Video Game Review – A Book of Beasts and Buddies

A Book of Beasts and Buddies is a 100% FREE puzzle game done in a choose-your-own-adventure style. Players interact with different creatures using four options to gather different information on them. Each creature also has a special item to give the player which usually unlocks a new option with another creature. Collecting all the special items completes the book and unlocks special out-of-game bonus content.

Release Date: October 6th, 2018
Developer: Squiddershins
Publisher: Squiddershins
Format: PC Game
First playthrough time: 30 minutes

Major Pros:

  • Cute art and interactions
  • Hidden puzzles
  • Completely FREE!

Minor Pros:

  • Out-of-game bonus for completing the whole book
1
Your first creature!

Major Cons:

  • Very short

Minor Cons:

  • Player might miss that there are puzzles
2
Information you learn is saved in the book

When first starting up A Book of Beasts and Buddies, players might not realize they’re in a puzzle game. The game starts with one creature you can interact with. After starting and ending an interaction scene, the next creature unlocks and the process repeats. The unwary player may open the game, interact with each creature a few times and turn the game off without ever knowing there are special items to collect.

3
On the surface, the game uses a choose-your-own-adventure style

Once a player does realize there are puzzles to be completed with each creature, the game really starts. A few creatures will give their special item after a very specific series of actions with them, but most require the player to first acquire an item from another creature. This means there are a few hidden “entrances” into the puzzle gameplay before the player starts collecting items and figuring out who to use them with and how. The more a player learns about a creature, the more of their page is filled out in the book.

4
Find the right combination of actions to get on each creature’s good side and win their special item

If a player completes all the puzzles, aka collects all the items from the creatures, they unlock a special page at the front of the book. Following this leads to a browser link containing some extra downloadable goodies related to the game. Beating the game doesn’t take long, about 30 minutes, but I really wished it was longer given how cute the creature interactions were and how fun the puzzles were to figure out. I felt the puzzles had a pleasing low level of difficulty without too much trial and error.

5
Completing the book unlocks bonus content

Overall I found A Book of Beasts and Buddies to be an excellent short experience. My biggest issue was only that I wanted it to go on longer. But as a free game, taking about as long as a demo isn’t much to complain about. If you’re a fan of quick puzzle experiences, this is definitely a game to try.

Find this game on Itch.io or Steam.