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Mobile Game Review – Piffle

A cute character dressed in an even cuter cat costume? Check.
A bunch of balls to throw at brick-like enemies, with a hopes to bash them down? Check.
The bunch of balls you collect are also cute and fluffy? Also check.

Well then, this should be a rather cute review of Piffle, shouldn’t it? Check!

Overview

Developer Hipster Whale / Mighty Games
Platforms Android, iOS
Worldwide Release
November 2018
Genre Block Breaker
Price & Ads
£Free (in-game ads & in-app purchases) (Official Site)

Review

Story

You’re a person who is dressed up as a cat. One day an evil robot of sorts comes along and takes away your best friend, the dog-dressed-as-a-dog. You, Piffle, must now set out on a quest to go and get your dog-dressed-up-like-a-dog companion back from the evil robot!

Honestly, it’s times like these that I question my sanity and what I’m saying when writing these articles – But on the plus side, it’s very cute.

Gameplay

This is one of your typical breakout type affairs, where you are given a character who fires a ball to break the blocks presented to them. The game doesn’t pretend to want to reinvent the wheel as it were, but it certainly does provide you with a few of the notable powerups and concepts you’d be used to in this type of game. We’ll go over the gameplay, the powerups and the other features that the game presents.

Starting with the typical gameplay, it’s your standard Breakout style game. Except for having a paddle, you have a chain of balls which you can fire in a line – They will travel until they hit something and then either continue bouncing upwards, or to a different direction, depending on the position you ricochet the balls from. All in all, it’s up to you to find an optimal way to break the blocks within a turn limit, imposed by the blocks, as they come crashing down towards you every turn.

You get different types of powerups; some of them are lightning, empowering your Piffle Ball with more power. Some are extra Piffle Balls, allowing you to fire off more of them in one turn, as they are all fired off in a chain. Sometimes, the blocks you break are beneficial, like the piñata blocks that can drop other blocks (sometimes useful), or the explosive blocks which can destroy surrounding blocks once its been destroyed. As well as this, you can use items such as one to get rid of a block of your choice, or a small bomb you can fire off beforehand – Or a stop sign… So the blocks don’t move until they’re told to.

That’d normally be the end of the conversation with this type of game, but there’s one element which is actually pretty unique. Normally in these games, you can just slightly improve your Ball type, but in this game, you actually get items to craft different types. In the time I’ve had to play the title, I managed to craft the introduction Ball, which is a pirate-esque one. You get items by opening crates, before then getting recipes to turn those items into a new type of Ball. You get crates just from playing and sometimes from doing achievements. Furthermore, there are challenge levels for you to try, which you unlock pretty early on.

Graphics

Okay, I’ll start this paragraph off with a simple “aww”. It’s sweet, pleasant, colourful and vibrant. The characters are well designed, even with the very strange (but equally sweet) theme of them being something wearing a costume of an animal. Even the evil robots will make you say “aww”. It’s all very cute and happy – Something that, I think, is often missing in titles. Still, seeing is believing, so get ready to “aww” to your hearts content.

Audio

I found that the audio does tend to get a bit chaotic with the sound of all of the explosions, cats, lightning and so on. One thing that strikes me as a bit odd, the cats almost sound like they have been autotuned. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as I find it incredibly quirky, but it’s definitely a strange sound. Nevertheless, it works well enough, although I won’t really be playing this game with the sound on a lot. It’s just a bit too chaotic for my liking.

Overall

I’ve enjoyed Piffle; it’s a fun little time waster, with some pleasant aesthetics and imaginative characters. It doesn’t try to create new features, but it certainly tries to perfect them – and in that regard, the game is very well made. All in all, it feels like the developers are a highly talented bunch, who also happen to make you feel rather at ease with their creatively colourful worlds. You can give me a sword and a dragon any time, but it’s rare you can give me something cute and as well presented as this, without it coming across too childish.

It’s a family friendly game, so if you’re looking for something that your kids can sink their teeth into, then this could be it. It’s easy to pick up and play and it has a unique look – I’d recommend that if you need something to play on the journey to and from work, school or otherwise, then this is a great little game. As ever, if you’ve picked up Piffle, then perhaps we can pique your interest in sharing your thoughts in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.

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