I do like puzzle focused games, however I do tend to wonder where they actually belong in today’s society. Most of the puzzle games that I play are restricted to my mobile device. Games that I’ll play during my bus journey or such. You could say that the Nintendo Switch is the perfect platform for such games and Cardboard Keep have followed up by releasing Puzzle Puppers on the Nintendo Switch (it’s also on Steam). It’s a little game with multiple puzzles included. I enjoyed playing it on the Switch, but I still left feeling unsure if it was right to release it on Nintendo’s newest platform.
The basic premise of Puzzle Puppers is to lead the puppies on the screen to their dog bowl. As you get through the game, there will be more than 1 puppy on the screen, but they’ll be colour co-ordinated so you’ll know what dog goes to what bowl. Easy enough right? Of course, this wouldn’t be any puzzle game without a few twists and turns, and there are definitely a few in Puzzle Puppers.
In order to get your puppy to their food, each move you make will stretch your puppies bodies, as you move them across the screens on the little map available to you. You can go back a square at any time and you can also switch your puppy with the L and R buttons on the JoyCon controllers. As many other puzzle games follow the same tradition, Puzzle Puppers awards your success with a three love-heart rating. The better you do, the more hearts you’ll get at the end of the puzzle.
It can get quite tricky to get the three hearts in every level, but you’ll need them in order to progress through the levels, as every 5th stage is locked until you manage to get enough hearts to unlock it, so you’ll definitely be going back and forth between levels. In each level, not only do you have to get the puppy to its bowl, they’ll be a number of meaty treats that you’ll need to get on your way to the dog bowls in order to be able to get the maximum amount of hearts available in that particular level.
Getting your puppies to the dog bowl and the meaty treats isn’t at all an easy feat. As you stretch each puppy with every move and their bodies get longer, you will not be able to cross paths with each dog, you’ll have to go back a few spaces and re think your steps that you are taking. It can get very frustrating in some of the later levels as more obstacles come in your way. For example, you have little mud holes that when you take one of your puppies down, there head will appear in another mud hole some where across the level. That’s fine when there are only 2 holes available but it does quickly get harder when more are introduced later on in the game.
Technically, Puzzle Puppers had no problems on my Nintendo Switch, but to be fair the graphics aren’t really up to much. It’s a very simplistic looking game but people will play it, especially those at a younger age. There are 80 levels available but once you get the hang of things, you can go through this pretty quickly and I wouldn’t really find much temptation to go back to it a second time.