The Last Friend puts you in control of Alpha, a strong and silent protagonist who travels the wasteland in a custom-built RV with a group of his best friends. His best friends are, of course, dogs. Their leader is a spicy little chihuahua named T. Juan, who says it all on behalf of the group, and fights with Alpha and the group against a horde of enemies. Mad Max-sque frat bros who jailed dozens of dogs because… whatever, it doesn’t matter. The plot of Last Friend is pointless, but in the best of ways, and it’s really just there as a costume to provide some goofy backdrop to the game.
Each stage has you play in a Plants vs Zombies-like a tower defense map where your vulnerable RVs are parked on the left and it depends on the Alpha and the bois best to keep the brothers attacking from the right away from it. You always have direct control of Alpha, who can freely jump between lanes three to five in each level, defeating bad guys and commanding the dogs to build up their defenses. Each felled enemy will drop some scrap, which you can then spend to build more dog units or to upgrade existing ones. It’s a simple yet effective system, distinguished by the variety of dog types on offer and the fast-paced action offered by the Alpha’s controls. If you don’t want to wait for the dogs to do all the work, the Alpha has a range of basic beat-style combo attacks to take down enemies faster.
Defeat enemies and beat levels that earn you dog rewards, which you can then spend at a shop in each area to upgrade your dogs and increase the number of times you can advance grant them in a certain level. Meanwhile, each level has a maximum of three stars that you can earn for meeting certain requirements — such as failing to land an RV or winning within a certain time limit — and stars These stars can then be used to upgrade globals to things like building efficiency and other things’ dog classes. Together, these two progression systems help infuse The Last Friend with a satisfying amount of player agency, giving you a lot of control over how you develop your team.
All of this is rendered in a beautiful art style full of neon animations that accentuate the carefree nature of the game and the story. Everything runs at a smooth 60 FPS and little features like every level get its own unique title card that shows off some fine details.
Similar to so many doggos it stars, it’s hard to find much to dislike about The Last Friend. Fast-paced tower defense action, gorgeous art style, satisfying progression, and a goofy story make this an easy proposition. Plus, you can pet all dogs! Do you want anything else?