Pupperazzi – Review
In Pupperazzi, we take pictures of adorable doggos. Is it worth shouting from the woof-tops about? Here’s what we think.
Usually, when I start a review, I like to give readers an overview of the game’s story and how the game approaches that narrative through its gameplay. With Pupperazzi, though, you get what it says on the tin. In fact, that phrase, ‘you get what it says on the tin’ played on loop in my head as I wandered the canine-infused locations of Pupperazzi. There’s no story told here, unless you really clutch one out through objectives and flavour text. It can there’s no world here either – it’s a collection of dioramas with digital dogs let loose. But why should any of that matter when you’re a walking camera? Your life’s purpose is to photograph cute dogs.
So then, let’s talk shop. You can shoot landscape, you can shoot portrait. You can take pictures with a wide variety of films, which are your photo filters, if you’re young like me and haven’t held up a non-digital camera as an adult. You can also put on funky lenses for groovy effects. Once you’ve lined up your perfect shot, you hit the shutter, and your perfect image is ready. Or well, not. Sometimes it can end up blurry, and maybe the composition’s off, but that’s alright – Pupperazzi isn’t really here to judge you for the worse.
You can save your favourite pictures and also upload them to dogNET (they somehow resisted calling it Dogstagram). Comments and followers come instantly, and the numbers always go up. As I mentioned before, Pupperazzi will not punish you for a poor shot. You will, however, get accolades for centering, or having multiple doggos, or having one doggo, or having no doggos, or having a doggo with a hat on, etc. etc. Seeing as there’s no challenge involved, Pupperazzi rests on a bed of chill vibes. It’s cheerful yet calm soundtrack keeps things upbeat, and if you’re not the sort to be immediately at ease in a city full of dogs, I have to ask what you’re doing playing the game in the first place. Didn’t you read what it says on the tin?
The opposite end of this bone, however, is that Pupperazzi suffers from a lack of ambition. Its quirky and charming presentation does not build up to any kind of satisfying payoff. The game presents surreal and funny sights, like a dog manning (dogging?) a bone shop, a pair of dogs turning a cement mixer into a treadmill, a couple of dogs standing perfectly still on the tops of trees – even a stock trader cat who looks down on dogs – and yet, the game doesn’t seem interested in taking these ideas anywhere. You can pet the dogs, toss frisbees, have the dogs fetch sticks, and you’ll watch them move like an invisible hand is moving a toy with no moving parts, having it bounce away and towards you. It’s fine, but it’s disappointing that the developers would settle for ‘fine’.
Is it really so bad if a game doesn’t offer you anything more than it told you it would? That’s the million-dollar question that will decide whether or not you will like Pupperazzi. If all you’re looking for is a relaxing (frequently glitchy) time photographing dogs, Pupperazzi should do the trick. If you’re expecting anything more than that, though, look for a different tin.
Developer: Sundae Month
Country of Origin: United States
Publisher: Kitfox Games
Release Date: January 20, 2022 (PC, Mac)
This review is based on a copy of the game provided by the publisher. The PC version of the game was played for this review of Pupperazzi.
Thank you for reading this review of Pupperazzi! For other interesting articles on Into Indie Games, check out the links below:
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- Why do some indie games fail?
- Half Past Fate Story Walkthrough
- Sayonara Wild Hearts – Review
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WHAT DID WE THINK?
Pupperazzi is a simplistic, relaxing, and upbeat game about photographing dogs that doesn’t seem interested in going anywhere further with its concept.