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Putty Moon, the place where all the putties live, has been taken over by an evil wizard named Dazzledaze. Putty has been banished from the moon to the planet below. To return to Putty Moon and oust the evil wizard, Putty enlists the help of some robots ("bots") to build a skyscraper that will reach up to Putty Moon.
In Putty, the player controls a blue blob with eyes. Putty has many moves that he could use to attack enemies or to navigate around the level. These abilities include being able to stretch out upwards, downwards, left and right to access far-off ledges. He also has the ability to inflate. This allows him to provide a cushioned landing for any falling bots. Over-inflation also acts as a "smart bomb", with Putty bursting, killing all of the enemies on the screen, whilst reducing his health in the process.
Putty is able to form part of himself into a fist, allowing him to punch left or right to dispatch enemies.
Putty is also able to melt into the floor, making him invulnerable and also allowing him to absorb enemies, recovering a small amount of health in the process. With certain enemies in the game, such as the clockwork orange, once Putty has absorbed one he is then able to morph into the enemy's shape to use its abilities.
A final ability of Putty's is being able to create a mug of coffee from part of himself, which will distract bots and make them stand still.
The levels in Putty are laid out vertically, with the screen scrolling up and down. The levels contain regular platforms, as well as "solid" ledges that Putty can not move through, and other special tiles including electric platforms and bounce pads.
The aim of each level is to rescue a set number of bots within the time limit. In the early sections of the game, the bots simply stand around the level. Putty has to absorb them, and carry them to the level's goal (either a flying saucer or an elevator). Later on in the game, the bots will jump around platforms, often falling to their death.
Invariably each level also contains various enemies. These enemies include Terminator carrots, Scouse sausages and sword-wielding spacemen. The enemies will attempt to hurt Putty in various ways. The attacks from some of the enemies will also hurt any bots that Putty is carrying at the time. If a bot is hurt four times it is killed, causing the player to have to find another bot to absorb.
Putty is also able to use powerups that are scattered around each level. These range from simple points bonuses to temporary invulnerability, to Uncle Ted. Once this latter powerup is collected, a man with a Hammond Organ name Uncle Ted appears, and proceeds to play a tune, causing all of the enemies in the level to freeze.
The sequel Putty Squad was only released for Super NES, only in Japan and PAL territories. It features Putty and nemesis Dweezil the cat teaming up to rescue other putties. It also features a two-player mode, with the second player taking control of a red putty. On August 12th 2010 System 3 announced that a new version of Putty Squad will be available on PS3, iPhone, iPad and PSP.
In Retro Gamer issues 39 Mark Cale stated that he would be bringing the Putty series to the Nintendo DS and PSP in 2008 and more details would be announced later in 2008. They're looking to bring a new game to the systems rather than a port of the two existing games.