A pug named Otis, a cat named Whiskers and a Professor who makes portal fluids are the characters at play in this hardcore platformer made by aPriori Digital. Double Pug Switch has you run through the distorted dimensions as you try and return everyone back to normal and safety; a game that can test your patience and challenge your skills in the platforming genre.
Double Pug Switch is an auto scrolling hardcore platformer and while this sounds a little counter-intuiative, as you lose control of Otis’ movement, it does allow you to focus on timing your jumps. The game’s key mechanic is the dimension switching which is similar to Runbow where certain platforms and obstacles will become intangible, however the key difference is that you have complete control over when you switch dimensions.
The dimension swapping is a fun shake up to the genre but it does add an additional layer of stress with making sure you are on top of your game and pressing the button right on time or end up dead. At the end of each world, Whiskers, or as they want to be known as Sker, attacks you in a challenging boss level where the goal is to just keep running and avoid the deadly obstacles sent your way.
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As you move through levels, there are coins scattered throughout that you can collect, with the gold coin being the common coin and a limited amount of purple coins per level. These coins are used to purchase hats for Otis with a wide variety of pop culture references in them, like a velociraptor hat being called Allen.
A challenging level design is a core aspect of a hardcore platformer and Double Pug Switch is definitely on the challenging side of games. They made the game separated into five worlds which increases the difficulty quite a bit with the final world being one that’s very challenging. The levels have a huge amount of spikes everywhere which will result in instant death, however there are multiple pathways occasionally. When the multiple pathways show up the easier path will result in receiving less currency from them and missing out on the purple coins.
Story / Personality
A scientist working in her laboratory has two vials of portal fluids on a desk when her Whiskers does the typical cat thing of starting to slowly push it off while staring directly at their owner. On the ground, where the vials are being pushed towards, is where her Otis is resting. Upon breaking the vials opens up a rift in space, which ends up sucking both Otis and Whiskers inside. This dimension rift allows Otis to simultaneously exist and be connected to an alternative dimension where they can swap places in the levels to get past obstacles. The story, while simple, is a fun little plot that will pull along through the difficult levels as you find out what ended up happening to Whiskers when they went through the dimensional portal. It isn’t anything too fancy however there are some even more shallow stories in the genre and usually the story is put to the wayside in hardcore platformers.
Graphics / Art Direction
Going for a no outline design similar to that of Samurai Jack, Double Pug Switch has an art style that really stands out with a lot of colour. Each of the game’s worlds have one particular colour as the main, with the alternative dimension being a different colour that’ll stand out; such as green for the jungle world and orange being the alternative colour.
Music / Sound Design
The five different worlds each have their own music theme that highly fits the world design that they decided on. With a more mechanical style for the steampunk world or a natural one for the jungle world, the game’s sound design is a pleasant mood setting device. The music is nothing really special or memorable though and can become repetitive as it restarts the music every time you die.
Final Score: 70%
If you enjoy games where you push yourself harder and harder to complete the challenge laid before you, then I can recommend Double Pug Switch. With bright vibrant colours and a distinct art style, this is a game to enjoy looking at all the cuteness while you constantly die on one section of the game. It’s a good addition to the hardcore platformer genre despite it uses auto scrolling.
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