Professor Lupo and His Horrible Pets by BeautiFun Games is a demanding puzzle adventure that challenges players to maneuver through a failing space station that houses some of the strangest and fiersted beasts in the known worlds. Though the story and writing is a trudge, the complexity and mastery of all the puzzle mechanics makes Professor Lupo and His Horrible Pets a great time.
As the game begins, players interact as the Professor’s personal intern and need to escape the chaos of the Aurora Space Station falling apart. If this wasn’t stressful enough, the space station is also littered with a myriad of deadly creatures that Professor Lupo’s scooped up through his adventures. Aside from an occasional humorous one-liner or over-the-top comment, the story is mostly forgettable and doesn’t really do anything towards the enjoyment of the game.
Regardless of the lackluster story, Professor Lupo and His Horrible Pets really flourishes with the puzzle designs. The goal of each level is simple at its most basic form; move your character from the start of the level and bring them to the end grid without dying.
At first, I was pretty underwhelmed by the first few levels; completely flying through them placing my character through the grid-like levels maneuvering through any hazards or creatures with ease. I was concerned that there would be little challenge and repetitive puzzles would overrun the game. However, I was quickly given the business with a few levels. The typical near-banging-head moments brought the frustration and challenge of working to master the level. Once the level was beat, I breathed a sigh of relief and was onto the next one.
With this, I found that there were pretty drastic difficulty spikes randomly through the 100-level game more so than a gradual build of difficulty. The more gradual degree of difficulty began to emerge when new creatures, weapons, and characters showed up on the same level. It was fun to see new creatures and decide how to out-wit or trick the beast in order to survive the level. Additionally, there were optional collectibles on many levels that players can traverse towards, but I was never enticed to purposely get them.
Outside the puzzles, Professor Lupo and His Horrible Pets has some wonderful 2D animations and creature designs. It was really exciting to find a new ‘pet’, see its animations, notice how it would try to kill me, then decide on a way to use it’s prowess against itself for my own survival. However, I was not excited by the inconsistencies of the inputs to actually play the game. I do applaud BeautiFun games for so many options (touchscreen, Joy-Con/Pro-Controller, pointing Joy-Con), but I found myself almost exclusively using the touchscreen – all other options felt harder to be precise and exact for timing; a vital aspect for most of the levels. However, it is worth noting that this could be entirely up to preferences and maybe other players did not have the frustrations that I endured.
The Verdict: 8.1 out of 10
Even with a forgettable story, Professor Lupo and His Horrible Pets offers interesting, thought-provoking, and satisfying puzzles for players who are looking for a new challenge on their system.
This game was reviewed on Nintendo Switch with the code provided by the publisher. For more information about what the score means, check out our official review scale.