PAX East 2019: The Last Friend – First Impressions

From Stonebot Studio comes a game that anyone who loves dogs (ie. anyone who isn’t a monster) can and will enjoy. Even if they don’t love gaming per se, it’s hard not to get behind the concept of saving puppies from terrible fates.

The Last Friend is set in a post-apocalyptic world where only a few humans have survived—but all the dogs are fine, I guess—mutants roam around the wastelands searching for canines to devour. Alpha, the main character (they’re not subtle, these game makers) is a Good Boy who has decided to make it his personal mission in life to save all the puppies and raise them safely in his mobile dog shelter.

According to the developers, their inspiration came from childhood favorite games and movies such as Streets of Rage and Mad Max. However, the team was divided in which kind of game they wanted to make: A brawler or a tower-defense title. In true indie fashion, they decided that choosing just one genre was so yesterday, and went ahead with combining the two genres. And they added dogs, because dogs.

As a result, The Last Friend sets up an almost nostalgic, arcade-like experience, with players setting up turrets and traps to keep the mutants away from the dogs—and then wading into the fray to punch a few mutants in the face. Every rescued dog gets to play a role too, with options to equip them to offer up special skills that improve everyone’s chances against the mutant hordes.

There are 48 levels, and 30 different puppers. The gameplay requires quick thinking and considerable multi-tasking, since players need to remember to set traps while also managing the waves of enemies—neglect to get turrets running and you’ll be overwhelmed, but spend too much time building and you risk mutants breaking through the line.

“Have fun and remember the 80s” seemed to be the party line at this booth; we can’t deny they’ve given it a good go to bring this experience forward. The game is set to release later this year, but first the team will be launching a Kickstarter in May—with one option for backers to have a photo of themselves with their dog in the credit roll, or to even have their dog recreated in-game.

It’s an intriguing title to be sure; we’re fans of genre-blending. Also of dogs, so there’s that. If you’re interested in this upcoming game, keep an eye out for that on The Last Friend’s social pages.



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Author: Dave View all posts by
Dave will tell you that he likes to play video games, this is in fact a lie. What he really likes to do is buy games, and leaving them sitting unopened on his shelf. He is a monster.

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