Welcome to Puppy Island, a place where you can go on a grand adventure with many different breeds of dogs that will take you across a variety of environments; from a tranquil forest to a sunny beach, or even up a snowy mountain. Apart from exploring on your many walks, you’ll also encounter new dogs, obstacles to overcome, and new mini games to keep you occupied. Take care of your dogs by washing them, feeding them, dressing them up in over 350 different items of clothing and keeping them entertained in any way necessary. In Little Friends: Puppy Island, your newly discovered pups will grow over-time with each new interaction and level-up in many different ways. Complete quests, build new buildings and create the perfect puppy paradise for them, and for you!
So you’ve just arrived at your friend Sam's house on a mysterious island. Sam wants you to take care of his pups while he’s away, and you're looking for a new adventure, so here you are. Upon arrival, there’s a plucky husky pup waiting for you at the gate, and it's here where your adventures on Puppy Island truly begin. The game starts with giving you direct control over the main character, moving him around your puppy homestead from a first-person perspective. You can interact with your dogs freely by petting them, whistling or giving them commands once they’ve learned something from levelling up. There are four different stations located around the main hub (Sam’s home). These are the wash station, feeding area, dress-up spot and play box. Each one provides different uses for different situations for you to explore. There are nine different breeds of dog to discover on the island and 350 dress-up items to purchase and find out about on walks.
You can take your dogs out for a walk at any time, allowing you to pick which dog to take and explore newly discovered locations, find new quests, and discover new dogs when you're out. You may even find new building opportunities (allowing you to unlock shops, jobs for your pups) and, of course, secret parcels that your dogs can uncover by following different scents and digging them up.
As you continue to interact with your dog, they can level-up in five different traits, such as: agility, endurance, friendliness, obedience and speed. The simulation aspect comes in the form of four coloured metres, which are: activity-blue, love-pink, dirty-orange and energy-green which deplete when you're doing certain activities such as walking or playing. These metres can be restored by either allowing your pet to rest, petting them or feeding them regularly.
You can also encounter obstacles that block your way or building requests when you're out walking your dog. There are a few ways to overcome these obstacles, such as using your pups to clear a path, which requires tools. These can be discovered around the location you're in. The same goes for buildings, although you're normally looking for materials instead. Or you overcome certain obstructions by completing a mini-game similar-ish to a WarioWare micro game; these are pretty easy to complete, but they do offer a slight diversion during gameplay.
And finally, I just want to say how nicely animated each dog is. They really have a lovely look about them and each one is very well animated, making it seem more real. The care and attention to detail in the environments and dogs are really nice, and I can see this appealing to kids of all ages, as well as parents who want to play with their children.
- Nine dog breeds and 350 dress-up items to discover
- Going on walkies, finding new locations, quests, and dogs
- Light simulation elements, seeing pups grow by levelling up
- Overcoming obstacles with the help of your pups
I don't really have a lot of negative points to mention about Little Friends: Puppy Island. The only thing I can really think of is that completing quests is pretty simple and normally involves you walking about looking for items to collect before returning. Some older gamers may tire of the repetitive nature of this aspect, although it's clear this game is focused on a younger demographic.
In addition, the sim elements are pretty light; they are not really fleshed out all that much, and there is no real penalty for keeping them filled apart from your dog laying down and not doing anything.
Repeating the same actions to keep your dogs happy, like washing, feeding, and petting, gets old fast, especially when you have to do it for all your dogs.
And last but not least, there are moments where you’ll find a new area that you can't access until your dog levels up, which means you need to run around aimlessly for a bit to level up his speed so he can cross a log for example.
- Building requests can be repetitive
- Light simulation elements
- Having to repeat same four actions every few minutes
- Areas are restricted until your dogs are at a certain level
Final Score: 8/10
Little Friends: Puppy Island is a charming little adventure that allows you to explore a wonderful little island with your best pals. Build structures, go on walks, earn rewards and look after nine adorable breeds to your heart's content. Truly, this is a dog's life!
Thank you for checking out our Little Friends: Puppy Island Switch review, thank you to Fireshine Games for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: