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Russian Subway Dogs review

On August 1, 2018 by Ash Meehan

Spooky Squid’s Russian Subway Dogs is a 2D arcade game where you take on the role of a Russian Subway Dog who must scare passengers of the Russian underground into dropping food for you to eat. While the idea behind the game is rather straight-forward it can be rather challenging, especially the campaign mode which simply throws you into the deep end and expects you to swim.

In the game’s campaign you are commanded by Proletaricat and some kittens that seem to love playing around (at one point they draw subway lines in crayon to confuse Proletaricat). The aim of the campaign is to traverse the many subway lines of the Russian underground collecting food to stay alive, but while this sounds easy in practice it isn’t. To complete a level you need to earn at least a passing grade and collect up to three bones per level, these bones are gained by completing specific missions given to you by Proletaricat, these missions can range from simple tasks such as “Not being hit by a babushka” to more challenging tasks like “Getting a 7x or higher vodka juggle.”

While collecting food is your ultimate goal, be eat Shawarma or a nice juicy American burger, the game likes to change things up by awarding extra points for eating the food in the air, cooking the food by making a vodka bottle land on a person carrying food and juggling the food. So, simple thing first how do you make people throw food and vodka away well the answer is simply sneaking up behind them and barking, nothing makes a man throw his food in terror more than a dog’s bark. Now, you might be thinking this sounds all too easy you just need to collect food until the time runs out, well as you progress further into the campaign rival dogs start appearing such as Dobermans who will take any food they see on the ground and Poodles who will jump for any food they see flying across the platform.

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So, does the game offer any other modes apart from the campaign? Well, the game has an endless mode where you can try to survive for as long as possible, i.e. not starving to death. The endless mode is a good way to get to grips with the game as I found it a bit more forgiving than the campaign.

In regards to playable characters the main character a Russian dog, but you can unlock additional characters, these include the Proletaricat, a racoon, and a number of dogs from various indie games and comics.

Now I haven’t really spoken about the game’s controls, so let’s do that. The control scheme is pretty simple arrow keys to move, and z and x to bark and jump. While the control scheme is simple I did notice that arrow keys make finer movements such as aiming jumps rather difficult, however there is a way to get better control of your dog and that is using a controller, I used my Xbox One controller and while I did still notice some problems the issue of finer movement was almost fully eliminated.

In regards to issues with Russian Subway Dogs, there aren’t any major flaws with the game. With that said the missions provided to you at the beginning of the campaign tend to be far more challenging than one might expect with the game expecting you to be proficient right from the start. The second issue is more on the technical side with the game failing to support mouse control on the menu screen and a barebones graphics menu that lacks even resolution options.

In terms of graphics, the game’s pixel art felt rather relaxing as I found it helped to alleviate any frustration the game created. In terms of audio, Peter Chapman (COINS) does a great job with a mixture of Russian and old arcade style music.

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Russian Subway Dogs is an enjoyable 2D arcade style game. The campaign offers a decent challenge and the pixel art style will make you relaxed and want to play more.

Score: 8/10

Pros Cons
+ Pixel art style – Controls can feel a bit stiff
+ Decently challenging campaign mode  
Developer Publisher Genre Rating Platform Release date
Spooky Squid Spooky Squid Arcade PC, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One August 2, 2018 (PC), Fall 2018 (console)

*A review code was provided by the game’s publisher.*

For more information on Russian Subway Dogs, visit https://spookysquid.com/rsd.

Author: Ash Meehan

Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.