Although the Nintendo Switch is classified as Nintendo’s home console successor to the Wii U, its usage as a handheld has attracted some developers from the mobile market. Of course Mujo demonstrated the less ideal method of having a mobile game on Switch, but Puzzle Puppers looks to not share the same predatory desire. This game is free on mobile devices at the cost of having ads and in-app purchases, whereas its ad-free release on Switch is accessible via a one-time purchase.
These dogs are so cute that the game caught someone’s interest as he was passing by me playing this game! Guess that’s one way to sell it. I do like the way they look and animate, though. The cuddly, cutesy nature of Puzzle Puppers carries the overall charm, and the level of polish is up to par with what can be expected from a stellar mobile title. If anything, it could do with more world themes than just the one the whole game occupies.
The same thing goes for the music. There’s only one track that plays in the levels; while it is a nice Mii Channel-esque orchestra piece, it makes you wish there was more to listen to. At least it makes the atmosphere. Puzzle Puppers feels relaxing, and this mood is backed up by the soft sound effects.
So, what exactly is this game? Well, Puzzle Puppers is a game where you direct a dog or group of dogs to food bowls of the same colors as their fur. Along the way, there are meats to gobble up and gimmicks that change up the way you’d perceive going through a level. These typically consist of holes used as warp areas and rivers that force the puppy to be stretched in the ways specified on its floor panels. The pups can’t move from their starting positions; they can only stretch their bodies to approach the food bowls.
The isometric view of the playing field only seems to serve as that one unnecessary extra step you have to take to understand how the controls work. Other than that, the game works as well as expected. There is a healthy amount of levels for the price, and the variety of puzzles can range from being simple yet satisfying to being a genuine brain tease. The incentive to clear the level of meat also adds level unlocks as part of the reward, so it’s not just for bragging rights.
That said, what you see is what you get: A series of puzzle levels. Nothing less, but also nothing more. While the foundations are good stuff, I think there could be even more to play around with in the concept. Maybe a sequel could truly escalate the formula. Who knows? Nevertheless, five bucks is a fair deal for a puzzler that’s sure to have its fans. I give Puzzle Puppers a thumbs up, all things considered.