Piffle (Switch, Mobile)

You’re what looks like a person in a cat costume, and you’re happily playing with your dog.  When all of a sudden, a blocky demon swoops in, takes your dog, and sends evil purple blocks all over the place.  Now it’s up to you to bounce little kitten pellet balls called piffles to destroy those blocks and save your dog.  Well it’s a good thing story doesn’t matter in this adorable action puzzle game.  Piffle kind of plays like a cross between BreakOut and Puzzle Bobble/Bust-A-Move.  It’s available to download on Switch and mobile devices, but reviewed on Switch here.

In the game, your cat character stays stationary at the bottom of a well.  Blocks will come from the top.  You must aim an arrow to throw piffle balls to bounce and hit the blocks.  When the number on the blocks goes down to zero, it’ll disappear.  Each time your throw your barrage of piffles and they come back down, the rows of blocks will fall down one step.  If they reach the bottom, they’ll squish your cat and you’ll have to start the level over again.  When you clear all the blocks, you win the round and are rated with stars (up to three).  Collect enough stars and you can fill a meter to open a treasure chest with goodies inside!

There are many different types of blocks to deal with.  Some will explode and destroy surrounding blocks.  Some will break into smaller pieces or other kinds of blocks.  And others will make your piffle balls bounce in other directions.  You can also run your piffle balls over icons that can electrify them, making them more powerful, or ones that’ll have them flying all over the place.  With the coins you collect, you can also buy power-ups that can help you in a level, like let you have a longer arrow to aim better, or freeze the blocks for a while.  Some of the ingredients you get from treasure chests will let you craft new piffle balls, but they just seem to be cosmetic only.

One nice thing about the Switch version is there are no in-game purchases!  They seem to give you a lot of coins so you can buy power-ups if you need them.  Only problem is that since it was originally a mobile game, Piffle’s progression does feel a bit slow and repetitive at times.  Also, the ‘meowmeowmeowmeow’ sound the piffle balls make when bouncing around might annoy some people.  But otherwise, this is an adorable action puzzler with a slightly original premise, so if you like BreakOut and Puzzle Bubble, you’ll definitely want to try this one as well.

Kid Factor:

You bounce what looks like little kittens around and they can get electrified, but they always land back safely after being tossed around.  If a block lands on the ground, it’ll squish your cat and it’ll fall of the screen.  But that’s as violent as it gets.  Reading skill is helpful for the text, and younger gamers may find later levels too difficult.  Piffle is rated E for Everyone.

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