Paw Patrol World Review

The most PAWesome pup adventure yet

By Paul Hunter

Talk about a glow-up, or should I say a glow-pup. I've been playing the Paw Patrol video games with my family for years now and can confidently say that Paw Patrol World is the new franchise's best. The game, which was recently released on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch and PC, is the series' first free-roaming 3D adventure and has a lot more depth and interactivity versus the earlier linear installments.

Paw Patrol World lets your child explore four iconic open-world locations from the hit cartoon and choose to play as their favourite pup—including Chase, Marshall, Tracker, Skye, Rubble, Everest, Zuma and Rocky. It also features untethered two-player co-op, allowing your children (or you and your child, let's be real!) to freely explore the cute and kid-friendly maps without restrictions. Let's hop on into Adventure Bay to see all that this title has to offer, here are four things I like about Paw Patrol World...and one I'm mixed about.

Liked: Fun, Familiar Story

Paw Patrol World features a fully original story but still leans in heavily with the usual silliness and shenanigans the cartoon series is famous for. The plot revolves around Adventure Bay where Mayor Goodway is busy preparing the town square for the annual Paw Patrol Day Festival. Mayor Humdinger, the main antagonist of the Paw Patrol, gets jealous and wants all the attention on his rival Kittastrophe Day Festival.

To divert eyes to his festival, the scheming mayor along with his Kitten Catastrophe Crew steal all of the Paw Patrol Day posters put up in Adventure Bay. He also flies around the city in a huge blimp with a loud jumbo screen playing Kittastrophe Day Festival advertisements on a loop. Naturally, Ryder and the Paw Patrol decide to set things right and retrieve the posters, while also getting rid of that annoying blimp that's keeping citizens and animals alike up at night. The adventure will take the pups through four iconic locations—Adventure Bay, the Jungle, Jake's Mountain and Barkingburg—to unravel Humdinger's evil plot.

The story is certainly cute and easy for kids to get invested in, but what's most impressive is the game has well over an hour of cutscenes total across the four locations, so it's like watching a mini-movie or a couple episodes of the TV show. The pups and supporting cast also have voices that sound a lot like their TV counterparts for an authentic experience that will feel instantly familiar to fans. Parents need not worry either as all story beats are kid-friendly and mostly involve silly situations like citizens dropping candy on the road and blocking traffic or adorable monkeys that got lost and need rescue. This is a game you can let your child sit down and enjoy on their own as everything is presented in a lighthearted manner.

Liked: Safe, Colourful Open Worlds

Whenever I hear the phrase 'open world' I imagine a massively large and complex place, but that couldn't be further from the truth when it comes to Paw Patrol World. The four open-world zones in this game hold a ton of interesting areas and secrets to uncover but are also modestly sized and simple to navigate. My kid had no problem navigating the spaces, especially because there's a map you can call open on demand and once you start a mission blue neon pawprints on the ground will show you exactly where to go.

Each location has a distinct vibe and visual colour scheme, whether that's the snowy ski hills of Jake's Mountain, the city and beach scenery of Adventure Bay or the lush forest and murky swamp in the Jungle. Graphics in kids' games are never meant to be highly detailed, and instead, Paw Patrol World offers a rich colour palette and soft textures that are inviting and warm for children.

All four hub zones are absolutely packed with collectibles that are sure to keep kids entertained for hours. Pup treats are the main collectible with hundreds to find in each area and gathering them fills a bar that once complete gives you a nice present as a reward. Unwrapping the presents can give you different types of bonuses, from new outfits for your pups to new stickers to put on the pups' vehicles. Outfits are adorable, like a Santa hat, clown hair or pirate hat, and the stickers are equally cute ranging from bubbles to dog bones to colourful jungle trees. There are numerous other collectibles to discover as well like postcards found inside mailboxes or Paw Patrol badges that can only be collected by specific pups. There's so much to find and do in this game making it an excellent choice for kids.

Liked: Easy For Kids to Pick Up and Play

Paw Patrol World is extremely user-friendly and kids will easily get the hang of how to play the game given how simple tasks are to complete and the frequent tutorials explaining how to perform actions. By default, the camera is auto-controlled so your child only has to think about moving with the left stick, but you can unlock the camera if you choose. Missions are a snap to find since all you have to do is look for the Ryder symbol on the map, and once you begin missions there are wayfinding lines on the ground showing you exactly what to do next.

The overall UI is easy to learn and kids will have no problem flipping between the map, the pup and vehicle customization screen, the area fast-travel selection screen and the options menu. Font sizes are large and visible and your first time entering the menu will trigger a tutorial on how to use it—easy peasy. It also helps that the open worlds are super simple to explore with, for example, Adventure Bay being an easy loop to travel through the whole city. Maps have large structures to help keep your child oriented at all times, like the huge bridge in Adventure Bay or the Big Ben-type building found in Barkingburg.

Liked: Pup Powers

At any point during the adventure, you can instantly switch between any of the eight pups. This is awesome for kids as they can choose their favourite pup but then swap to any other pup depending on their current mood. But even better is how different the pups all feel thanks to their specialized powers useful in specific situations. For example, Chase can stand on a blue podium to use his bullhorn, while Marshall's back-mounted water hose can be used to water plants or wash away mud. Each pup has their signature power: Tracker can clear overgrown plants with his multitool, Skye can fly with her wings, Rubble can repair benches or crates, Everest can clear snow piles, Zuma can pull objects closer with her fishing line, and Rocky can repair things like satellite dishes.

Beyond the pup's individual power, they all come with their personalized vehicle which can be called upon with a simple button press. Vehicles also have special abilities to help with certain situations, like deploying Marshall's red fire truck ladder to rescue kittens stuck in a tree or using the motion detector in Tracker's off-road jeep to locate missing animals. Perhaps the most useful vehicles are Skye's pink helicopter capable of flying in certain missions, along with Zuma's orange hovercraft which is the only vehicle able to travel on water. From the large number of pup powers to all their cool vehicles and special abilities, it's really impressive how much effort went into making Paw Patrol World the biggest and most ambitious adventure yet.

Mixed: A Lot of Repetitive Tutorials

Full disclosure: this complaint will likely only apply to adults playing the game like me. Paw Patrol World tries very hard to be kid-friendly at all times and this means multiple tutorials on basic actions like jumping or collecting pup treats. Even after the tutorials, Ryder will repeat over and over how to accomplish simple tasks, which can get a bit grating for adults. It would have been nice to have an option to limit the tutorials, but alas that's not the case.

Ironically though, this complaint is actually a positive for kids as my child was not bothered by them at all. The constant reinforcement also built confidence in my child and was a good reminder whenever they returned to the game after a day or two of not playing it. From my experience, kids are unlikely to care about all the tutorials and helpful advice, but just a small heads-up for parents planning on playing cooperatively with their kids.

The Verdict

Paw Patrol World is my favourite Paw Patrol game yet. It's bigger, better looking and more interesting than any prior installment I've played in this series. Children will have a blast getting lost in the game's warm and inviting open-world hubs, playing as their favourite pup and enjoying a lighthearted story full of funny moments. If you're looking for an easy, fun-filled game your kids will enjoy for many hours, this is the one to get.

Final Score: 8.5/10 - Great

Paw Patrol World details

Platform: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Developer: 3DClouds
Publisher: Outright Games
Genre: Action-Adventure
Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

A key was provided by the publisher.