Professor Lupo And His Horrible Pets (BeautiFun Games — Nintendo Switch, PC)
This week’s Indie Spotlight focuses on Professor Lupo and his Horrible Pets from BeautiFun Games, the studio that brought you the multi-award winning title, Nihilumbra. This is a puzzle game that’ll have you narrowly escaping alien ‘pets’ who are more interested in taking a bite out of you than taking on the role of a friendly household companion.
In Professor Lupo and his Horrible Pets you’ll play as the professor’s intern – an unfortunate individual burdened with the task of trekking through the Aurora Space Station while the Professor’s aliens roam free. Having collected these strange creatures from all corners of the galaxy, the Professor plans to deliver the aliens back to Earth, in hopes of weaponizing and selling them off. Of course, nothing ever goes to plan when you’re ferrying a bunch of aliens across space, and your ship is unexpectedly attacked, releasing the aliens onto the station to wreak havoc.
As you work your way through each of the levels, you’ll be introduced to more aliens. Each species will behave in its own way, so you’ll have to learn their individual patterns and quirks, often using them to help you traverse each room. If you happen to find yourself struggling with particular puzzles, the infrared mode will activate after a few deaths, showing you the predicted path the alien will take to help you plan a successful escape. After you’ve finally mastered a particularly challenging level, it’s also incredibly satisfying to revisit it to pick up additional items, which will require you to find another safe route out of there.
You’ll need patience and precision to find the optimum escape route
If the story elements of this game have piqued your interest, you’ll be happy to hear that BeautiFun Games have gone the extra mile by including a voice-over for every character in the game. If you’re anything like me, you’ll grow accustomed to the strangled cries of the intern as he’s consumed by the pets, and you’ll appreciate the snooty tones of the Professor as he coaxes you to continue your journey through the spaceship.
One thing that really surprised me about Professor Lupo and his Horrible Pets was the fact that it has touch-screen support. Opening and closing doors using the buttons on the JoyCons works well enough, and with many of the puzzles calling for tight and precise routes through each of the levels, I found that using a physical button was the most comfortable way to play. That said if you enjoy using the Switch in handheld mode and can position the console on the arm of a chair or something similar, being able to tap on the screen to interact with things is a nice option.
Professor Lupo and his Horrible Pets is scheduled to release on July 11th 2019 on Windows, Mac (Steam) and Nintendo Switch. Priced at $14.99 on the eShop, this game feels as though it slots into the Nintendo Switch library perfectly. With so many levels and options for replayability, it’s nice to be able to pick up and continue from where you left off, whenever you fancy. While I haven’t tried the PC version of the game, I really enjoyed playing this on the Switch and thankfully, unlike other Switch ports, this game performs well on the console. If puzzle games are your jam then Professor Lupo and his Horrible Pets is an easy title to recommend. Its fleshed out narrative makes all the puzzles feel like you’re working towards something and its music will keep you from pulling your hair out while you’re continuously gobbled up by that one, annoying alien.