What do dogs dream about?
Apparently, that's a common musing for dog-owners. Not being a pet person, I've never given it a first (let alone second) thought.
Fortunately, the husband and wife development team behind Doggins has done all the musing for me - and what an imaginative answer they've come up with.
Doggins is a stunningly polished and accessible point-and-click adventure that falls down only because it's been built to the 'dog years' time scale.Pedigree chum
You play the part of the titular mutt, an inquisitive terrier who is transported to the moon in his dreams.
Doggins's art style really is something to write home about. This is professional animation-grade stuff, with a crisp, flat, heavily stylised look that comes across like an interactive kids' book.
The character design is especially noteworthy, with Doggins's state of mind brilliantly conveyed by a simple drop of the tail or curious sniff at an interactive object.
Then there's the monocled squirrel, Fitzwilliam, who is the game's antagonist. He's a squirrel with a monocle. Enough said.Dream logic
The adventure itself is filled with surreal humour and dream logic. It's a marvel that the puzzles make any sense at all, but they do - almost to a simplistic fault.
There's a roll of toilet roll hanging from a tree, so of course you're going to pinch a length and form it into a bow tie. You have to gatecrash a fancy squirrel party, you see. There are no massive brain teasers or tricky leaps in logic, which is both to the game's credit and its detriment.
If you're half-way competent, you'll be able to stroll through Doggins virtually unopposed. The solution is never more than a screen away, and the developer has filed off all the rough edges that can cause you to miss vital clues in such a game.Put down before its time
This supreme accessibility wouldn't necessarily be a problem. I'm no great point-and-click adventure game expert, and so I appreciated Doggins's easy-going flow.
But the game as a whole is startlingly brief. It took me comfortably less than an hour to play it through to completion.
I'm not one to equate game length with value, necessarily, but when you feel like you've just finished the first level or mission of a very enjoyable game, only to see the end credits roll, it's hard not to be disappointed.
Doggins comes across as a potent demonstration of what this obviously talented development team can do. I look forward to seeing this talent realised in a fully fleshed-out game.