20 min is a pretty short amount of time to review a game, but it's an iOS game, so maybe it's ok? I picked up a ton of games for my iPod Touch yesterday when I was home sick. This one caught my eye because it was recently release (02/09/12) - and honestly, just look at that adorable icon! I was looking to buy, and I saw something about dogs being intrepid explorers, and the graphics seemed cute and it was $.99 so I picked it up!
Gameplay is as follows: you use your finger to 'dig up the dirt' (or rather, make it disappear), and guide your 3 dogs away from obstacles (hornets, killer mushrooms), and towards gold coins, bones and treasure chests. As the game progresses, you see different hazards, as well as hazards that can kill other hazards (bear traps can kill hornets, for example). You also start to pick up hats - such as a magnet hat that attracts gold, and a mushroom hat that turns killer mushrooms into coins. You can tilt the screen to move things around to an extent (example, you can sort of shake coins down an incline towards your dogs). You can also tap & slide on your dogs to make them jump - but you don't really have very much control over them.
What I Liked:
Dogs. Well they're just cute. They're basically big heads and little tiny bodies, and they make noise all the time so that you never forget that they're dogs. It doesn't take much to try and get me to feel invested in trying to keep adorable puppies alive.
Digging. It's sort of satisfying to just knock out dirt. I know the same thing is in "Where's My Water" - it's just sort of simple and fun to do.
Aesthetics. The design of everything is very appealing. The dogs are cute, the levels are cute. I only got a little confused a couple of times because I thought the ghost dog pirates were good, as opposed to bad... They just didn't look like bad guys to me.
What I Didn't Like:
Death. Oh man! It's awful when a cute little dog dies! I wish they'd like, done something to make it feel a little less brutal. The couple of times I got stuck and had dogs die a couple of times in a row, I almost wanted to quit because I felt as though my negligence was responsible for causing a terrible thing, so I should just stop.
Graphics. By this I mean that even though the art was cute, the images didn't seem to have been created in the size they were going to be displayed in. The dogs felt a bit compressed and muddied, which surprised me.
Controls? I felt like I never totally understood exactly how much control I had tilting things, or making my dogs jump. I felt like I was always struggling when I tried to guide their movement.
Boring. I'm having a hard time really putting my finger on it, but I definitely felt that something was lacking. I played it for 15min, and I really don't have any desire to go back into it. It just wasn't ever really fun.
How Do I Feel About Continuing?:
Meh. As I said, it just wasn't ever exactly fun. I don't think I'll really come back to it.