The devel­op­er of Herding Dog (named Join the Pack on mobile) is Xixgames, and their pub­lish­er Black Shell Media were kind enough to give us a review copy on Steam for Herding Dog. It just looked so adorable that we couldn’t pass this one up for a look. This game isn’t the type for spoil­ers, so that won’t be a prob­lem in this arti­cle.

In Herding Dog you are unsurps­ing­ly a herd­ing dog on a farm (a weird farm that has a beach, spheres fly­ing around, and UFOs). You herd pigs, cows, sheep, and chick­ens while also chas­ing off fox­es, wolves, and occa­sion­al­ly UFOs. It’s your typ­i­cal casu­al game meant for play when you’re either bored or may­be wait­ing some­where — that is if it were on mobile. This game is some­thing bet­ter suit­ed for a tablet or smart­phone, not for desk­top or lap­top. The graph­ics leave some­thing to be desired, but I sup­pose that’s the point as there are plen­ty of oth­er indie games with the same sort of lit­tle effort art style.

Sadly, Herding Dog is also bug­gy. It’s been out for a mon­th now, and the wolves and fox­es still fall off the map, and cows get stuck on fences. The music is very light­heart­ed and boun­cy, which is enjoy­able and it makes it hard to hate this game too much.

The sto­ry is very basic. You’re a dog on a farm who is herd­ing ani­mals for your appar­ent­ly sick own­er. There’s not much else to it, though there might not be much need­ed in a game like this.

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The over­all game­play is decent enough. I had fun in my time with it, but after play­ing it for longer than about 20 min­utes I became agi­tat­ed with the repet­i­tive and tedious nature of it. Not to men­tion the angle of the cam­era and how it moved trig­gered my ver­tigo some­thing fierce. I could chalk that up to my inner ear prob­lems, but I may not be the only one hit by this. The ani­mals fart when you bark at them, which the game doesn’t tell you how to bark til around the third lev­el, and they run faster. However some ani­mals were slow­er, and it would become bor­ing to bark a cow from one side of the map to the oth­er.

The fram­er­ate is fine, and the art style is… unique. I don’t care for it, but it’s the type of style that is expect­ed with an indie com­pa­ny. However, I do like the adorable lit­tle square pigs. Parts of the map also remind me of a neat book I had as a child, most­ly it’s the tex­ture of the ground that looks like cor­duroy. Some of the ani­mals and objects around the map will phase through oth­er things. I watched a cac­tus phase through anoth­er cac­tus once. It was sur­re­al. Not to men­tion when a fox or a wolf would fall off the map.

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Somehow the ani­mal was able to climb back onto the map the first time but not the sec­ond time, which was weird. Let’s not for­get the cow merg­ing into a fence to become a mono­rail.

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Later in the game this isn’t a prob­lem, but in ear­lier lev­els it’s dif­fi­cult to tell when you’re about to hit a wall when look­ing for where the base of a hill starts so you can hop up on there. There are times where you will see the dog through the hill, but he’s all gray to indi­cate that he is behind a wall, and I wish they had done that for all the walls you hit.

There are also times in game where you will get all of the farm ani­mals togeth­er, and col­lect all of the items, and the game says there’s more ani­mals to col­lect but there just aren’t. You scour the map for more, but there aren’t any­more. It doesn’t even work to let the wolf/fox eat some of the ani­mals. So you have to either just give up or keep reset­ting the game. Because the lev­els are some­times dif­fer­ent, you just reload til you get a sce­nar­io that isn’t bugged.

Another prob­lem I ran into was that the arrows lead­ing you to your next objec­tive leads you to an emp­ty space in the map, and you have to reload it again. Also, at times the ani­mals would run to the cor­ners and fences and it would be incred­i­bly irri­tat­ing to get them away from that area.

All the­se neg­a­tives aside, it’s cute and sim­ple and I could see my sev­en year old broth­ers enjoy­ing it on their tablets, since I could see it being bet­ter suit­ed as a mobile game.

The music is cute, light, and upbeat. However it loops and it’s fair­ly short. So after a while you end up turn­ing the music off unless you real­ly dig the repet­i­tive nature of the jaun­ty tunes.

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Nothing too bad about all of this in my opin­ion.

Maybe you or your kids want a nice lit­tle game to run around in as a dog and bark at things. This could be a very good game for that. I was actu­al­ly rather dis­ap­point­ed. Maybe it was my age, as I am 20. Perhaps a child could enjoy it bet­ter. It’s cute but not to the lev­el I expect­ed and it wasn’t at all what I hoped for. It’s billed as a casu­al game, so there isn’t too much you can real­ly expect, I sup­pose.

I per­son­al­ly wouldn’t buy this. But hey, it is only around two dol­lars. Maybe I would on a whim if I was bored.

https://supernerdland.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/header.jpghttps://supernerdland.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/header-150x150.jpgCatelyn WintersPCPC ReviewsHerding Dog,PC,ReviewsThe devel­op­er of Herding Dog (named Join the Pack on mobile) is Xixgames, and their pub­lish­er Black Shell Media were kind enough to give us a review copy on Steam for Herding Dog. It just looked so adorable that we couldn’t pass this one up for a look. This game…
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Catelyn Winters
The old­est 12 year old.
Catelyn Winters

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