Professor Lupo and His Horrible Pets Review: Internship
Kalvin Martinez / Sep 20th, 2019 No Comments
We’ve all had terrible jobs. Jobs where we’re under paid, under appreciated, and understaffed. While most feel like they’re killing us, none of them have actively been trying to put our lives in danger. What if they were though, how would you deal with it?
In Professor Lupo and His Horrible Pets, the Intern is forced to deal with alien creatures that only want to eat any prey that comes near them. Luckily, there are security procedures to keep him safe from actual danger. Well, that is until one day…
Just an Intern
Call it Murphy’s Law or just desserts, but when things go wrong aboard the Aurora Space Station they go exceptionally wrong. Professor Lupo invited Earth’s most notorious warlords to the Aurora Space Station to bid on his finds. He has been traveling across the universe amassing a collection of adorable yet deadly alien creatures that he planned to sell to the highest bidder.
What should have been a standard black market weapons deal goes full FUBAR when Blue Ragnarok and Hugo Khan interrupts the auction with missiles. Due to the massive structural damage and the raiding peacekeeping party, all of Professor Lupo’s pets are set loose on the space station. Emergency evacuation protocols have been enacted.
As chaos ensues, the hapless Intern is forced to navigate through dangerous conditions to reach the escape pods to make it back to Earth. Escape won’t be easy. Due to the extensive damage to the space station the alien creatures have been set loose and Blue Ragnarok is skulking about up to no good. It will take smarts and cunning for the Intern to get back home.
The essence of a good story is catching you by surprise. This doesn’t have to be a genius twist for the story to go in an unexpected direction. Professor Lupo and His Horrible Pets pivots in an organic way from a narrative about disaster to menace. While it seemed the alien creatures were the biggest worry, it turns out there are those with more malice intentions out for the Intern.
Surprisingly the malice intent isn’t from the eccentric Professor Lupo or Blue Ragnarok rather it comes from the AI, Plato that governs the Aurora Space Station. Seemingly benevolent at first, when the damage to the space station gets too severe, Plato’s programming goes haywire. It goes from trying to evacuate the Intern safely to trying to cause intentional harm and death.
It is this change in dynamic that makes the story so engrossing. Plato much like all other famously malevolent AI is equal measure of funny, terrifying, and cheekily breaking the 4th wall. What makes the story even better is this isn’t the only narrative thread running. As the Intern deals with Plato’s evil machinations, there is still the Blue Ragnarok and Professor Lupo of it all.
Cute but Deadly
Evacuation protocols are in effect. Everything is falling apart. Security measures have been disabled as a result. Alien creatures are roaming free looking for a snack. It is all terrible and you have to navigate the chaos to reach an escape pod if you ever want to get back to Earth.
Clearly this is no easy feat. Fortunately, you have access to a tablet and knowledge of both the facilities and the behaviors of the creatures. Both of these things are important for your survival.
The tablet gives you control of whatever doors and mechanisms are still working on the Aurora, and knowing how the creatures behave and how the facilities works means you can outsmart them.
Despite the great sense of urgency to escape, being too careless means you’re food. It is vital to think out your moves carefully. Every one of Professor Lupo’s pets have their own unique behaviors.
Some move in predictable patterns, others act by sight or smell alone, but all of them are exceptionally lethal. It only takes one mistake for them to chomp you up. Luckily, this is a video game, so you have plenty of opportunities to experiment.
Failure is to be expected and it is a boon. Through death and failure you learn more about the specific intricacies of each creature’s behaviors. As well, you discover how those behaviors are affected by different elements of the facilities and the mechanisms at your control.
For instance, Sagittas are roly poly creatures with one giant eye that turn into a ball of sharp teeth when they move. However, they move based on last known position because they can’t see as they move. They return to their initial position if they bump into any hard surface.
While it is easy to get boxed in by these creatures, they are also easily tricked. Whether you move after they track your initial position or opening a door then closing it as they try to reach you sending them back, you can create some good openings to reach your goal.
Due to the urgency of evacuation, you’re constantly trying to reach a goal to make it one step closer to an escape pod. Reaching the goal may seem simple, but with malfunctioning equipment, crumbling structures, and roaming creatures, it’ll take wits and methodical movement to reach.
One of the biggest boons and barriers to escaping are doors. This seems like an obvious thing, but like in Aliens or Jurassic Park, doors can be the difference between life and death. This is true both in preventing many aliens from gobbling you up by blocking their entry and from stopping your progress forcing you into their hungry maws.
There are several different door mechanisms like timer locks, color coordinated locks, and remote doors you can open/close at will. Utilizing these different doors is important for outsmarting your predators like using timed locks to block a path for a predator hot on your heels. However, even doors are no match for certain creatures who will use cunning or superior strength to find a way to you.
It is a good thing there are other mechanisms at your disposal to help deal with more brutish and cunning creatures. There is noxious gas, as well as flamethrowers that will do a number on both you and your predators.
The gas is deadly to you, but not to the creatures, however, it will produce paralytic or other effects. Flamethrowers are much less nuanced. They burn anything they come in contact with, which is handy, either to incinerate your pursuers or make them avoid a route.
Finding you way to the escape pods, and ultimately back home is an arduous journey. It is made exceedingly difficult due to the ferocity and variety of the creatures eager to ensnare you in their jaws. That is what makes the game so engrossing, the challenge.
Some of the puzzles are easy to give you a sense of the different mechanics and behaviors, but quickly they become some real brain teasers. Figuring out these more challenging levels is where the game shines.
Professor Lupo and His Horrible Pets is a delightfully fun and challenging puzzle game with an engrossing story. Fans of narrative driven puzzle games should definitely check this out!
Professor Lupo and His Horrible Pets was reviewed on Nintendo Switch with a code provided by the developer.