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Jan 20, 2022

Pupperazzi Review

Lights Off
4 Awesome
Retails for: $19.99
We Recommend: $19.99
  • Developer: Sundae Month
  • Publisher: Kitfox Games
  • Genre: Photography
  • Released: Jan 20, 2022
  • Platform: Windows, Xbox Series X|S
  • Reviewed: Xbox Series X|S

I. Love. Dogs. I’m constantly taking pictures of them: my dogs, my family’s dogs, my friend’s dogs, dogs dogs dogs. So when I heard there was a game in development where the goal was to take photos of all sorts of doggos, I nearly jumped out of my seat! Pupperazi tasks you with exploring small stages in the pursuit of capturing the best pictures of the local pups. Along the way, you’ll see fun dogs, tired dogs, excited dogs, playful dogs, costumed dogs, and so much more.

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It’s easy to make the comparison to another popular photography game, Pokémon Snap, but Pupperazi does things differently enough that it becomes its own thing. Where Pokémon Snap asks you to take the best pictures of many Pokémon while on a predetermined path, Pupperazi has open stages that you’re free to move around in, with pups adorning every corner, every walk, and every crevasse. I mean it too; after the first stage, you’re taken to a beachside boardwalk, and there are dogs everywhere doing so many different things: skateboarding, playing volleyball, running a food cart, having a delicious brunch with the girls on a rooftop, it’s delightfully silly, and I’m all here for it.

The main goal of Pupperazi is to take the best shots, which are ranked by in-game social media uploads. Unlike Pokémon Snap, you’re fully able to interact with all the dogs. You can freely dress up the doggos with any clothing you’ve unlocked to create something elegant or a mess of an outfit. You’ll want to dress up some of them because you’ll earn more likes and followers for pictures that include clothing options. To help their moods, you’re definitely able to pet them, so be on the lookout for the Can you Pet the Dog Twitter account to quickly add this one.

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You can interact with the dogs in other ways as well. Grab some toys from a nearby vending machine and toss them to the canines. They’ll play with the toys themselves, play with other dogs, or come running back to you to throw it again. You’ll find some food items like cupcakes and hotdogs that you can feed the dogs with, and they’ll jump with glee, capture that on film and be ready to swoon in the likes and follows. Some activities are must-do’s as you have an active challenge list every time you enter and re-enter a stage. You’ll get some neat little art of a dog representing someone asking you to do something for them. These challenges vary from just taking a picture of a particular type of dog to doing something like throwing a hotdog into a lake and taking a picture of the result.

The in-game social media system is used to gauge your in-game progress. Earn more likes, and you’ll earn more followers. Each stage is gated behind a specific follower count, and under your challenge list, you’ll see the required amount to progress. The game does limit you on how many pictures you can upload, though. You’ll find comments for each photo uploaded, and after you start to upload too many, you’ll get adverse reactions that are worth 0 likes and some snide comments like, “Stop posting pictures! You’re spamming my feed.”

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So other than the follower count, why do the challenges? Some of them earn you golden dog bones, which are used as currency in the game. You can also find the dog bones placed throughout each stage and hidden in some areas. The only thing the currency is used for is to unlock upgrades on your camera. Oh? Did I not mention there’s a whole camera upgrade system as well? So Pupperazi starts you off with a basic lens and no filter. But as you progress through the game, you’ll increase your currency to buy additional lenses that will change how your camera sees these doggy models. From Zoom lenses to Fish-eye to a funky retro pixel lens, you’re given some creative freedom to take pictures of these dogs. Along with the lenses, you’re also able to unlock additional color filters for your photos. It’s stuff no different than what you’d see on an Instagram filter, but it’s still neat to be able to doctor up some pictures and make things super cool or super artsy.

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Speaking of art, I haven’t said much about the game’s art style, but that’s because it’s pretty simple, and I think the game benefits from it. Everything is bright and colorful; the atmosphere just feels fun, as if everyone is having a good time. Everything has a polygonal look that feels like it came out of a PS1-era game, but I like it. It gives off this cartoon vibe that goes incredibly well with all the vibrant colors. Plus, they’ve modeled a ton of different dog breeds in the game, so if you have a favorite, a variation of it is probably represented.

The game isn’t without some hiccups, though. The biggest hurdle in my enjoyment of Pupperazi was its controls. Button presses felt slightly sluggish, and I encountered some significant lag in joystick movement. Unfortunately, the game is light on controller options, so there wasn’t a way to fix the issue, at least on Xbox. You can increase and decrease joystick speed, but that doesn’t help when you move the joystick in a direction, and your character takes a second before he responds. I can easily see this being a quick fix in a patch or something, but it is something to consider.

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All-in-all, I had a blast with Pupperazi; it has a welcoming and fun charm to it, it’s creative, and it asks you to be creative. It’s only $20 so it’s well worth the price to admission, in fact on Xbox it’ll be a part of Gamepass so if you’re a subscriber, there’s no reason not to get your paws wet and dive right in. It’s cliché to say, but Pupperazi is the very essence of “fun for the whole family.” Now, shoot for the moon and em-bark on your own Pupperazi adventure!

An Xbox code was provided in advance by the publisher for review purposes