Developer: Bombajam
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

It’s important to keep dogs in the shade during hot weather. Any dog owner, and mostly any other bright person, can explain that. Bombajam has made an entire game out of that important concept, with Shade Dogs.

shadedogs6Shade Dogs offers one very simple objective: keep the dog in the shade. The problem is that dogs have free will and can be kind of stubborn, meaning that the dog won’t go into the shade and the player has to move the shade to him. At first, this is an easy process. Simply use a finger to drag an item across the screen and behind the dog, ensuring it’s protected from the sun. This would make a pretty dull game, though, so levels consist of some kind of puzzle element. Some stages require tapping on a tree to knock down some bananas, which eventually form a wall of fruit behind the dog. Others are more mystical such as a level with a frog that floats around if it eats the right kind of bugs.

In each case, a theme is enhanced through an attractive, cartoon like background, and a hint helps those who are truly stumped. For the most part, though, Shade Dogs is a pretty simple game so hints shouldn’t be needed too often.

Such simplicity isn’t a problem though, as Shade Dogs is excellent fun. It’s the kind of game that I found myself diving into every now and then, just to work through a couple of levels before going back to my day. It’d be all the more appealing to families looking for a title to play together. Oh, and did I mention the dogs are adorable?

Over 20 puzzles are included here, with new ones unlocked each time a puzzle is solved, ensuring it’s possible to go back and forth between trickier ones. It won’t take a hugely long time for the puzzle addict to complete, but they’ll have a fun time doing so. With the prospect of new levels to come in future updates, that $0.99 price tag seems more than worthy.

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