Howl Mi'pu'mi Games PS5 Puzzle Review

Howl Review (PS5) – An Enchanting Walk Through Dangerous Woods

howl ps5 review

Howl PS5 Review – Howl is the newest game from the folks at Mi’pu’mi Games, and takes the form of a turn-based puzzle game that evokes the feeling of a folktale that could have been passed down from previous generations.

Howl Review (PS5) – An Enchanting Walk Through Dangerous Woods

Taking on the role of the Prophet, the player sets out to find their brother, despite the threat of the titular Howl. In the opening dialogue, you learn that these wolf-like creatures were once people, turned into their current beastly form after the sound of the Howl assaulted their senses.

The Prophet, however, is deaf, and thus immune to these shape-shifting effects. Armed with this limited information about the world around them, the player is thrust into the world of Howl.

When kicking off the game, I was first struck by how absolutely beautiful the art direction is. The art makes the player feel like they are playing inside a painting, and that feeling remains throughout. Even the character movements and the attacks feel as though they are just a painter’s rendition of the action.

Rather than having full motion animations for any of the movements, the characters either fade out and back in on a new square to show movement or make gestures towards actions, with claw marks or arrows appearing to show their actions.


The music keeps it simple, with only a handful of tracks in the game. They can give the player the feeling of a gentle walk through the tranquil woods, or the feeling that danger is in their immediate future.

The music paired with the occasional howling and snarling of the wolf creatures, the crunching of the characters’ feet falling, and the sounds of each attack ensures that the tension is never broken until the sweet sound of the reward screen between each stage.

Despite not having a wide variety of tunes, it always worked for me, and I often caught myself humming along while trying to plot courses through each stage.

The stages are very simple at the beginning of the game, teaching the player one aspect of the gameplay in each stage for most of the first chapter. Here, the player learns every gameplay mechanic that will be used for the rest of the game.

Plot Your Course

Before I go any further, I need to explain what a typical level of Howl looks like. In each level, the player will have a certain number of moves that they can make in each round. You must plan each move in the round out before they can make any of them.

Once you’ve planned out each move and have confirmed your selections, the round begins. The player will make the first move, and any other character on the board will move after them.

For instance, if the player makes two moves in a round, the round will consist of the player’s move first. The enemy will then move, then the player’s, and then it’s the enemy’s move once again. This means that you have to take extra care to account for the AI’s actions when planning your own move. This becomes increasingly difficult with more enemy types, which all have their own unique movement and attack patterns.


Each level can earn the player two forms of currency: confidence and skulls. Confidence is earned based on how many rounds it takes to complete the stage, as well as how many people you save in the stage. This is used to unlock new upgrades for your character. Skulls are earned based on how many creatures you have killed in the level. They are used to open up new levels and skills for you to upgrade.

Due to the design of the levels, you will not be able to make a perfect run of each level on your first try, meaning you will have to play each level multiple times to earn all of the confidence and skulls that are on offer here. Thankfully you do not have to get both in a single run.

The game is very upfront in telling the player that if they want to get everything; it will take multiple runs, and possibly require them to return to earlier stages once they have unlocked certain upgrades.

Much More to Explore

Each chapter features many branching paths, which are optional to the completion of the story. While these aren’t mandatory, they do come highly recommended, as these optional paths always lead to unlocking a new skill. Each skill opens up the gameplay more, allowing the player to tackle the same puzzles from a new perspective.


As I delved deeper into my journey, I found one tool to be the most useful: Assist Mode. This is perfect for those with less patience for counting out squares on a grid, or those less strategically inclined.

Assist mode allows the player to see where each enemy will be at the end of the round based on the moves that the player will make, letting them take it at a faster pace. I felt as though it was a great addition to the game overall, due to the increased accessibility.

All in all, I found this to be a very fun package that engaged me from the beginning to the end. The unique look of the world and challenging gameplay made this a game that I would easily recommend checking out. This is a truly beautiful experience that I was glad to see through to its conclusion.

Howl is now available for PS5.

Review code kindly provided by publisher.



The Final Word

I felt that this was a very well put together, and engaging puzzle game. While it may not look like it from the onset, it does hold some tough challenges and touching moments inside. While it won’t be for everyone, if what I have said has interested you at all, I recommend giving Howl a shot.