Your 9 AM class is cancelled so you have 4 and a half hours of free time until the next? Why not make a super random review of your favorite childhood game!? 😀
Note that aside from games where I specified so, my opinion is always completely objective and built up from an absolutely neutral point. While the title is called a ‘Review’, this article is nothing more than a personal opinion (or rant) of someone who has played the game.
This review will contain possible spoilers to the story of Putt-Putt Series. Proceed at your own risk!
Four and half hours is quite long, lol. Background explanation. I’ve been a fan of this series since I was a kid. My mom found this game in the computer software shop and it’s an English game. Back then (and even now), studying in English was a VERY big deal for any Thai students, and my mom really wanted me to be able to speak English as fast as possible. So she got a couple of games like this for me (JumpStart is another one of my favorites, lol) in hopes of making me learn English as fast as possible. Needless to say, I picked up lots of vocabularies from these games and I love it.
Putt-Putt is the friendly purple car whose adventure (most of the time) is set in Car Town, a fictional town filled with talking cars like him. His trusty sidekick, Pep the little puppy, travels with him in all of his adventures. Putt-Putt’s series, to the best of my knowledge, has 5 games in his series:
- Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon (This is my first Putt-Putt game, and AFAIK, one of the only two games that did not take place in Car Town)
- Putt-Putt Joins the Parade (Canonically, this is Putt-Putt’s first game because this game showed when he picked up Pep)
- Putt-Putt Travels through Time (Another game that did not take place in Car Town – at least not during present time Car Town, lol. Apparently, this game happens AFTER Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon because the firework workshop that sent Putt-Putt to the moon was now used as a Time Traveling workshop)
- Putt-Putt Enters the Race (My personal favorite of the series, mainly because you get to play a car-race mini-game after clearing the main game)
- And Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo (Technically, this game takes place in Car Town Zoo, but it’s still in Car Town, lol)
I’ve played almost every game in Putt-Putt series, but for some reason ‘Save the Zoo’ was the only one my mom couldn’t find for me. However, a couple of days ago, I manage to miraculously pick this game up and been looking forward to play it. Now that I have 4 hrs of free time, why not try out the game and make a review about it right away? 😀
The Car Town Zoo is having its grand opening. However, the baby animals are missing and all the staffs are busy trying to set up the event. Putt-Putt, who happens to pass by to the zoo to deliver the Animal Chow, was asked to find the baby animals. It is up to Putt-Putt to save the baby animals in time before the zoo’s opening ceremony takes place!
Let the adventure begins! 😀
Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo is very much a scavenger hunt game, like all of his other games in the series. You take control of Putt-Putt and explore the zoo. At the beginning of the game, you get a check list of things you will have to do or find to clear the game. In this case, you get a list of the baby animals that are missing. Now it is your job to save those baby animals.
The game however, is not just a simple scavenger hunt where you just find the animal and save them. There is a puzzle aspect in that you have to do some thing before you can save the baby animals. Luckily, Putt-Putt will be picking up any items that can be useful for his journey (apparently, Putt-Putt is genre savvy because he can pick up only items that he telepathically knows will be useful for his adventure, lol).
For instance, this baby seal was stuck because the water gate was closed and she can’t swim home. With the tool box, Putt-Putt can lower the sluice gate and open the waterway, allowing the baby seal to go back to her parents in the zoo.
Another example is this baby elephant, who is um…afraid of the little mouse. To chase the mouse away, you have to feed him with some snacks until he crawls back into his hole.
There is a save system. Press ‘S’ button on the key board to enter a Save Menu and click on the slot you want to save (you will get a mini screen shot of your current location). Pressing ‘L’ opens up the load screen.
All of Putt-Putt’s games have a number of hidden mini-games.
One of them is the animal tag where you click on the animal that looks exactly like the one shown on the sign (very similar to the Alien Tag in Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon).
Another one is the ice hockey, which works very much like Air Hockey. Your job is to knock the hockey disc into the polar bear’s goal.
Like all of the games within the series, Putt-Putt can change his color scheme to the colors that the game provide. I normally swap him to blue because it’s my favorite color. XD
Now that I think about it, this one is pretty strange. In Putt-Putt Travels through Time (and his other games), his inventory slot normally changes the color with him, but this one doesn’t. XD
The developer of Putt-Putt games also create a number of other scavenger hunt games but with different characters. For instance, these fish siblings, whose names escaped my mind, have their own scavenger hunt game. I’ve only played the demo of their games, so I only vaguely recognized them. These two fish save Putt-Putt if he cannot escape the whirlpool in time.
Another one is slightly subtle and appears in the ending. Notice the brown teddie bear in red? His name is Fatty Bear and he has his own scavenger hunt game – “Fatty Bear’s Surprise Birthday Party”. You take control of Fatty Bear, the teddy bear who comes to life at night and wants to arrange a surprise birthday party for his owner. That game very much reminds me of Toy Story. XD
I’ve played this game 3 times in a row during my 4 hours free time to see if there are any variations in the scavenger hunt (a run takes less than an hour if you skip all scenes). Apparently, this one does not seem to have any variation.
Take [Putt-Putt Travels through Time]. There are four possible variations of requirements to save Pep. For instance, there is one variation where Pep was mistook as a baby dinosaur and the mother dinosaur won’t return him to Putt-Putt. You have to find the baby dinosaur to exchange for Pep. Another one is where Pep was stuck on top of a medieval tower and I already forgot what you have to do to save him >_<
In Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo, all the items remain at the same place no matter how many times you restart the game, hence making this game a whole lot easier than Putt-Putt Travels through Time.
I totally love the game and felt nostalgic as heck. Really, it’s nice to see this friendly purple (okay, now he’s blue, lol) car again after all this time. Since I was able to find this game, I hope I can still find other games under this developers, like [Pajama Sam], [Spy Fox], and those two fishy I forgot their names.
I’m not sure what happens to the developers who created this game series any more, but if I have a kid one day, I’ll definitely introduce this series to him / her.