Friday, August 22, 2008

Dog Eat Dog

Dog Eat Dog was the first game in Kongregate's Buried Treasure Week, a series during the week of August 11 created when Greg (the Kongregate person who creates badges for games) decided that it would be a good idea to shine the spotlight away from the highly-rated popular games which normally get the lion's share of badges, and give some less-popular games that were still interesting and deserving of attention a day in the sunshine. Apparently, though, Greg has a weakness for mediocre dodgers, since that's what Dog Eat Dog is (Tangerine Panic, which was also considered for the week, also fits into this category). By the reaction of people in chat, you'd think that he had picked Hitler's Bunker: The Game [*] as his selection; it's certainly not that bad, but aside from the silliness of the central concept, there's absolutely nothing that makes this game stand out.

Anyway, Dog Eat Dog is a very simple game -- you are a dog, and your job is to eat (i.e. run over) smaller dogs while avoiding being eaten by larger dogs. One plus for this game is a feature that I wish more dodgers would have: the choice of keyboard or mouse control. The dogs always move in horizontal or vertical straight lines, so avoiding them (or eating them, depending) is not exactly the world's hardest task; however, they can eat you even without coming into direct contact, which can be rather unpleasantly surprising the first time it happens. As the game progresses, your dog becomes larger, and eventually it becomes large enough to eat dogs that would have eaten it before; however, since there's not any clear visual indicator that you've now gotten bigger than other dogs, and trial and error is out of the question given that you only have one life, this feature is not as useful as it could be.

The graphics are pretty basic -- the dogs are not particularly detailed, and what I assume is the grassy field is pretty blah. There's only two sounds, a bark when you eat a smaller dog and a whine when you get consumed, and you'll get pretty tired of the first. The background music is a bit of techno which isn't bad intrinsically but which feels a little bit out of place in this setting -- it seems more suited to something involving clouds.

Anyway, you'll hopefully be glad to hear that the rest of Buried Treasure Week contained more interesting games, because this game simply didn't bring anything new to the table. Fortunately, getting the badge was pretty easy, because it meant I didn't have to play this game any more.

[*] I'm imagining a simple point-and-click adventure, where you have one room (the bunker, obviously, which shakes periodically as bombs and artillery impact above) and a few things you can click on: you can rant at your staff, draw up fancifully unrealistic battle plans, and canoodle with Eva. When each of those options loses its pall, you can click on the pistol in the corner, and then it's Game Over. Sounds like fun, huh?

1 comment:

ToastyKen said...

Yeah was not a huge fan of this one. :P