KeyWe Preview – Sending Letters In Style
Sending mail is an important responsibility, but it’s a pretty mundane and dull one. KeyWe, developed by indie studio Stonewheat & Sons, decided to try and make that task fun and whimsical. This cute co-op puzzle game brings a lot of charm to the table. Though simple in nature and look, it’s not as easy as one might expect.
Playing as kiwi birds named Jeff and Debra, you and a partner have to work together to send mail and packages from the post office. Designed as a casual co-op experience, the game is laid out in various stages. Each level of the post office acts as its own quirky and interactive landscape, albeit nothing grand.
The best word to describe your experience would be “adorable.” The way the kiwis look and move is entertaining and heartwarming, as they waddle their legs and bob their heads in a delightful manner. Complementing the looks, you get a bouncy and energetic soundtrack as the backdrop for each mission.
You and your partner are trying to accomplish your objective in getting the mail out before the timer expires. The faster you finish, the more stamps you both are awarded. With these stamps, you can purchase customization options to stylize your bird, ranging from accessories to clothes to skin layouts.
The tutorials for the levels seem quite easy. However, you quickly realize that completing these tasks in a set amount of time is tougher than it looks. Communication is key, as you must work with your partner strategically to reap the most rewards from each level. Getting the max amount of stamps is challenging but attainable, incentivizing you to retry certain levels.
While this game is meant for co-op, it does have an option for single-player. However, this mode is vastly less enjoyable. Rather than two players each controlling their own bird, you would just control both, either simultaneously or by constantly switching between them. Trying this mode felt really dull as it lacks the excitement that comes with sharing a challenge with someone. I’d recommend playing KeyWe with a friend, partner or family member.
There is an acceptable amount of level variety. Instead of being asked to do the same tasks repeatedly, you get to try out different objectives and mechanics. Along the way, you may also get obstacles thrown at you, such as vines blocking certain buttons or distractions from hungry animals. Despite this collection of methods to keep you entertained, the game still feels short-lived.
The concept of KeyWe is quite sweet, but it doesn’t feel whole. Instead of one big game, KeyWe feels like a series of minigames to enjoy with someone else. This is not to their detriment, as I believe KeyWe shines as a fun and casual experience. In fact, I hope the game embraces this identity and pushes forward with it. Include grandiose stages and more modes, potentially adding more player options to make it a family-friendly experience. A bit more depth to the level design and additional twists to the challenges can go a long way,
KeyWe is a quirky and engaging venture that should be shared with someone else to truly feel the enjoyment the game is intending to provide. The game shows innovation with its simplicity and creativity. Though the excitement does wear off over time, KeyWe provides a pleasant and lovable gameplay experience that is open to all.
KeyWe is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC on August 31.
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