Review: Pupperazzi (Nintendo Switch) – Pure Nintendo
Pupperazzi is a simulation game for the Nintendo Switch in which you take photos of dogs. As you may have guessed, the name is a play on the words “puppy” and “paparazzi” – geddit? It’s a simple premise that sets out to provide a relaxing experience in a world full of canines. It may also be the cutest game I’ve ever played.
There’s not much to the story; you play the role of an unnamed photographer living in a world overrun by pooches. You’re tasked with spotting all sorts of dogs around various environments and snapping their pics before posting them to your in-game social media account. These simple missions range from photographing a specific pup to capturing a certain landscape feature with a dog in front. It’s fun and relatively easy, making this an accessible game for all age levels.
There’s no escaping the cute factor. Puppies are all over the place. I mean, they wander around everywhere. They have a curious way of walking, almost a hop, which adds to the cuteness. They look adorable and happy, appearing to be smiling. I’ve always wondered whether dogs smile in real life or if their mouth is open because they’re hot. In Pupperazzi, they’re definitely smiling. Even when you dress them up in fancy clothes.
Yes, unlockables are present and accounted for in Pupperazzi. Apart from doggie costumes, you can also upgrade your camera to help you become more of a professional photographer. Black and white photos have an edge to them, while a zoom feature helps capture the perfect shot from afar. There’s even a pixelated lens, which seems so meta – taking in-game photos and making them look like they’re from a computer game. Mind = blown.
I also love that you can actually pat the dogs. You play from a first-person perspective with only your hand, arm, or camera visible depending on your current movement. Reaching out and stroking the dogs is a simple touch that helps immerse you further into this world. Plus, the dogs enjoy it.
Another positive feature is that the dogs occasionally stand still and look at you long enough to snap the right shot. It ensures things are kept from being frustrating, adding to that accessibility factor and making it perfect for players of all ages and skill levels.
Unfortunately, this simplicity occasionally works against Pupperazzi. Sometimes the lack of clear instructions means you’re left clueless about what to do next. There are also some odd gameplay choices that lead to a small amount of tedium. For example, you can only store a certain amount of photos in your camera – we’re using old-school film, I guess. You can save photos to your favorites, but why make this distinction in today’s digital world? It slightly detracts from the relaxing experience because your camera roll fills up quickly, taking you out of the moment.
Visually, Pupperazzi sports a simple pastel aesthetic, with plenty of washed-out pinks and blues to give the world an innocent child-like feeling of wonder. It adds to the feeling of escaping to another world. The objects, including the dogs, are kept deliberately blocky, though it’s always easy to spot distinct breeds. I noticed dalmatians, chihuahuas, pugs, and many more roaming around the place.
Overall, Pupperazzi is about as cute as it sounds. Taking photos of dogs is easy and fun, though its simplicity may result in a lack of follow-through, and the directions and interface could be clearer. Still, there’s something pure and innocent about snapping pics of happy pooches.