Poncho Review (PS4)
Poncho is a two-dimensional, semi open-world, scrolling platformer with puzzle-solving elements that takes place in a world where all humans have been eliminated, leaving only animals and a bunch of robot servants. You, the player, control one of these servant robots named Poncho. Your goal is to discover who your maker is and why humanity was wiped off the face of the world.
Poncho contains wonderful pixel-art graphics with vibrant colors, which works great for this style of platformer While it is a two-dimensional platformer, the levels actually contain 3 different layers (think Little Big Planet). Navigating between these layers is as simple as pressing R1 and L1 to move forward and backward, respectively. I found myself switching between layers quite often, and this aspect of the game makes the game even more fun. The one issue I had with the layers was that there were a few times that I needed to make a jump but wasn’t sure which layer I needed to be in to make that jump. This resulted in a few trial-and-error attempts.
As I mentioned before, Poncho is a semi open-world game. You are pretty much free to go through the levels in any order you want, but in order to get to certain parts you will need to unlock color-coded gates. These gates can be unlocked with color-coded keys, which you obtain by finding them throughout the world or buying them from robot merchants using gems that you find in the open. I found myself back-tracking quite a bit to find or buy keys to advance, but not too much.
The gameplay and controls in Poncho are very good. Guiding Poncho through the levels is fairly easy. Both the platforming and puzzle aspects of the game are implemented very well. One of the few problems I had with Poncho is that there are very few checkpoints in the levels, so when you happen to fall (make a jump on wrong layer), you likely will have to start from the beginning of the level, which can become quite frustrating when you reach a difficult area.
Overall, Poncho is a fun game with vibrant graphics, solid gameplay and a unique story. I ran into a few glitches, but nothing serious. The game can become frustrating at times, but nothing that ruins the fun of the game. If you are looking for a new platformer/puzzler to try out, give Poncho a shot. I don’t think you will regret it at all.
Score 3 out of 5
Thanks to the publisher for supplying a copy for review