This is our Toodee and Topdee review played and tested on a Xbox Series X. is a game developed by Diet Zribi and was published by Top Hat Studios. It is available on Steam, PS4/5, Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X. All for a considerably hefty price tag of € 19,99.
Apparently Diet Zribi is run by two brothers who have picked up developing games for various platforms. When I tried to find out more about them I could not find much. Only that they have developed a previous game on Steam named Trouble Juice. This game was received pretty well and sits at a rating of ‘Very Positive’. So far so good. Let’s dive into Toodee and Topdee.
Trouble in paradise
In this game you control two characters Toodee and Topdee. Toodee lives in a 2D world where you get to move him around while platforming under or over obstacles. Topdee on the other hand lives in a top-down 2D puzzle world. No harm from enemies, but a lot of thinking is required to get by through the puzzles of this top-down world. And all was well in paradise…..or perhaps not.
Of course there’s always some knucklehead messing things up. In this occasion things get messed up big time. The worlds of Toodee and Topdee get fused together. This gives an unique outlook on what levels look like. After the worlds have fused Topdee’s floor might as well be Toodee’s wall on which he is standing. A black space in Toodee’s sky, is a dangerous pit in Topdee’s world. To switch between the 2 worlds you have to press LB (on Xbox). The switch is instantaneously. So it could well be that TooDee is still midair in a jump, while you switch over to TopDee to provide a block for TooDee to land on.
Switching TopDee and Toodee
Sounds complicated, but luckily it is anything but complicated. The game is fluent and intuitive. With TooDee you can perform really well-executed jumps. And with TopDee you get to walk around while shoving blocks into their correct space. While you are playing with one character, the other character is “greyed out” and motionless. The ultimate goal for you as a player is to get both characters to the portal that is inside each level so they can escape / advance in the world. And the portal? Well, it’s pretty obvious where it is :-).
Chapters are divided into worlds, each world introducing new items, enemies and concepts. When these things are introduced you will get a world which guides you in how to use them. The difficulty curve in this game is spot on! There’s no dumbing down just because a new idea’s come along. Well-designed bosses are the finish to each world. The puzzles have a nice variety. Sometimes you only need one of the 2 characters, sometimes you really need both. Some puzzles can be cheesed, but hey…whose complaining??
If you like top-down puzzlers and some 2D platforming, then Toodee and Topdee might be exactly what you need.Eddie
Where this game shines is in the execution of the solution you have thought out for the world. Your hard work in figuring out solutions transfers into action on-screen perfectly. If you fail nonetheless? No worries, a quick restart and you’re once more good to go. Added bonus is that there’s plenty of humour in the game (albeit somewhat cheesy).
Is it all sunshine and flowers? No, there’s one minor annoyance. TooDee offers 100% spot on visibility and controls. TopDee however on occasion has less than perfect visibility on-screen. This is due to the fact that TopDee’s view is slightly tilted. So your view might get blocked by a row of blocks. This would not be a problem unless there’s a pit immediately behind said wall / blocks. This results in what can be perceived as cheap deaths. Mind you, this does not happen often, so for me it was only a minor annoyance.
Graphics and music
The graphics in this game are nice and retro. In the platforming world the graphics are a bit more polished compared to the top-down world. The latter is a bit more blocky. As for the music, it is relaxing and soothing. There is not too much repetition in the music score. So even when your taking a break from the game, the music is still ok. A good addition to the game.
A nice extra to this game is the availability of co-op gaming. If you want to play this game with a friend (or your son/daughter), now you can. Just grab an extra controller and puzzle away. Both of you will control one of the characters in your quest to solve all the puzzles. As you will need both characters in most levels, both players will have plenty to do. It also adds an extra layer to the game. Where at first you were in full control yourself, now both players have to coordinate what they are doing.
TooDee and TopDee is a fresh breath of air in an already crowded game environment. The graphics are nice and retro. The controls are excellent as is the difficulty curve. If you are a fan of Puzzlers and Platformers, this is THE Indie-game for you. Yes, there are a few levels you can cheese, but the majority of levels gets you thinking hard about the most efficient way to finish it. The minute I started playing it I fell in love with it. Solid and well deserved 8.5!