Double Pug Switch is a very challenging side-scrolling platformer with “impossible game-esque” gameplay developed by Apriori Digital and The Polygon Loft. The game requires you to play as a cute and dopey Pug, called Otis, who must assist the Professor in bringing back Whiskers the Cat from his wrongdoings after an accident involving some vials of portal fluids, which dragged them into a series of trap-filled words.
Throughout your adventure, you’ll find coins which grant you abilities or power-ups such as speed boost, jump boost and shrink power, these help give the game a very unique feel. Saying that, I developed a love-hate relationship with one of the game’s more unique features: the dimension shift. By pressing B you can shift between the two dimensions allowing you to land on different coloured platforms. On top of this, you will sometimes encounter these light pillars that will force a dimension shift on you instead of inputting it yourself, requiring you to think fast and shift back.
Don’t let the title's cute main character deceive you as this is definitely a very difficult game. Those who are after a serious challenge will enjoy Double Pug Switch greatly due to it throwing very specific jumps and shifts that you will have to time perfectly, otherwise you will be sent back to the very beginning of the level or back to one of the various checkpoints across the level. I personally played many levels that I remember spending several hours stuck on one particular section, trying to reach a single checkpoint. Due to how tight the timings were and missing the jumps or jumping too high over and over, these levels often took a while to complete. This is probably due to the height of your jump being determined with how long you hold the A button which, in some circumstances, felt like my jumps had a sudden halt or went higher then my inputs felt, causing confusion on how long I should hold my jumps.
The game presents a high level of difficulty throughout, and is, I believe, an intentional choice by the developers. However, I believe it’ll be so high as to restrict too many players from seeing later levels. If they do genuinely get stuck and are unable to advance, I believe perhaps allowing the player to use the coins they gather during each level as a cost means to skip so that it would be a good function to include in a future update this game. That way people won’t feel locked out of some of the levels.
Throughout the game, you can collect gold coins and Purple coins. Both of which can be used to buy hats and helmets to customise your pug. I loved the idea of aiming to get 100% of both the purple and gold coins from each level, which will definitely get completionists to work hard to collect everything.
Overall, I enjoyed Double Pug Switch a lot regardless of how frustrating the levels were due to the high difficulty. `I love the simple art direction and gameplay with only needing to press a button to jump and another to shift dimensions. I do believe the game is extremely punishing regardless of the checkpoints with the pinpoint accurate jumps and shifts required in some levels to succeed. I think more can be done with the coins in order to use them to unlock more areas for when players are fully unable to pass a level and don’t feel locked out of the rest of the game. Regardless of these criticisms I still believe Double Pug Switch is great for gamers who love a serious challenge, and who delight in spending hours or days trying to complete a game, and perfect their runs.