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Professor Lupo and His Horrible Pets (Early Build)
Professor Lupo and His Horrible Pets (Early Build) Professor Lupo and His Horrible Pets (Early Build) Professor Lupo and His Horrible Pets (Early Build) Professor Lupo and His Horrible Pets (Early Build)
This is Professor Lupo and His Horrible Pets, the brand new game from the people that brought us Nihilumbra and Megamagic: Wizards of the Neon Age. It's a science-fiction puzzler that was literally announced by Beautifun Games just a couple hours ago. I've spent the last week playing through the early build and I know you have a lot of questions, so let's crib this.

So just how horrible are these pets? The question shouldn't be about the pets, but rather how horrible of a person Professor Lupo is. We're told right at the start that the mad scientist has invited all of the world's warlords to a space station in hopes that they will bid on several new types of deadly aliens. He says that any one of these monsters could give these tyrants and conquerors the upper-hand in their mission to further divide Earth.

He decides to show off his pets by letting them fight to the death, and in order to do that he sends an unsuspecting intern in as live bait. Like I said, he's horrible. But before anything truly bad happens to the innocent intern, the space station is attacked by ballistic missiles. The good news is that this saves the nameless intern from what would have been a gruesome fate. Of course, the bad news is that all of those aliens are now roaming the corridors and finding an escape pod just got a whole lot harder.

This sets up what turns out to be a fun little puzzle game where the goal is to avoid the aliens and find the exit in one piece. You do this by pointing and clicking your way around 100 bite-sized levels, ultimately using the computers, manipulating the doors, tricking the aliens and even teaming up with other survivors. Once you find the right solution and make it to the exit pad, you're sent to a brand new level where you do the same thing over again.

What aren't you telling me? The one thing that caught me by surprised was the story. I figured that they would do a good job setting up the action, but once the puzzles started, that would mainly be the focus. I was wrong. The game is full of great little twists, including the concern that there somebody (or something) out there trying to prevent you from leaving the space station. It's scary enough to think that the aliens are after you, but are the humans even worse?

I should also point out that Professor Lupo is funny and full of great science fiction references. I guess I should have expected this, since the team's last game was the absurdly hilarious Megamagic: Wizards of the Neon Age. Beautifun Games is a company that knows how to create unique characters and put them into crazy situations. This is a studio to watch.

It looks kind of tough. That's not really a question, but you're right, it is tough. A lot of the puzzling comes down to experimenting and trial and error. The good news is that Professor Lupo and His Horrible Pets is excellent about checkpoints, usually giving two or three per stage. It may seem like a small thing, but it gave me the comfort of knowing that I could poke around and figure it out without stressing over replaying huge chunks of the level. This is especially important after the first few stages, when some of the solutions require split second timing. Professor Lupo may be tough, but it always seems fair.

Conclusion: I was impressed with what I played of this early build. It has a funny theme, compelling story and a lot of deadly aliens to sneak around. I do worry that some of the mechanics may get to be repetitive over the 100 stages, but I'm hopeful that they will continue to add new wrinkles to the formula to keep things fresh. Professor Lupo and His Horrible Pets is currently set for release on PC, Mac and mobile devices in early 2018, with other platforms planned for the future. I like what played and intrigued to see what comes next. Professor Lupo is worth putting on your radar.
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