Adventure Dogs review - An auto-runner with no bark or bite
| Adventure Dogs
In the wake of Nintendo's announcement that it's bringing Mario to mobile as an auto-runner with Super Mario Run, anything else in the genre is going to seem a little weak in comparison.
Unless Nintendo and DeNA go off the deep end and make something unplayable, everything will pale in comparison.
To that end, Adventure Dogs seems to be doing a magnificent job of already looking pretty lame compared to Super Mario Run – and just about every other auto-runner out there.A little ruff
The set-up of Adventure Dogs is fairly simple - your chosen dog runs from left to right, and you tap the screen to jump over gaps and obstacles.
Sometimes you'll need to tap again to hook onto different objects that float in the sky to get over some obstacles, which let you swing over gaps or fling you in a certain direction.
There's three dogs to choose from, each with their own special ability. One can take an extra hit, one clears obstacles as you go, and one can attract coins from further away.
The latter dog is the only one you should really play as, if you're looking to get the best scores - you need to make a perfect run anyway, and the game is designed to be beaten in one life without destroying anything in your way.
The levels themselves are in that way well-designed, giving you enough challenge to make you retry a few times before you nail the perfect run, collecting the special item along with every coin.Howlin'
But it has more than a few issues too.
First off, the game just feels slow and sluggish. Characters plod along the levels in a poorly animated fashion, slowly making their way toward the exit without a care in the world.
That's fine for dodging the obstacles, but overall it just makes the game boring and slightly annoying to play, as there's no real sense of motion.
Secondly, some of the level design is just downright terrible. Gaps are just a tiny bit too wide to jump unless you're pixel perfect with your timing, leading to multiple restarts on the same drop because the platform is a fraction too far away.
And some of the hooks are placed in such a way that attaching to them one fraction of a second can entirely ruin a run, leading to your untimely death and yet another restart.Bork-ed
Adventure Dogs is a frustrating, poorly-executed game that does absolutely nothing new or interesting for auto-runners whatsoever.
Its infuriating level design will cause numerous restarts that grind down your willingness to keep playing the game, and it's not even fun enough to justify those repeated playthroughs.
With a faster pace, better visuals, and kinder level design, it would've been a perfectly solid game. As it stands, however, Adventure Dogs isn't even worth the briefest of looks.