When the game begins, you select the first level from the overworld map. At first, you only have access to a beach near a lighthouse, which basically functions as Pupperazzi‘s tutorial level. It’s extremely tiny, which is concerning when you consider that the game only has five maps total. Here, the game’s loop presents itself: a set of three objectives are given to you at a time, and you’re supposed to fulfill their conditions. One of the game’s greatest strengths is the variety of these objectives. You’ll be taking photos of dogs, but it’s thankfully a bit more detailed than that.
Different objectives will task you with taking photos of a certain number of dogs, or taking photos with specific camera filters or lenses. Once you’ve taken the photo, you can turn in the objective, which will reward you with bonks and followers. Bonks are used to purchase new items at vending machines or at the shop on the map. Lenses include a basic one, a zoom lens, a fisheye lens, a pixel lens, and others. You can also use different types of film, which changes the colors of your photos. You can also interact with the dogs themselves. Petting them will cause them to follow you, plus you can give them items or dress them up. Progression will occasionally require you to increase your follower count as well.
A bit too pricey for a treat
Increasing your followers is predominantly done by uploading your photos to Dognet. Each post automatically grants you followers. As you fulfill objectives and get more followers, you unlock new maps. But, again, there are only five: the lighthouse, a beach, a town, a national park, and the Moon. You read that last one right. The maps are cute and as you play you’ll unlock times of day or overcast weather versions, some of which have their own associated objectives. But you can see almost all of what Pupperazzi has to offer in about an hour.
Granted, people who are completely sold on the experience can easily double or maybe even triple that, although I’d imagine most would struggle to find enough to last them that long, outside of anyone who wants to complete the photo gallery or just spend hours taking photos after handing dogs items and the like. This would be fine if Pupperazzi cost $5 USD or so — but it’s $20. The game itself is decent and I enjoyed taking photos of the dogs for a bit, but there’s just no way this game is worth that much money. If the game were cheaper, I could recommend it to anyone sold on its premise. Instead, I’d suggest that people wait for it to appear in a bundle or on a discount, which shouldn’t be all that long if the steep price tag ends up slowing sales.