Reviewed on: PlayStation 4. Copy supplied by publisher.
Push Me Pull You is the perfect party game if your idea of fun is nightmare inducing disfigurations and wrestling. Created by Australian team House House, PMPY came out on PlayStation 4 today (May 3), and is set for a Windows, Mac and Linux release in the future.
Labelled as a game about friendship and wrestling, this is one of those titles that will stick in your memory and be a favourite amongst friends. And by favourite I mean probably make you all feel weird and hate each other for not coordinating well.
Push Me Pull You is surprisingly difficult, well maybe not so surprising. Controlling a CatDog style human with the objective to out maneuver another CatDog human should be hard. And to be fair I had been drinking when we played the game, as had my colleagues (it’s a party game, it needed the party aspect), but we really struggled working together. Sure, some teams worked better than others, but the overwhelming consensus was, “Oh my god what is that? What am I doing?”
The objective in Push Me Pull You is to take a ball or balls into your half of the circle and keep them there. There are a few different modes, but in general they work on the same premise, with the same tactics applying. Ideally this is a four player game, but you can share just two controllers between the four, with teams each controlling one analog stick and R1 R2 and L1 L2 respectively. The controller sharing is a feature that I adore and adds to the sense of being joined to your teammate. Once in sync with their controller the teams need to maneuver their slithering monstrosity by crawling, shrinking, and stretching their way to victory.
In the basic mode teams need to keep a ball on their half of the circle the longest to win. It sounds simple but the physics of the game can be tricky to figure out. You have more momentum when pushing an object with your head, meaning you need to position your snail guy in a way that lets you have the most traction, and therefore dominance of the ball. Except the opposing team will pretty much be doing the same, so it can become a shout filled mess trying to organise a coherent strategy and best your opponents.
Other modes include: Half Court, where you need to take a ball out of the circle to gain possession and then back into the center to score a point. Greedy, where you have the standard rules but with three balls instead of one. Knockout, which is like sumo wrestling where you need to keep your ball in and knock theirs out. And finally Sleepy Time, where two players control one intestine monster each whilst one half of the body sleeps.
For a game about whatever this is really about, there are lots of touches that make it feel complete. House House have gone to a lot of lengths to ensure this isn’t just a mundane multiplayer experience. Players can change their hair styles, hair colour, skin colour, circle colour, and the winning cards after each match are silly yet make lording over the losers that much better. For example the winning team will be pictured eating ice cream and the losers will be crying over a dropped cone, or the winners will have an umbrella and the losers will be getting rained on. These aspects are really small touches, but they give the game plenty of character.
Aside from having some pretty whack visuals, the game also boasts great audio, and by great I mean truly disgusting audio. When moving your crime against nature makes scuttling noises and the stretching mechanic makes a sound like a bottle of whipped cream being aggressively emptied. They are foul sounds and had a lot of our players cringing, but they really accentuate the grossness of what you’re all doing as a group, so I’m all for that.
There’s not much else that can be said about PMPY aside from you should probably give it a go. It’s reminiscent of other strange yet great multiplayer games like STARWHAL. Stay tuned and we’ll try and get you some videos of us playing it in the future if we can stomach it.