Double Pug Switch was reviewed on the Xbox One.

Releasing on October 22nd, Double Pug Switch was The Polygon Loft’s debut title. The concept for the game is simple. With three main characters, Otis, our playable pug, The Professor and Whiskers, a cat. The starting cut-scene sees Whiskers pushing vials of goo off of a lab table, where they mix together.

The resulting concoction opens an interdimensional portal, with Otis and Whisker sucked into the unknown. Whiskers’ interdimensional counterpart named Lord Sker, is the villain of our story.

Otis must save Whiskers going through different platforms to catch up with Lord Sker, who seeks a doggy extinction and world domination.

How It Plays

Now for the gameplay, Double Pug Switch is simple and easy to pick up, with difficulty coming with mastering the controls. Press A to jump and the length of time you hold the A button will determine the distance your pug jumps.

You will need to perfect your jumping to avoid impaling yourself on spikes placed through the levels. With the game being a forced-moving side scroller, you use B button to switch between dimensions to jump on different coloured platforms and avoid different coloured spikes.

If you’re not in the right colored dimension for the platform you’re going to jump on, then it’s a long way down, and dogs don’t land on their feet. You will only have to deal with two different colors at one time, so although the game can be challenging, you have some form of reprieve.

One thing I noticed when switching dimensions during a jump, is momentum would slow and I would just drop, so the aim is to make sure that you have switched dimensions prior to your jump. Even as impossible as that may be at times.

Collect As You Go

Throughout levels you can collect gold and purple coins which act as collectables. They are both in-game currency, with the purple coins rarer since there are only a few per level.

Fear not, if you miss one just replay the level and try again. Typically collecting these coins will take you on a harder path, and once collecting these coins you will have to finish the level to keep the progress.

The purple coins early on are used to teach the player that you can dimension shift. Some of the purple coins provide a challenge in order to master a level and some in later levels left me perplexed as I couldn’t see a way of getting them.

Accessorize

Now for what they do. Both the purple and gold coins are used to purchase different hats for Otis. All hats are available from the get-go, but are separated into the four different dimensions. You will play through each with seven levels per dimension.

The hats unlocked with purple coins invariably look cooler from my eyes, but there are loads to collect all with varying styles.

Button Mashing

Playing through the game I found that mastering jumping and switching together was difficult with the switch button mapped to B.

A quick Google search said that I should change the button mapping from B to LB through the Xbox accessories settings, but I wasn’t going to do that and had to make do with the button spamming. It would have been better if there was an option in-game to change the controls, as I felt the controls definitely limited my progress.

Progressive Challenge

The level design is intended to be difficult and checkpoints are scattered across each level. Except for boss runs, which are similar to Rayman: Origins. In the sense that you are tasked with avoiding attacks from Lord Sker in his flying ship.

Progress will see you come across power ups that can make you shrink, speed up or provide a jump boost. These power ups can make the game difficult as you may not see what type they are at first. This would sometimes mean that I had to resort to trial and error to see which ones I should avoid or grab.

There also power fields that force a dimension switch and you have to make sure you are quick enough to switch back to the correct colour. The power fields make for more challenge with the game progressively getting harder.

Where Have I Heard This Before?

The soundtrack is not out of this world, but the differing worlds do have their own unique theme to them. The one gripe I had was the music would reset with the level upon failure. So if you’re struggling, the game offers its own torment by repeating the same notes over and over. This adds to frustration, and made me feel like putting the game down. You’ll find no audible dialogue to the game, although pressing Y will see Otis bark.

I Thought Dogs Were Color Blind

Visually, Double Pug Switch isn’t anything to scream about, but then it doesn’t need to be. The color themes change as you progress just like the aforementioned music. Platforms are distinctly and contrastingly colored to make it easier visually to know when to shift. The overall aesthetic for the game is sweet and quaint, with our playable pug donning cartoony googly eyes. Lord Sker is made to look a comical form of sinister with a cybernetic eye.

How Long Is It?

The longevity of the game is determined by the ability of the player, I struggled with the buttons and therefore spent a lot of time wanting to pull my hair out, but someone with better co-ordination might find the game relatively easy. The game also offers replay value if you are a completist and looking to get all the collectables on offer.

I can’t see the Double Pug Switch offering a long continuous experience for any player, with the game offering a fun experience in the short-term but growing monotonous and frustrating with time. I found the game was best experienced when waiting for one of my bigger games to install or update, offering a chance to fill the void.

Double Pug Switch is another game to hit the Xbox that plays like a mobile game. The forced side scroller makes for a challenging experience but its not a game you will want to play continuously for hours. Although the game offers the opportunity to try and collect and complete the game, it’s simple and repetitive style makes for a short term experience to pass time, and nothing more.

Purchase Double Pug Switch on the Xbox One here.

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