biped

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
biped Game Poster Image
Co-op puzzler is violence-free and promotes teamwork.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Play promotes cooperation and communication between pairs of players. Patience and perseverance are generally rewarded.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The little robot heroes are upbeat and motivated to accomplish their mission.

Ease of Play

The controls are unusual but straightforward: players alternate pressing the joysticks to move the robot's legs, or press them both at the same time to make them skate. That said, getting a proper feel for how to do this takes time, and some of the environment traversal puzzles aren't easy to figure out at first glance.

Violence & Scariness
Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know Biped is a top-down puzzle adventure for the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs starring two-legged robots whose mission is to make their way across tricky environments. There's no combat. Instead, the challenge is for pairs of players to work together to solve puzzles that require effective cooperation and good timing as they carefully move around the world and manipulate objects. Play encourages teamwork and communication, and the robots' behavior illustrates how patience and perseverance are often rewarded. A single player mode is available as well, with puzzles that can be completed by one person playing alone.

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What's it about?

BIPED is all about cooperation. It puts pairs of players in control of little robots attempting to activate beacons on planet Earth. In order to accomplish their mission, they need to traverse puzzle-filled environments. The challenge is twofold. First, players must master the quirky way their robots move by pushing one joystick forward, releasing, and then doing the same with the other joystick in order to make them walk one leg at a time. On smooth surfaces, you can simply push both joysticks at the same time to make them skate forward. And by standing in place and pressing just one joystick, you can grab onto certain environmental objects, ranging from switches to barrels to ropes. Once you're familiar with the controls your skills will be put to the test as you encounter puzzles that require both players to walk in tandem, manipulate ropes, press buttons, and perform myriad feats of cooperation and timing, all while making an effort to pick up collectibles -- stars and coins used to purchase cosmetic enhancements -- along the way. A second mode designed for people playing solo requires similar mechanics mastery, but with puzzles and tasks that don't require a second robot.

Is it any good?

The keys to enjoying this unusual little puzzle game are to play with a good friend and try not grow frustrated too quickly. Biped has a charming vibe, with colorful landscapes and playful robot characters who look like they could be friends with Pixar's WALL-E. The awkward but adorable way in which they move -- one bendy leg at a time -- is delightful and disarming. You'll be rooting for them from the word go. And the puzzles encountered are imaginative and surprisingly challenging. Players have to make their robots walk in lockstep, transfer objects between each other, and interact with various platforms, switches, and buttons in just the right way and at the right time. It's a relatively simple concept that's been worked into something clever, satisfying, and polished.

The greatest obstacle for most players will simply be mastering movement. Working out how to move your robot's legs individually is at first novel and entertaining, but once the puzzles start coming -- and punishing you for your mistakes -- it can grow a bit frustrating, especially if the two people playing are of different experience and skill levels. It's not until movement becomes second nature for both players that the frustration subsides and the fun resumes. A wise strategy might be for the two partners to both work through the single player mode first, which will give them a chance to hone their skills and better prepare them for the challenges of co-op mode. Biped occupies a pretty distinct niche, but puzzle-loving gamers who like the idea of movement-focused conundrums that require two minds thinking as one ought to find plenty to like.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about screen time. Biped is primarily a co-op game, and encourages socialization between pairs of players, but do you think limits on healthy play time ought to be longer, shorter, or the same if you're playing with someone rather than alone?

  • Is it easier to talk to someone you don't know well if you're cooperating to accomplish a common goal? Do games like Biped serve as effective ice-breakers for kids who may not know each other very well yet?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love puzzles

Themes & Topics

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