Hot Dog - Heiß auf das Würstchen

Dog chasing hot dog on the beach

This is a review for the Global Game Jam 2017 game Hot Dog - Heiß auf das Würstchen. It was developed at GGJ Hochschule Trier in Germany.

The game is about a dachshund who loves to run on the beach and has a strong desire to eat hot dogs. The objective is to run efficiently towards the giant hotdog reward seen at the end of the beach. The dog can trip over sticks and shells that wash up on the beach, so the user must try to evade these obstacles. In addition to avoiding contact with these obstacles, the waves from the ocean will push the dog up the shore, making it more difficult to run on the loose sand compared to the compacted sand from the water. To run towards the goal in the most efficient way, the user should strive to run as close as possible to the unpredictable waterline.

The controls of this game are very simple, use WASD to move and Spacebar to jump. Jumping allows you to avoid shells and sticks, and moving forward with "W" increases the speed of running. If you run into a large stick, the dog limps and runs slower than when it has not been hurt. The graphics are 3D and very relaxing. It almost feels like actually being at the beach. There are no sound files included in this version of the game, but the art makes up for this. The animated dachshund is very cute and really makes the game. The world is somewhat curved, giving the illusion that the dog is making good progress towards the hot dog reward.

I appreciate the combination of a few of my favorite things into a soothing game: the beach, a dog, and some junk food. The game is nice because it does not require too many difficult controls and is very easy to pick up for any player. I would recommend trying this game to anyone. Make sure to keep towards the water to run the fastest! I enjoy the realistic aspects of the game like the unpredictable waves and the bright daylight beach setting.

This game could benefit from some subtle ocean wave sounds or a light soundtrack. Maybe a few new obstacle types could be added, like a beach umbrella or a sand castle. To make these obstacles more interesting for the player, the beach umbrella could fall out of the sand/fall over and the sand castle could be demolished. It would be nice to be able to reach the hotdog if the dog had run a certain distance or for a certain length of time.  Instead of being permanently hurt/ limping from encountering an obstacle, the dog could recover after a certain time has elapsed since colliding with the shells or sticks. Overall, the game was fun to play and was especially enjoyable for the graphics.

-SG

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