Looking through the Switch’s library, I think it’s safe to say that co-op games are making a large resurgence. It seems like every few weeks, a new colorful co-op game comes out. PHOGS! is one of the latest. How does it stand out in the crowded market?
PHOGS! is a puzzle-platformer where you take control of a two-headed ‘phog’; basically, a snake with a dog head on each end (No, I have no idea why they’re called ‘phogs’). You’ll have to stretch and grab your way through multiple levels split across three worlds, either alone or with a friend.
The puzzles located throughout your playthrough are decent. Most feel pretty basic, but there’s a standout every once in a while, and I wouldn’t call any ‘bad.’ You can tell the devs put some time into these, and that care shows in other areas as well. There is an inherent charm to these worlds, and I like the main characters’ design too.
This care the devs put into this makes my feelings on the game as a whole hard for me to say, but the fact is that I didn’t really enjoy my time playing this. Though some puzzles were clever, altogether, the game was just so… boring. I was struggling to keep myself playing. The worlds presented, though charming, are so big and empty that a lot of time is just spent moving from one place to the next, which is a problem when your character moves so slowly.
These problems really stand out when playing alone, but it’s still apparent even with someone else. I’m not saying that no one will have fun with this, but I just couldn’t get into it. Perhaps kids would find more enjoyment here, but for me playing PHOGS! just made me tired. I will give the devs credit for including both local and online multiplayer, though. I ran into quite a few errors in setting up a room to play online with a friend of mine, but it performed remarkably well once it worked.
All in all, I do think there’s fun to be had here. Some of the levels are quite creative, and some of the puzzles are quite clever. However, the gameplay is just too slow for me to find much enjoyment from it. If you think it looks fun, I encourage you to download the demo on the eShop and give it a go. As for me, I don’t have any desire to play it again.