A downloadable game for Windows

Guard your dog! His name is Bark Scruffalo and he is a good dog. This is an exciting bite-sized, retro action game that's all about defending your puppy from the creepy creatures spawning from... who know's where?! 

How to play:

  • You can attack the Enemies and Enemy Spawn Monoliths with your Bat, and collect the Core Crystals they drop. 
  • You can lay down Mines if you have 3 or more Core Crystals. The Mines will blow up automatically if an Enemy walks into them and damage any enemies and spawn points nearby.
  • You can sprint for short distances to escape enemy attacks or to get to where ya' need to go a little bit quicker...Cool!
  • Enemies will spawn from the 4 corners of the yard, so plan the locations of your Mines wisely!
  • You can attack the Enemy Spawn Monoliths for additional points and Core Crystals as well as temporarily halt the Enemies from spawning at that location.
  • See how long you can last... Will you be able to protect Bark Scruffalo??!

This is my first game! I had an absolute blast making it and learning the ropes of Game Maker Language and pixel art. It may be somewhat of a simple game, but I hope you give it a chance and find some enjoyment from it! Please feel free to share any thoughts and feedback in the comments.

NOTE: I had to take the Mac version down for now, until I can get it working properly. I apologize for the inconvenience, and to anyone that tried downloading it on Mac and wasn't able to run it!

Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars
(12 total ratings)
Tags2D, 8-Bit, Dogs, Game Boy, GameMaker, Pixel Art, Top-Down, Tower Defense, zelda


BarkScruffalo_Win.zip 19 MB


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Do you mind if I make a free 3D remake of this game?

offcourse with full credit to you and your game.

Hi Miniputs. I do not mind! As long as you give proper credit, I'm all for the idea! Have fun, and good luck :)


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Hey Polynaut The Tragic Tale of Bark Scruffalo is a very nice game I wanted to email you about a partnership opportunity. If your interested and many game developers are getting involved but could not find your email not sure where I can post it.

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I downloaded the windows version and i tried to open the application after unzipping the file and i got this error: Windows Defender SmartScreen prevented an unrecognized app from starting. Running this app might put your PC at risk. I was wondering if you know what I needed to do to run it because I really want to try this game.

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I really like this game! It's very simple, straightforward and fun. And this is coming from a person who doesn't like the "beat your high score" games.  Somethings I would love to see:

1. local co-op implemetation;
2. some easter eggs or more things to do (maybe we could reach the car to get some special attack every X seconds)?
3. Online highscore register to compete against other players :)

I will keep playing it. thank you!

This was an absolute delight to play! I love the way you can develop your own defensive style the more you play, and that there's really no wrong way to go about things. Just swing that bat and make sure you connect!

Also, I'm a sucker for retro style games, I always have time for that! For your first game this is pretty darn amazing, and I'm looking forward to seeing what other kooky concepts you come up with. Keep up the amazing work! =)

A really fun game. We enjoyed it very much.

We loved the art style (Gameboy FOREVER!!!)

Here is a little video we made while playing:

Keep up the good work !!!
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Great game! I write a few word about it on my site: http://www.retrogeek.hu/ :)

I really enjoyed playing your game! I think it is good, especially for your first game by yourself. I took a more critical look in a video I made. It's mostly what I liked and didn't like about this game, and I hope it has some useful feedback to help make your future endeavors better.

Overall, I really liked the gameplay and aesthetics. I mention in my video some (few) gripes I had with the game. Hope this helps!


I love this, great visuals and sound.  It gets pretty challenging!

This was good as a mini-game, it could be better as a whole game. Make it happen. I'll wait.

starts out so simply, then scales up nicely. a nice time killer and great 1st game.

Thanks sydewalkclosed! I'm happy to hear the difficulty ramp worked for you. Its something I tweaked several times and would like to keep fiddling with. 

is this free checkin because me is new so...


The game is free :) no in-app purchases or anything like that. Its a very simple game, so there isn't anything to buy :D Hope you give it a shot and have fun!

thnx sooo much

love the art style .. it's smooth and fun ^_^ 

Awesome, thanks for saying that! And thanks for uploading your gameplay video, super cool to see :)

This was great! It reminded me a lot of the gameboy pocket days but with WAY better graphics. The animation was super smooth. The music went along perfectly with the setting and what was going on. The difficulty scale was DEFINITELY noticeable as the score got higher. I loved all of the art and feel of the game along with all of the mechanics. It took me a second to figure out the keyboard controls at first, but once I got them down, it was super fun to play! It'd be cool to have a 'color' version of this game that you can maybe toggle on and off in the settings. If you were thinking about expanding this game, it'd be brilliant to maybe add more stages, more enemies, maybe more power ups and stuff... I don't know, just doing some brainstorming. The game was great as-is! Thanks so much for making it!

Haha, awesome! Thanks for playing my game and recording your first experiences with it. It's so fun and rewarding for me to see peoples reactions to the game. Sorry for the mixup on the button prompts. My game detects if a controller is connected, and shows the controller buttons instead of the keyboard keys if so. Something must have gone wrong!

I love your ideas!

Thank you!! :D The game was awesome, and it's fine. I figured it out! :D

Pretty nice game, simple but funny, and very good graphics! It would be nice to have some kind of progression system, and a variety of enemies though. Congratulations anyway!

