Fuzz Force: Spook Squad (PC Review): Furry Dice

A fun, well-presented rogue-like, Fuzz Force: Spook Squad is a take on the deck-building genre, only featuring dice and cute lil' animals.

Don’t be fooled by how cute Fuzz Force: Spook Squad is; it’s hard graft. Actually, it’s quite the opposite to how welcoming the cast of characters are at times, and bailed on a couple of runs in frustration.

Selecting one of four fuzzy heroes, excluding the reptile, you’re on a mission to rescue the Polter Prince. A bit like a deck-building game, only you use dice instead, this turn-based adventure is strictly a solo affair, with simple mechanics, a child could play.

That’s right, mine did (4 years old), and she needed zero input after showing her the interface. While the controls are super easy to use, and there’s a toggle for tips should you get stuck, Fuzz Force: Spook Squad is a gamblers game, one of chance.

Fuzz Force: Spook Squad (PC Review)

Not having direct control of my actions can be frustrating, and I’d rather have the option of blaming progress on my performance rather than the outcome of a flipped coin or rolled dice. This is perhaps why I struggled with Garbage.

Fuzz Force Spook Squad PC Review - Dicey
Dicey. Source: Steam

Six dies can be interchanged as and when you unlock new ones, upgrading their values, and elemental boosts.

Half that number are split into three categories: your attack, shields and charge – the top are the values, the bottom are modifiers. Let’s assume you know what the first two do. The charge is your battery level and how effective it is. The higher the gauge, the more efficient the attack/defense.

Additionally, each of the four players has a special attack, that after so many actions, will be fully charged to unleash against the enemy, be it a direct attack or buffers to increase your dodging and shields.

Modular

There are also three slots called modules that are inserted into your wrist to add some buffs. These are typically awarded after winning a battle, purchasing from a merchant, or finding a chest in open play. It’s a cool looking effect too.

Fuzz Force Spook Squad PC Review - A jar
When is a door not a jar? When it’s a (ghost) jar. Source: Steam

Besides their fundamental usage in battle, you can throw dice beforehand to apply yourself a buff and a debuff on the enemy. On many occasions, you’ll get a buff, but so will the enemy – i.e. starting shields.

Gameplay takes place on a tiled map that has all the surfaces flipped down until you reach them. As you approach, you click the desired tile to reveal a chest, enemy encounter or… trees! There aren’t any random encounters, nor are there any action points to spend – simply one tile at a time.

You don’t have to cover the entire map, but naturally, exploring the area may reveal treasures, merchants (to purchase modules with the currency in the game, ghost jars) and the inevitable boss battles. But as a rogue-like, for each run, you start afresh, without carrying anything from your previous one.

Trouble In ParaDICE

This posed a problem for me as I didn’t feel I was making enough progress. Time wasn’t the issue, just as long as there were incremental changes to stats. There weren’t, and I found myself being killed in the some over the very first battles.

Fuzz Force Spook Squad PC Review - Merchant
Merc. Source: Steam

The number of 0s thrown when starting is discouraging, and early battles last too long because of this. There’s a rinse-repeat of shield, charge, shield, attack (roll a 0), shield, attack (maybe a 1)… After finishing the fight (pending you win), you get to choose a new module to equip, dice or ghost jars to use at the merchants or as a modifier before opening a chest/starting a fight.

When it comes to presentation, the graphics are big, bold and chunky. Each of the four characters are pretty cute (ahem – manly voice: alright). There’s Finn the fox (best starting stats), Dotty the dog, Lix the lizard(?) and Mecha Peppa – a cyborg. The enemies are varied, look the part, and have a little stand affixed to them resembling a tabletop figure. Also, the music is ‘spooky’ too – in The Addams Family sense, and works well.

While there is a general timescale to produce a review, I’m happy to invest in something deep or scales up with play. Unfortunately, I found that Fuzz Force: Spook Squad was a little erratic, and getting over the early hurdles were offputting to begin with. But, like similar titles in the deck-building genre in general, i.e. the excellent Tainted Grail: Conquest, once you get past that wall, it gets better.

Fuzz Force: Spook Squad Review Summary

This is a fun title when you get stuck in and patient with the dice side mechanics. From a personal perspective, I did get frustrated in having to restart without any notable developments, though there are options to unlock new weapons, which helps. Certainly worth the price, and if you fancy a rogue-like that doesn’t overwhelm with figures, lore and drawn-out narratives, check it out.