Together – Review
Follow Genre: Platformer
Developer: The Dust S.A.
Publisher: Ultimate Games
Platform: Switch, PC
Tested on: Switch

Together – Review

Site Score
Good: Great level designs
Bad: Poor sound design
User Score
(2 votes)
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Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)

We were quite baffled when we took our first look at The Dust S.A.’s Together. The game takes a slew of iconic characters and pairs them up for a platformer with unique gameplay. The twist being of course that these aren’t the *actual* characters, but tongue-in-cheek knock off versions of Daenerys, Robin Hood and Marvel’s Thor. Is mashing together the AliExpress equivalent of your favourite pop culture icons enough to make for an interesting experience or does Together fall flat when it comes to its gameplay? Read on to find out.


Together’s paper-thin story serves as a way to make the on-screen events make sense, but by no means is it essential to the experience. The game’s villain, Mona Chrome (get it?), has taken away the world’s color and turned everything to grayscale. Now, it is up to an intrepid band of familiar-looking heroes to restore color to the world. The backstory is provided through comic book-styled panels, which was a nice touch, and each level is bookmarked by a “cutscene” of sorts that shows the continuation of the comic book story. The cast themselves also have names that do little to conceal their true identity. For example, Thor becomes Thunder Fella and Ash Ketchum becomes Catcher of Creatures. Each character also has a tongue-in-cheek backstory that is sure to elicit a chuckle if you’re familiar with the source material.


It should come as no surprise that the story ties into the visuals, with levels starting out fairly monochromatic but becoming more colorful as you collect more crystals while playing. The bright and garish colors that you unlock while playing can be a bit of an eye strain, especially when you’re attempting to focus on the on-screen action. Character designs are clearly unlicensed knockoffs from popular properties, in an obvious but misguided attempt to lure in players. The most egregious example of this is the Drunk Scientist, which is a palette-swapped version of Rick from Rick and Morty, but other examples include the aforementioned Ash from Pokémon, Sailor Moon and a gender-swapped King Kong.


When it comes to audio, Together almost entirely misses the mark. The background music is repetitive and annoying, and the game doesn’t fare any better when it comes to sound effects. Characters groan and grunt whenever you jump, and given the amount of jumping that a platformer requires, you’ll grow tired from these noises sooner rather than later. As you’d expect, there is no voice acting present either -apart from the aforementioned groans and grunts- and the sound effects that don’t belong to the cast themselves sound generic; like they were pulled from a stock library.


As the title implies, Together is a game that is meant to be played… well, together. Don’t get us wrong, it’s perfectly feasible to make your way through this co-op platformer solo, but The Dust S.A.’s intent was clearly that two players team up to tackle what the game throws at them. The game’s aim is to collect Pictorian crystals, which will aid in restoring color to the world. The gimmick here is that your chosen characters will be tethered together at the waist, providing some interesting gameplay mechanics. It’s essential that neither player strays too far from the other (a condition which the game refers to as ‘monophobia’), and when the distance between two characters becomes too big, you’ll need to reconnect within a set number of seconds by moving towards one another again. Fail to do so, and both characters will teleport to the last checkpoint cleared.

Collecting Pictorian crystals has a double purpose. Not only do they restore color to the world, but picking up enough of them rewards you with additional characters as well as upgrades for the cast members you’ve already unlocked, such as additional health. Each character also has access to its own special ability, such as slowing down time or lobbing grenades, meaning that revisiting levels with a different character (or character combination) makes for a different gameplay experience altogether. As each level has a set number of Pictorian crystals, and some are hidden or difficult to reach with certain characters, revisiting levels with a different combination can make the difference between picking up every Pictorian crystal and missing some of them.

Together’s difficulty level lies not in the barrage of enemies the game throws at you, but in the level designs. These often feature a degree of verticality unlike what you see in most platformers, and plummeting to your death is way more common than meeting your doom at the hands of Mona Chrome’s minions; especially given the poorly implemented enemy AI. The vertical level designs require a fair bit of coördination while playing the game in co-op, as it’s all too easy for one of the two players to miss a jump, separating the two characters.

Although the levels themselves can be quite tricky, they never feel unfair towards the player. Designing platformer levels is never easy, as there is a fine line between challenging your potential player base or simply raising your middle finger towards them. Thankfully, Together falls in the former category, and playing through the four worlds that comprise the game makes one realize just how well these stages were designed. Combined with the co-op twists to the classic platformer formula, you’re looking at a solid gameplay experience that is only really held back by questionable aesthetics and humor that stems from references and recognisability of the game’s cast, rather than something original.

When it comes to control schemes, the “main” way to play is to give each player a single joy-con. Although the game offers the option to play the title in other ways, we had some issues with changing up the control settings. We’re not sure if this is because of a poor explanation of how to adjust the settings, or if this was simply a glitch, but it is something to keep in mind if you don’t want to play with single joy-cons but two pro controllers instead, for example. The game works fine while playing with joy-cons, but we prefer the more ergonomic design of the Pro Controller, especially during prolonged play sessions. It’s clear that the game supports a variety of control schemes, as we can see these options in settings, but actually setting these up proved to be more challenging than we’d like.


Given publisher Ultimate Games’ shaky track record, we were pleasantly surprised with Together’s gameplay (which is of course entirely The Dust S.A.’s work). The aesthetics are going to be divisive, but the platforming mechanics are solid, especially when you’re teaming up, rather than tackling the game by yourself. The “collect them all” mechanics implemented with the crystals and progressive character unlocks made for a game that incentivizes players to keep going. If you can stomach the visuals and don’t mind the poor sound design, then this is definitely a title to consider adding to your collection.

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Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Together - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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