In the Dog House Game

Pet simulation games, time management, and puzzle titles are the usual fare for dog loving players. As a tile arranging puzzle game, In the Dog House is one such example of your ever typical made-for-pet-lovers kind of browser game. Hardly original, but certainly still worth a few rounds of playing, this game is something that you would not just want to pass on. But how exactly does it stack up against the rest of the pack?

Release Date: 01/01/1909

Portal Rating: 5.0/5

In the Dog House is developed by Nitrome.

Making Easy Start

A good thing about In the Dog House is that it is very easy to learn. The main objective is to simply bring the dog bone from point A to point B, essentially luring your four-legged pal to his spot in the kitchen --or a cushy couch. The puzzle part lies in actually forming a path to said spot in order to reunite the canine with his beloved chew toy.

The controls are mouse centric. Simply click on a tile and drag it to an empty space. There are several different types of tiles. In order to determine which square does what, check it for a graphic that indicates whether it has a four directional marker (which can be moved up, down, left and right), or an arrow (which indicates that it can be only be moved horizontally or vertically).

Puzzles are Fun

Of course, it would not be much of a puzzle if the solutions were outright obvious. To add some challenge to your bone baiting endeavor, there are some tricky squares and obstacles that stand in your way. An example of this is the dreaded immovable tiles. Other problem pieces include origin and destination tiles as well as a few midway markers.

Another element intended to test your puzzle solving skills are the rotating tiles. Aside from adding a new mechanic to the game, they also serve to conceal obvious routes towards the finish line. However, there is no need to fret whenever these types of pieces are encountered. Since these tiles are also immovable, they can provide a valuable clue to a definite solution in case you have no idea how to finish a level.

As stereotypical as it may seem, the comical depiction of cats and dogs have always been one of rivalry. So while it may not be the proper lesson to teach a pet lover's kids, it does give a cute dose of comedy to the game. And so your canine's way may just be obstructed by their light-footed counterparts. Aside from obliviously grooming themselves, the cats walk from tile to tile serving to block paths and, in effect, making tile movement impossible. Trap these devious felines in a spare tile so your dog can walk to the kitchen in peace.

Once all your tiles are where you want them to be, you can now bring the bone to the end of a planned path. If you did it right and the way is clear, the dog will find his way to his chew toy and you get to move on to the next stage.

Taking Things Slow

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to coming up with your game plan. Your furry pal can go from tile to tile while you are clearing the next part of the path. If you have made a mistake and are stuck, there is always a reset button located at the upper corner of your game screen.

Think these are the only things In the Dog House has to offer? Not by a long shot. Doors, elevators and gates await you and your tile arranging skills. While these tend to be intimidating, the instructions are always clear regarding their purpose so younger players still have a chance to complete the game. With plenty of diverse and challenging levels, it is worth investing the time to play if you are a true blue puzzle game fan.

Visually Stimulating

Dog lovers can simply check it out for its simple yet endearing graphics. Though there are no dramatic splashes of color, the meticulously polished sprites more than makes up for the conservative hues. Besides, the actual in-game dog is as cute as a button. Seriously, seeing that pup happy may just be enough to motivate you through the levels.

There is really nothing frazzling about this title's pace. But if you are the type to get easily frustrated with particularly tricky levels, the music may just provide the extra cool down you need. The mellow tunes are surely soothing and may just remind you of home, rhubarb pies, and your four-legged best friend.

Leading the Pack

Think your puzzle solving skills makes you a top dog? Well, if you are the type that values efficiency and minimal moves, then submit your scores after finishing a stage. With the ability to input your name, you will be able to check your rank online and compare scores with the best of the best. Our only gripe here is the fact that the leader board display always starts at the top ten. This means that in case you were not included in the higher rankings, you will have to keep scrolling down and may have trouble properly locating your entry.

The Verdict

With its substantial, clever game play topped by simple controls and darling graphics, In the Dog House offers a good balance for genre fans and dog devotees alike. The challenges are paced well and are complimented by simple instructions, making the game accessible to a diverse age range. Overall this is a solid game to play; In the Dog House definitely does not live up to its name, which is a good thing. We give this game a