Whenever you start up a game, you’re presented with the glorious option for player two to simply Press Start to join up. Things are looking up, but unfortunately it’s almost immediately a downhill experience. Your partner will assume the role of Fume, and is a complete clone of Nox. I mentioned earlier that the camera can be a little odd at times, swinging wildly when you flip to another side of a building or switch orientation, and during simple traversal, you can quite often strand your partner with no way to see what they’re doing this. Problem.
The solution, and what ultimately sends this title straight to the "games you can play with your little sister/brother/cat/favorite action figure", is that if either player advances far enough, their partner is warped to them. Sometimes, it seems to warp them if they’re just taking too long. Though other games certainly do this as well (hi, Halo), the frequency at which it happens is stunning. After noticing this, I asked my wife to put her controller down to see if I could just drag her through the level. Lo and behold, a few minutes later we were staring at the victory screen. Her reaction? "Why is there co-op in this game?" Indeed.
To be fair, partners can simply play as normal, but the co-op doesn’t really add anything to the experience, save two people complaining about the camera. No puzzles require two players, and there aren’t any extra enemies to populate the levels or give the second player much to add. In fact, coupled with the warping partner feature, it seems like the goal of co-op is to try and speed run the level. You might think I’m being overly harsh. The game certainly functions in co-op if played normally, but for the life of me I couldn’t think of a way to keep it fun.
So while the co-op is ultimately a wash, Sideway: NY is a decent little platformer with a lot of personality that helps it stand out. I’d recommend it to a friend, but just don’t let them ask to play it with you.
The Co-Op Experience: Drop-in, drop-out couch co-op for two players.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.