KeyWe is a co-op puzzler developed by Stonewheat & Sons and published by Sold-Out Software, it sees you take on the role of a couple of Kiwis working in a post-office. Sounds intriguing right?! We set 2 of the S’s (Stu and Si) off to check out the wacky world of Kiwi postage.
We love a good co-op game here at TC, so couldn’t wait to get stuck into KeyWe. Kiwis, Ostriches, a random Octopus this truly is going to be a crazy game! You can check out our previous review of one of our favourite co-op games ever right here!
You play as Debra and Jeff, a pair of tiny kiwis working in a mail room with a number of challenges to complete during each calendar season. The whole principle of the game is to ensure that the mail gets where it needs to go, there just happens to be a few bridges to cross to get them there!
You can play this game single-player hot switching between Jeff and Debra, but for our review we went all in on the co-op and this is where the game really shines. Communication really is key to this game as not only are you working towards the end goal of posting the mail, but also occasionally you’ll be sent off to do your own individual challenges.
The levels themselves, as you progress, are twists on ones you have completed previously and range from having to type words, and then the whole letter out on a typewriter, lugging and stamping boxes to the correct bins, using your Kiwi bum to stamp word fragments onto paper, and packing and stamping boxes with the right shipping information.
Unlike some other games that fall into this genre, there is a lot more to KeyWe than button bashing your way through. It is less about speed and more about the final result (yes you can speed run by your co-op buddy will have to be fully in sync with you!)
There are 36 Story mode levels, split into the 4 categories listed above. However, as you progress each level has something to spice it up. Whether that be coded messages, mayflies that move items around, desert sand and spouting plants, just to name a few. There is just enough here to keep you coming back.
There are also a host of mini-games, known as Overtime Shifts. These include a gauntlet run, a musical round, slingshot snowball fights, cashing out and the TC favourite Buddle Wrap Testing! This mode has us in stitches as you race to pop the wrap, with bonus points on offer for the various different sized bubbles. The Cashing Out mode brings a slight educational side to the game, where you have to deposit different amounts of money so they total up correctly.
As you play all of the above you earn stamps, which are used as the in-game currency. With these, you are able to customise Jeff and Debra, be that with a new hairstyle (mohawk anyone?) to hats, glasses and backpacks. There are also hidden collectables buried within each of the story levels, giving you something else to think about whilst trying to post the mail. Once collected they all go into your personal collection under the postage counter.
Graphics & Audio
The colours in KeyWe are bright, bold and perfect for this kind of game. They make the objective and interactive areas really stand out, amongst what can be quite a busy area. The attention to detail is very impressive, something you rarely get on a game of this genre. It really added to the vibe of an outback post office.
Audio is not what this game is about, you don’t want, or need, a loud soundtrack whilst playing this game. Communication with your co-op buddy is key. The last thing you need to be doing is shouting over the music. The audio track/effects are perfect. From stamping the stickers on, to feeding the unhappy ostriches, to the hum of the working post office. It is great in every way.
KeyWe is a casual game, it is not one that you would sit down and grind away at. It is perfect for that odd 30-60mins when you just want to chill with a mate. Whether that be online or on the sofa next to you. The mini-games are great for a little bit of self-inflicting competition. However, the Bubble Wrap mode is a nice way to relieve stress after a hard day’s work if no real bubble wrap is lying around!
If you want a great co-op puzzler then this is the game for you! We loved playing KeyWe and it is so much fun with a friend. Therefore, we award it the Thumb Culture Gold Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.