PAX East 2020 Hands-on: Key We

The first ever Kiwi employees have been hired at the Bungalow Basin Post Office and it’s up to you to help them make a good impression.

Key We is a charming new two-player co-op title coming next year from developers Stonewheat & Sons and published by Sold Out. Both Joel and myself were able to try out the demo together at PAX East 2020 as we sent, composed, and wrangled letters from the citizens of Bungalow Basin.

I’m always on the lookout for games that are easy to learn and can provide a night of co-op entertainment to players of all ages. Similar in feel to Overcooked and Mario Party, Key We challenges both players to work together (locally or via online co-op) as you strive to meet the demands of the postal service.

Players assume the identity of a small Kiwi in a big world. Starting out, you’re presented with a limited variety of customization available for your avatar. Additional options can be unlocked as you play the game, by finding hidden collectibles, and purchasing items for real money. Once you’ve confirmed your look, players begin their journey in the first of four rooms in the Post Office.

Key We challenges both players to work together as you strive to meet the demands of the postal service.

During our demo, the first room led us to compose messages one letter at a time while racing against the clock. Trying to coordinate who would nab which letter as the words were revealed was further complicated by spinning mechanical devices that would swap the positions of the letters we needed. Though the task wasn’t incredibly complicated, we found ourselves laughing and chatting while we attempted to beat the clock.

The second room had our little Kiwis assembling letters being dictated by citizens of the Basin as we searched out the magazine-like word cutouts on the desk. The final endearing touch came about when the transcriptions were ready to be posted and we had to coordinate feeding a feisty Emu in order to sneak the envelope into their delivery bags.

Throughout the game, players will encounter seasonal hazards, equipment breakdowns, and extra challenges to add variety to your tasks. Replayability comes in the form of rankings for your performance and hidden collectibles for players to search out together.

Animal lovers will enjoy the cute animations of their Kiwi avatars as well as the whimsical touches of the world. The playful setting and enjoyable co-op makes this a great pick for families or friends looking to game together.

Key We is currently set to release on PC in 2021.