Mad Dogs – Review
Follow Genre: turn based action game
Developer: Tsartech
Publisher: Tsartech
Platform: Facebook, Android, iOS
Tested on: Facebook

Mad Dogs – Review

Site Score
6.5
Good: -Plenty of small details and good use of clichés
Bad: -Relative long load times
User Score
9.2
(5 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.2/10 (5 votes cast)

Do you remember the time before the smartphone? Do you remember the time before the internet? The good old days when you had to go over to someone’s house or send them a letter? Imagine a game where you could ask friends for help by sending them a letter. We bet people wouldn’t play it for very long, due to the huge overhead of sending letters. These days you get stomped everyday by your friends, relatives, your mother and the mothers of your friends to help them out in the latest popular online game.

Story

The game has an endless supply of material to pull from, it uses every cliché known to man in the crime genre. Climbing the ladder in the underworld, corrupt cops, backstabbing allies, crazy heists and midtown shootouts. The mobile/Facebook approach also allows the game to expand in the future. There is no deep story going on, everything is pretty straightforward. The story is told through small dialogues in-between missions when you are on the main screen of the game. Tempo of the story isn’t very high and character development could have been better. They did put a lot of effort in creating a diverse cast of characters but it feels a bit like eating junk food, it looks and tastes great but you aren’t completely satisfied afterwards.

Graphics

Mad Dogs is a mobile/Facebook game which limits their processing power, however they make good use of it. If you are familiar with the loading screens and art of GTA, you will recognize the style in this game as well. A hand drawn semi-realistic style is used for dialogues between characters when you are on the world map. When you are actually in a battle you are in a 3D environment with realistic texturing. There are only a few very basic items in the levels, they mostly serve as cover. The character models look decent and are recognizable from a distance.

Sound

The game features an upbeat soundtrack befitting a crime movie. The sounds effects in general complement the gameplay. This also holds true in combat as each weapon, grenade or skill has a believable sound attached to it. One side effect from having good looking graphics and music is the need for a longer load time to play the game. This is a bigger issue on Facebook than mobile but might discourage some players, in a world where you can literally choose between thousands of games.

Gameplay

Mad Dogs is a turn based action game available both for Facebook and mobile devices. One can divide the game in two portions, the actual game and the Facebook/social platform around it. If you ever played a Facebook or mobile game you’ll undoubtedly have encountered the phenomena of the in-game currency. Whether it be gold, coins, bucks or cow dung, completing tasks will reward you a small amount of the basic currency while spending real life money will buy you the advanced currency thus introducing a free to play system while allowing people who spend real money to get ahead further and enjoy cosmetic upgrades not available to free players. Another typical trait of these type of games is adding friends to your gang in this case. This gives small perks in the form of currency and items as well as a leaderboard. Fear not you can play by yourself as well, just as spending real money isn’t necessary, bugging your friends to play isn’t mandatory either. The game typically does reward you for logging in frequently or regularly, for example collect a daily bonus and get a weekly streak or unlock a reward in a set amount of time.

Now back to the actual game. The core of the game is controlling your team of four very diverse individuals on a tile map in a turn based fashion. You and the opposing team take turns to move one of your characters and perform an action like attacking an enemy unit. Once you moved and completed an action in any order, your turn ends and the opposing team gets to make their move. The game ends when one team is completely eliminated. As most turn based games do, Mad Dogs gives each characters a set of actions point which they can use to move, shoot, fistfight or throw a grenade. Some actions require more action points and some heavy characters will have less points available to spend on movement. While a sniper character has almost unlimited range and perfect aim he is nearly useless in close range.

The team itself consists of a very diverse group of specialists, each with their own skills and weapons, most of them even sport a memorable name Boris The Razor, Candy Man, Curly Tony who is actually bald and Gambino to name a few. In the early stage of the game you start with a balanced crew. One heavy hitting shotgun wielding bearded guy, a cool bald suit wearing sniper rifle wielding hitman, if only he had a tattoo on his neck, a fast and light girl with sunglasses and a clown. Yes you read that right, a clown, while he may not be the best of the bunch he does provide comedy relief by tying balloons to an enemy and sending him off-screen for a turn giving you an advantage in numbers.

So you pulled off some heists, robbed a couple of local rival gangs? What does an established criminal do with his gathered wealth? Buy cars of course, lots and lots of cars. No, in all seriousness that is an option but it might be better to upgrade your team first. Once on the main screen you can access your team. Each character has stats to rival a small RPG. All of those stats, like Maximum Health, Action Points, Damage and Critical Strike Chance are rather self explanatory. On this screen you can also read up on the special abilities of your characters. In early games you have no need for them but later on they will be able to turn the tide of battle. However losing a character early in a fight is often a recipe for disaster and might lead to a defeat. Characters return to live with no penalties after the battle. Weapons and grenades are a huge sinkhole when it comes to your expenses, no wonder criminals steal, it’s really expensive to be a criminal.

Conclusion

Mad Dogs is an enjoyable mobile/Facebook game however it does suffer from the same pitfalls as almost all games in the genre do, as playing for free is possible but forces you to play with inferior items as paying players do. You’re also slightly forced to play regularly to get the timed bonuses and maximize your efficiency with loot boxes. If this does not bother you at all, you’ll be able to enjoy this good looking game. Connect with friends online and compete on leaderboards. A small downside to having good visuals and audio is a longer than average loading time for a mobile/Facebook game.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.2/10 (5 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Mad Dogs - Review, 9.2 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
Rex
Rex


I am an Illustrator/Artist who studies Concept Art and Game Design in my free time. Designing things is in my blood and I am always very curious in making games. Motivated and dedicated to become better in every way I can. You only live once and I intend to fully enjoy it! As for gaming itself I do prefer to play the following games: FPS, RPG, Action Adventure Games, Fighting Games, Hack and Slash.

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