Friday, July 30, 2021

July 30, 2021


Pug. Meet Portal. Portal, Pug.

Who here loves pugs? How about two pugs? Platformer challenges? Runners? Throw in a bit of interdimensional portal hopping and this’ll likely be the game for you! The developer's Apriori Digital bring a fun and simple game that some can pick up and play to pass the time. It’s a rather interesting concept that fills a small niche of dogs and runner platformer games.

The storyline is pretty simple. You play a somewhat mischievous but good pug, affected by a catastrophe that occurred in a laboratory. You accidentally stumble into an alternative dimension with the Professor’s cat, Whiskers and find yourselves in quite a predicament. Upon exploring this world, Whiskers suddenly has an idea. Remove all dogs from existence. Empowered with a new goal, he gives himself a new name, “Lord Sker”. So what’s the goal? Make your way through the lab with your interdimensional warping ability, and stop the nefarious cat’s plan for world domination. Leap and warp through different 40 different worlds, and strategize a way to take Lord Sker down once and for all.

A pug a day keeps Lord Sker at bay.

The gameplay is not difficult to comprehend, but I can guarantee it’ll be at least difficult to master. You get from point A to point B and sometimes dimension hop to land on the flooring that only exists in that dimension. As for the keys… The only ones you’ll need to worry about is the shift dimension and jump keys. They’re thankfully not assigned too far away from one another, and there is a tutorial mode to get used to the overall placement of the keys. Once that pup starts running, there’s no stopping him, at least not until he reaches the end of the line. The dimension-hopping definitely kept me on my toes!

The keys allow you to avoid traps, access certain platforms and at times make use of power-ups, and with these tools, you can reach the all-important checkpoints. However, I had a small concern regarding the game, since there was no warning prior to hitting a checkpoint. It has since changed in the latest update! I did find myself frustrated, losing many times since key placement felt clunky to me, and for some reason, I was unable to choose where to move the keys to in the options. The game works with a lot of trials and errors. While it is possible to make fast perfect runs, you’ll find that it'll be pretty difficult. That asides, there’s a decent amount of content, and you can unlock items like hats and so on.

No pugs were hurt in the making of this game.

Let’s get talking about the graphics and music. I thought that the background and characters were vibrant, 2D and have a cute, comic-like flair to it. There’s a nice and consistent color scheme between the regular world and the world Otis warps into, regardless of which section he enters into. The music isn’t anything too special, however, it's pleasant enough to listen to during your plays.

While I found the gameplay to be a bit of a frustrating experience, it's a cute game you can mindlessly play to take your mind off a stressful workday. In saying that, when I first started playing the game, I was left more stressed as I was unable to master the placement of the keys. There is a good level of replayability, mostly if you’re using a portable console like the Nintendo Switch or laptop. I also noticed there was good pacing between level difficulties, hence my becoming frustrated after a point within the game. However, I can imagine that on the X-box it might prove to be a harder sell. In saying that though, I thought the pricing was very good. The charm and simplicity of the game will, however, definitely have me coming back to play it.

Double Pug Switch can be purchased on the Steam Store.

It can also be purchased on the Nintendo Store and for the Xbox.