Nothing makes the bonds of friendship stronger than being tied to your friends to try and survive a deadly obstacle course. Tied Together puts you and your friends in the roles of tiny monsters whose cooperation skills are being put to the test. You’ll have to put your oddly shaped heads together in order to overcome an abundance of lethal obstacles. While the set up is ingenious and will require cooperation and coordination, the execution leaves much to be desired.
The controls are simple enough, yet they also become a big factor in the challenge of the game. You can run and jump like in any other platformer, except this time your movement is hindered by the other players linked to you. The rope can restrain the other player’s movements if you become too separated from one another, meaning you’ll have to move in unison in order to get the most out of running and jumping. Of course there’s more here than just the standard platforming. In fact, one move has you burying your character into the ground or a wall to serve as a sort of anchor to allow the other players to use the rope to swing to a far off platform. You even have the ability to hit one of the other players with your head! While this has no practical use other than to revive a player when they die, it’s always great when a co-op game allows you to hit your partner in some way to take out the your inevitable frustrations.
As already discussed, the game’s main gimmick is playing together while being tied with a rope, and that means the levels are designed around this mechanic. That means the stages will take full advantage of your predicament, making even the simplest platforming sections seem difficult. It’s up to you and your friends to discover the advantages of being stuck together in order to successfully navigate to the end. It won’t be easy with plenty of hazards blocking your path at every step, including spikes, lava, and the dreaded rotating platforms. Luckily there are also some things scattered about to aid you along the way, including bounce pads and floating bubbles.
There are over 40 levels in the 2-player mode, and 20 levels in the 3-4 player party mode. While that’s not a bad level count, the game does feel lacking in terms of content. Even though the levels are challenging, they’re not necessarily long and in some cases skilled players could pass many of them in under a minute. The game is also hindered by its lack of level variety. Every level is the same grassy location, with the only difference being the layout of the obstacles. What year is this? This might have been acceptable back in 1989 with the original Bomberman on the NES, but games have come a long way since then and gamers demand more variety in the levels and the challenges. The gameplay never evolves with any new stages or obstacles, which represent a huge missed opportunity. It would have been fun to try out levels with icy slippery floors or really anything that would have added a new twist to the gameplay.
The biggest problem with Tied Together is that, beyond the gimmick of being tethered to your friends, it doesn’t feel unique. The art, music, and levels are generic, meaning nothing really stands out about this game. In a small co-op game like this, there needs to be a reason to want to play the. After every level I completed, I never felt the desire to replay them ever again. It’s unfortunate that the developers had such a great idea for a game, but squandered most of it by only doing the bare minimum. This might be more acceptable if the game was only a couple bucks, but the asking price is $15 and that’s simply too high for what’s offered here, especially when you look at all of the other great games with more and better content already available for the same price or less on the Switch.
Tied Together Review
- Graphics - 5/105/10
- Sound - 3/103/10
- Gameplay - 8/108/10
- Lasting Appeal - 3/103/10
Final Thoughts: MEDIOCRE
Tied Together offers such a neat gimmick, but fails in its execution. There are over 60 levels that will put you and your friends to the test, but anyone expecting some nice variety of replay value will be sorely disappointed. While I had some fun playing this game, that’s due to the people I played with rather than the quality of the game. Save your $15 for something else.