never really a dull moment, and it’s easy to build momentum.
Then there’s the level of difficulty. Despite how cute and colorful the game looks, Toodee and Topdee is anything but simple. Each world spends a few levels introducing you to its unique properties before ramping up the challenge as you progress. The further you go, the more you have to think carefully about every move you make and take the time you need to plan out the perfect solution. The boss fights can be especially tricky and catch you off-guard if you aren’t paying attention.
The Low Points
For every peak, there is a base, and for every high, there is a fall. Toodee and Topdee can occasionally fall pretty hard. The first is the lack of clarity for certain rules. There are few puzzles where it’s clear what you’re supposed to do or what the characters can affect. There are times where it’ll feel like you’re trying everything with everything else in hopes of discovering a rule you didn’t know.
There are few cop-out levels that are incredibly one-sided. These are usually defined by having one of the characters trapped in a small portion of the room and the other needs to solve it alone. Sometimes it feels like a room can have multiple solutions and other times it doesn’t. Later levels put a huge amount of importance on timing and precision, leading to moments where if you miss just one button press then you’re starting over.
Finally and perhaps most frustratingly, there’s the imbalance between the one and two-player modes. This game can be fun with a friend and on your own, but solo-play has to deal with more issues. These are most apparent during times where you have to quickly switch between characters in order to use their abilities as close together as you possibly can. For example, there’s one boss that launches an unavoidable attack if you’re too slow which would be mitigated if you were playing with someone.
What’s Up And Down
Toodee and Topdee is a puzzle-platformer that combines 2D gaming with top-down gaming. It’s simple to learn and hard to master with colorful visuals and a nice degree of challenge. Despite having a one-player option, many of the issues can be reduced if you play with a friend. Jump and push your way through this dimensional adventure to save some grammar.
TechRaptor reviewed Toodee And Topdee on Steam with a copy provided by the folks behind the game's release.
- Interesting perspective-shifting mechanic.
- Challenging levels and boss encounters.
- Easy to learn with a good pacing.
- Unclear rules and properties.
- Some lackluster levels and demanding precision.
- Unfair aspects most noticeable in one-player mode.