iPhone App Review: Dog Pile

iPhone App Review: Dog Pile

April 23rd, 2011 by

If you’ve been looking for a kid-friendly game that is also challenging and fun for adults; and that has gameplay like Bubble Bobble, pachinko, and pinball all rolled into one, then the new game Dog Pile from ArtWitz Design and JoshOClock is probably what you’ve been dreaming about. If you’re just looking for a fun game and don’t mind those other things, Dog Pile works for that too.

Drop dogs with different colors and patterns onto the dog pile at the bottom, in an effort to hit matching dogs and clear them from the board. Bounce off of pinball-style bumpers, activate trap doors, punch the balls with boxing gloves on springs, and tilt your phone in an effort to guide them to the proper place and clear the dog pile. You can even collect bones in the levels to spend in the store customizing your dogs and buying different dog pack skins.

How It Works

There are currently two levels in the game, with more to come soon through updates (according to the developers). In the carnival level you drop your dog from the top by dragging your finger to select a direction, and then releasing to fire the dog. Through gravity, tilt control, and the activating of interactive elements in the level you must get it to touch matching dogs at the bottom and clear them all. Collecting bones is good for use in the game’s store. On the space level, you first launch the dog through a pinball-like launch tube before dropping it from the top. The dogs bounce off of bumpers and score multipliers before hitting the bottom, and on one devious level you have to try and get the dog to hit a button in order to release other dogs from a box.

The store is a fun place to spend the bones that you’ve accumulate. You can currently buy sunglasses, hats, and other dog packs (including a free easter bunny pack that’s available right now). Coming soon is an option for in-app purchase of dog bones, and hopefully also more customization options (though there are plenty right now for you to spend your bones on).

Pros And Cons

The graphics and sound are adorable, perfectly matching the whimsical style and gameplay. You may recognize the tune that’s being played in the carnival level as “Here Comes Santa Claus”, which is an odd though not totally unwelcome choice. The control of the game was similarly flawless; the Dog Pile uses a fun combination of touch, swipe, and tilt controlling that really gets you into the game.

I also loved the customization options in the in-game store. I currently have some Easter bunnies with Army helmets and aviator sunglasses, which instantly makes the game 1000% more enjoyable due to the sheer awesomeness of Easter bunnies in aviator glasses.

Overall

Dog Pile is currently a great game, with fun gameplay and customization options that extend the replayability of the two levels that are currently included. The developer promises future expansion with more levels and Game Center support, which will make the game even better in the time to come. There is a free ad-supported version available, but for $0.99 I don’t see any reason not to buy this one now and get rid of those nagging ads.

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