Thanks for the kind words Renan! I had a ton of ideas flowing for progression systems, new items, new enemies, etc as I worked on this, but it was always meant to be something simple so that I could learn the ropes. Maybe my next game will be more fleshed out ;)

The animation and graphics are soooo good. Congratulation I love it ;)

Thanks a ton, Black Potion!

Pretty fun game with a nice art style. I was wondering, what did you do to market your game and how did you get it on the front page being it's your first game. I'm currently developing a game and i released an early prototype and I have absolutely no feedback. Thanks.

Thanks for the kind words! 

I think a big part of it is luck, TBH! That and people like cute puppies. I didn't do much marketing really. I posted it on my twitter and instagram, which have a few followers. I'm pretty overwhelmed with the response. 
It can be tough to get feedback on games that are too early along. Have you had anyone play it in person that you know? I did that with a few of my friends to get some great feedback before eventually uploading it to Itch. I'd recommend you try the same! They will catch things you never thought they would.

Best of luck! Don't get discouraged if the feedback doesn't come the first time, I see a ton of potential in your work!

I'll try that, and thanks!

I really want to play this but I don't see how to download the Mac version

Hey Max! I'm sorry I had to take the Mac version down for now. It seems like it wasn't running properly. I'm still looking into a fix for it and will put it back up if I can figure it out. Sorry about that! I'm correcting my game's description now so it isn't misleading.

Thanks for letting me know! Hope you can sort it out 🙂

Decent game, with beautiful graphics. Its the gameplay which holds this back, being completely repetitive with no reward at all. Even the points seem very bland, and at 1000+ points, you are just running in circles and laying mines and slashing thrice.

Good attempt for first game, but maybe less finish on the graphics and more thought into the gameplay would help in the long run.

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Thanks for playing the game, and for the feedback, LazyIguana. I'm sorry to hear the gameplay didn't click for you at all! My goal with this game was to definitely focus on a small, focused experience because so much of this was new to me. I would agree with you that the gameplay is weaker than the graphics, and the main reason for that is I already have some experience with Art and Animation... and it's one of my favorite things to do! :D

On my next game, I'm really hoping to focus in more on gameplay, prototyping mechanics more before applying any finished art. I've already learned so much from this game :)

Great work! The art style, animations and music all work really well together and the gameplay, while not all that deep, has a nice rhythm to it. I did get smacked into a fence and got stuck, which ended my streak, so that might be worth looking into.

Thanks a bunch for trying out my game! I'm happy to hear you dig the art and animations, they were a lot of fun to work on. And ahhh the dreaded stuck-in-collision bug. I've only had it happen to me once and I thought I fixed it. I guess not. Thanks for the heads up!

I love this game, my dude! Superb first game.

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Thanks a ton! I'm happy to hear you like it.

Nice art-style and good concept! It became ridiculously easy if you just run clockwise and continuously renew mines at spawn points so it can be played forever, but it's absolutely excellent for the first game! My first game was just about staring in the window and listening to seemingly endless ambient music track. xD

Haha, its a good way to play! I think the difficulty ramp may be too gradual. It DOES get harder over time, up to a point. I think my high score is somewhere around 5,000?  

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Yeah, it's actually getting harder somewhere around 10k points. Uploading video of it right now!


Ok, you did it! I need to make a happy ending to the game just for you! Nicely done, really!

WOW man! This art style is pure eye candy. Will definitely want to see what else you can make in the future. :D

Thank you! That's nice of you to say. 

Nice art style! You've gone all-in on the gameboy palette and it looks great.

Thank you! Yes, I love the look of Game Boy games, and it was a perfect restriction that allowed me to get more comfortable with the Pixel art style.

I'm not sure if the mac version works. 

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Oh no! Let me take a look and see what I can do. Thanks for the heads up. 

Update 1: It looks like it is a Certificate signature problem. I will have to look into getting it fixed. I'm taking the Mac download down in the meantime, I apologize! Thanks again for letting me know.

Update 2: I'm really sorry to come with disappointing news, but after some investigation, it seems I need an Apple Developer account in order to sign the app for Mac OS. It costs $99 for a membership, so I don't plan on doing that at the moment. If you've already downloaded it for Mac, I believer there are ways of bypassing the certification check, but no worries if you feel uncomfortable doing that. Sorry again!

I don't think it is a problem with the certification. Most games released on Itch.io and gamejolt aren't from identified developers and to play them, you either need to disable Security and Privacy settings or go to the Security and Privacy settings and basically say that it's okay for that specific game to run. The problem is when I go to play it, it says that it is damaged and should be moved to the trash. I've had this happen with a few different downloaded games, but I don't know why it happens.

Still, I appreciate you trying to make it work. Good luck with your future projects.

Oh! You are absolutely right. In my search for a fix, I wound up confusing the two issues. With your clarification I was able to fix the exported MacOS app (I hope! It works for me now at least), although it still says it is from an unidentified developer, just like you said it would. I added a note to my game's description.

Thanks a bunch for your help, I really appreciate it!

I tried playing it. It says "unable to find game!!"

I really feel like I'm stringing you along and you're my personal tester at this point! :p I'm looking into why this could be the problem.   Based on my initial findings, it seems to be something that sporadically pops up with Game Maker games here and there. You may have success moving it to the desktop or another folder, but no guarantees. I'm taking the mac version down again. Really sorry it didn't work out! Thank you for continuing to try, that means a lot.