Doggos are front and central in this side scrolling rescue game from Brain Connected studios. The game boasts some beautiful and coloured pop art style with a great score and concept that oozes replayability that will keep you coming back for more.
You play as a dog, an oddly coloured green dog wearing a top dog crown. As you play through each level you need to find and rescue the other dogs. The key is each dog mirrors your movement so it isn’t all smooth sailing. As you pick up each dog and navigate around the level, you must get it to its portal before reaching your own. Along the way there are no end of obstacles like spikes and robotic enemies that will trip you up on your journey home.
As the game levels go on, the difficulty level gets harder and there are multiple dogs to rescue throghout the level giving you the added task of finding the right portal for the right dog. The spring dog constantly bounces and goes up and down over spikes avoiding damage, the dog with a massive bone in its mouth and speed runs in whatever direction you happen to be facing. There is also an inverted dog that goes the opposite way of your controls. It all adds up to keep the game challenging and presenting the player with different objectives and scenarios to maintain your interest.
If that wasn’t enough there are more dog types like dogs trapped in a bubble that roll, evil dog that is immune to fire and fire damage and a weird baby looking dog (ok sperm, it looks like sperm ok!) There are different portals that will allow you to transform to different dog types that are essential to making it to the end of the level. Some levels start you off at the end of the portal and you have to figure out just what type to transform into to get back to the end.
Visually the game is stunning, the beautifully detailed pop art style is colourful, bursting out of the screen. As the different dog types emerge and mix with fire, bubbles and metal creatures the game really comes to life and showcases the hard work and effort that has gone into this game. Regrettably the background music can really grind on you, the game takes about an hour and a half to complete just to finish it and then an extra few hours if you want to get all the collectables and finish 100%. It was more during my second playthrough that I noticed the music and how irritating it is. If you are wondering there is no function to turn it off.
The frame rate for a game of this size was also surprising. I played this on the Nintendo Switch and the constant jittery disturbance, particularly when there are several different characters and items on the screen is maddening. For a game of this calibre to have any frame rate issues is disappointing, however it could be the hardware that limits this (if you’ve played it on Steam please let me know!).
Portal Dogs is pure clean fun. If you are looking for a quick fun game to dive into for an hour or few, this is definitely worth your dollars. Apart from a few niggles, the game is a solid puzzle platformer with wacky dog designs and great jump mechanics. Kids will love it, adults will enjoy the challenge.
Portal Dogs is available on Nintendo Switch (E-Shop), Steam, IOS and Android.