[Review] Portal Dogs – Nintendo Switch

Written by Brett Hill
  • Developer: Brain Connected
  • Publisher: Brain Connected
  • Price: $7.50 / £4.49
  • Release Date: 25/02/2020
  • Review code provided by Brain Connected

Introducing: Portal Dogs Switch Review

The premise of Portal Dogs is simple, after innocently chasing a butterfly the protagonist being a green dog trips over a wire protruding out of the ground. Like any dog, he becomes intrigued and starts to dig it up, unearthing a time machine. And like any dog would, then cocked his hind leg and urinates up it, causing a malfunction. The time machine explodes creating a portal transporting the emerald looking pooch to an unknown world.

With 45 levels spanning over 9 worlds Brain Connected have packed this title full of content. The game plays like a traditional platformer where you have to explore the level to gather the other dogs to bring them home. There are 3 objectives in each level to 100% each world:

  • Complete the level by reaching the portal
  • Collect all the other dogs
  • Find the golden bone

Who Let the Dogs Out??

Completing the level is the easy part. So easy you can complete all 45 levels in under an hour with some of them taking seconds. I feel placing the exit portal next to the dog was a bit lazy but for all you completionists, it will probably take 3-5 hours to 100%. Saying that though, there was one level that seemed impossible to finish due to a platform that moved up and never came back down. I reached out to the developer to see if it was a bug but at the time of writing this review they have not responded.

You can transform into various inanimate objects from bouncing springs to cars throughout the levels. To complete the level you will need to transform and match what item is displayed on the TV at the portal. You also have to transform your doggo friends if you want to successfully send them home.

It’s A Me, Paper Doggio

The game looks fun and cartoony and would appeal to people of all ages. The paper Mario effect when turning direction is a nice touch but found the stock motion animation in the cut scenes off putting causing slight nausea. Also the Brain Connected logo has been burnt into my retinas due to the developer feeling the need to putting it whilst each and every level is loading. The level design can get pretty boring quickly as well with each one having the same backdrop and terrain.

The controls are straight forward. Left, Right and jump, so what could go wrong?? Very sloppy controls meant missing jumps and falling to your death. Also, trying to control 2 dogs is pretty difficult as they copy every move. It is pretty impossible to navigate and reach your destination resulting in you leaving them behind and heading for the exit.

Conclusion

Portal Dogs knows what it wants to be but fails at executing it. Which is a shame as it could have been a fun game to just pick up and play. The controls are unresponsive causing unnecessary deaths and stressful moments. The amount of content is deceiving with a total of 45 levels it feels jam packed for the price but in reality you can play through the main game in under an hour. The animation is colourful and fun but with a simple premise and lack of dialogue there is no character development leaving the protagonist easily forgettable.

Pros

  • Fun game to pick up for short bursts
  • Simple game play for all ages
  • Priced correctly

Cons

  • Controls could be vastly improved
  • Short lifespan, main game can be done in under an hour
  • Stock Motion animation can leave you feeling nauseous

Verdict
Portal dogs is a fun but short lived platformer that is easily playable for people of all ages.
2/5

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