PAX West 2019: PHOGS

Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

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PHOGS | Play World

Perhaps one of the most delightfully strange titles I played at PAX West 2019 was PHOGS. I had seen it last year, but made the mistake then of not booking a demo. But you can only look at two adorable dogs connected by a stretchy midsection into some sort of canine ouroboros for so long without getting curious. And that curiosity won out as I finally demoed PHOGS this year.

PHOGS | Food World

The entire game is about managing these two stretchy pups to solve puzzles and get around. It’s available for single player or co-op, and you can extend them in various directions, bounce around, bite to grab onto objects and bark. It’s very simple but pretty intuitive. And they aren’t just some nameless dogs in PHOGS, our duo is named Red and Blue (corresponding to the color of their collars). I got to play the demo with a member of the publishing team, Coatsink, and we made our way through a section of Sleep World. Each of us controlled one of the pups, and used teamwork to get about. It was a land of muted blues and light bulbs, beds and dreamy gateways. We had to use some alarm clocks to solve puzzles, and drag bulbs to get past shadowy corridors. It was a lot of silly fun, and I can tell PHOGS is aimed at being playable by everyone. This isn’t a game with permadeath or real threats to speak of, it’s more of a relaxing game to play and unwind with.

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I have to say, Bit Loom Games has me captivated with this strange premise. While PHOGS may not be for everyone, it’s certainly artsy and weird enough to merit a look. If you’re interested in puzzling with some odd doggos, you can pick up PHOGS in early 2020 on PC and Nintendo Switch. But if for some reason you’re still not convinced, just check out this snazzy trailer and see what the game is all about.

About Josh Speer

Josh is a passionate gamer, finding time to clock in around 30-40 hours of gaming a week. He discovered Operation Rainfall while avidly following the localization of the Big 3 Wii RPGs. He enjoys SHMUPS, Platformers, RPGs, Roguelikes and the occasional Fighter. He’s also an unashamedly giant Mega Man fan, having played the series since he was eight. As Head Editor and Review Manager, he spends far too much time editing reviews and random articles. In his limited spare time he devours indies whole and anticipates the release of quirky, unpredictable and innovative games.