After the success of Nihilumbra, BeautiFun Games, the acclaimed Spanish studio, returns to the industry. Their new title, Professor Lupo and his Horrible Pets, is a very different venture that takes us directly to the world of puzzle games and outer space, with a story much more interesting than what it might seem at first.
In an uncertain future in which the Earth is in constant war, Professor Lupo is dedicated to capturing and selling the most frightful and deadly creatures in the universe. For this, he has no doubts about making public displays of its effectiveness, even if he has to use human bait. You need to handle the controls of the testing station from within to make the exhibitions as profitable as possible. But everything goes wrong when an unknown army attacks a ship, causing all the systems to go out of control. This is when you’ll have to face all the creatures to get out alive. Unfortunately, the only things your character knows is to walk and press buttons to open or close doors and other mechanisms.
It seems, therefore, like simple gameplay, but the possibilities granted by each enemy pattern greatly increases the level of fun in the game. Each room is designed with a good level of care. Sometimes, in the halls, there are normal challenges where you have to escape. Other times, the much bigger rooms have you gather the scattered collectibles. In Professor Lupo and his Horrible Pets, you have to expertly calculate the speed of your character to get through the dangerous situations, without getting too tired in the process. This deliberately slow pace adds a lot of tension to the game and enhances the use of your brain. You have to measure the movements very well and learn the patterns of the enemies to get the most out of them.
From time to time, allies give us clues or advice for the game. If you die multiple times, an aid activates to solve the room’s puzzle without despairing. It really is a fantastic addition. This way, players can follow the plot, proposing a rather interesting story that becomes somewhat complicated at times. In addition, we can revisit all the rooms once completed from the menu. The music follows an eighties-futuristic aesthetic, now more fashionable thanks to the rise of pixel art games. But at visual level, it doesn’t use pixel art, as it uses a cartoon art style. It’s actually a relief to see something different in the genre. The enemies utilize designs with grace and each one of them has a video introduction, apart from a later in-game demonstration of their powers and pattern of movement.
As we move forward in our flight, new mechanics appear, and it’s not just about opening and closing doors. There are mechanics with timers, toxic gas or flamethrowers, the possibility of collaborating with other characters in the escape, etc. The truth is that BeautiFun Games has hit the nail on the head with Professor Lupo. A game that starts simple, but ends up showing an unexpected variety. However, let’s not fool ourselves either. The artistic contributions are modest and the music does not shine for its variety either. It is true that it fits with the aesthetics of the game, but it does not attract attention. The best point of the game is, of course, its playability. Especially with how it intertwines with the small but interesting story told between levels.
BeautiFun Games has achieved a lot with Professor Lupo and his Horrible Pets in comparison to Nihilumbra. This is a fun and varied game, although not especially striking, appealing to a small group of players. If you are one of those players that like puzzle games, then don’t wait any longer. Go and get your copy now!