Professor Lupo: Ocean Review
There's trouble in the water in Professor Lupo: Ocean by BeautiFun Games for the Nintendo Switch. Professor Lupo: Ocean is a story-driven, puzzle-adventure that has a few unique twists and turns, along with great voice acting, but unnecessary motion controls packed into 40 hand-drawn missions across three chapters. Unlike the previous game Professor Lupo and His Horrible Pets, Ocean is a standalone sequel that falls far shorter in the amount of puzzles and times you'll spend across the entire game.
In Professor Lupo: Ocean, you'll play as a character with no name and simply referred to as "clone." This clone has awoken at what seems to be at the bottom of the ocean with no understanding of how or why. The clone is accompanied by a robot named Pluto who's helpful in explaining the terrain and monsters you'll face along the way. When question after question begins to accumulate within the clone's mind, a mystery begins to unravel about why they're here, who the clone really is, and if this is actually even an ocean.
Professor Lupo: Ocean's takes place within 40 beautifully rendered, hand-drawn levels that range in style and design within the game's three chapters. I loved the wonderfully deep palette of colors selected to portray the game's sometimes moody atmosphere rich with character. Added to that is the quality voice acting that comes off as genuine and never overly dramatized or cheap, and the fun memorable music along the way.
I wasn't a fan of the unnecessary and mandatory motion controls that really hindered my overall experience.
The puzzles in Ocean are interesting and challenging. One minutes you will be flipping switches to open doors, and the next you'll be running from electric jellyfish and shark monsters and worse. Each puzzle is laid out a little different from the last, but all hold a few of the same elements and ideas as you go forward. When you don't have crazy monsters coming after you, you'll still have to deal with atmospheric challenges such as spiked walls, blocked paths and water currents you'll need to control, that can either send you to safety or to your death. I found most of the puzzles to be inventive with a medium amount of challenge thrown in.
However, I wasn't a fan of the unnecessary motion controls that really hindered my overall experience. Moving what is ultimately a computer-like mouse on the screen by flicking the Joy Cons or Pro Controller to flip switches becomes a strenuous experience. Luckily the motion controls did run smooth and worked well, even if I didn't like them. There is an option to turn the default motion controls off for a far better experience-- unless you like that type of game mechanic.
Overall, Professor Lupo: Ocean is a nice, short adventure with a lot of mystery and interesting storytelling along the way. The default motion controls weren't necessary and hindered the game somewhat, but switching these to physical buttons makes the game easier to navigate. I really had a fun time with this game.
A game code was provided for this review from the publisher for Nintendo Switch.