The beauty of simplicity is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, it just has to flow nicely. That’s exactly how I feel about Dogs Organized Neatly, the sequel to a cat variation of the same series. The wholesome aesthetic and well thought out puzzles make this cheap puzzle game a treat to enjoy.
Each of the 80 levels are hand made and involve dogs of different shapes and sizes. Each level provides a grid of squares you to place the dogs into. You can rotate them around at 90 degree angles but you can’t flip them and every time you spin them, they’ll bark. Arranging the dogs requires a bit of brain power because the area you can put them in allows you to get quite a way through and then realise you’ve started off on the wrong paw. Every square must be filled and so you’ll be removing dogs and starting over on the levels in the second half of the game a few times over. It’s a wholesome slow burn.
What makes the game so enjoyable, aside from the dog theme (which is a huge part of its charm) is that every 2 or 3 levels a new dog appears. They have a name, backstory and a new shape to contend with. This means you can’t rely on previous strategies very often as the combination of dogs gets exponentially move varied over time. There’s nothing here that will cause your brain to explode but you will have to think. If a level gets you stuck you can skip it and return to it later which is a great idea as I found a few times my brain just couldn’t work a few of them out but I could do later puzzles easily. Flexibility makes this casual game more accessible so its a win all round.
If I were being critical, whilst there’s way more puzzles this time around, mechanically its a copy/paste job from Cats Organized Neatly. It’s more of the same and that might disappoint a few gamers. For me, I’m more than happy with what we’ve got for the price. If the series is to continue though, they may want to add some unique mechanics to make future purchases of the series worthwhile rather than it being more of a reskin.
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