Dog Mendonça – A Haunting Adventure Game

3.0 Overall Score
Gameplay: 2/5
Design: 3/5
Duration: 3/5

Good storyline | Well executed theme | Interconnected scenes/puzzles

Slow pacing | Stale genre formula | Lifeless creation

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Dog Mendonça & Pizza Boy is a graphic novel trilogy that presents the story of supernatural cases. Now, the comics have been transferred into an interactive adventure game that has made its way to iOS in its full form. Now, you get to solve paranormal cases in classic point and click adventure style. The storyline is the main distinguisher of the game as you get to meet ghoulish characters in spooky locations with crazy conversations. There’s complete voice work for all of the included characters, and the game really emphasizes the story.
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Dog Mendonça is the lead detective, and you get to play as Pizza Boy as you essentially help Dog get out of messes he finds himself in. The game revolves around tapping interactive items in the scene in an attempt to collect specific items to use later on. You can combine items together, or use them in the environment by dragging them from Pizza Boy’s jacket, which acts as the inventory slot. There’s a distinctive push towards puzzle elements and there’s a lot of exploring to find the pieces needed for a possible solution. The path forward isn’t always clear, and you will need to do some thinking as chat, rummage through areas, and explore multiple interconnected scenes.

Dog Mendonça definitely trends towards the established formula for point and click adventure games with little nuance. The game isn’t a port from the past, but it feels closer to a game from a decade ago, than a new release. There’s slow pacing to the entire adventure creating a relatively methodical experience. The puzzles are drawn out, and require a lot of retracing your steps, exacerbating the slow pacing. There’s also an emphasis on story, which is good, but there’s less player interaction for extended stretches of time. The biggest problem though is that there’s nothing obvious to tap on in each scene as the game is made for a mouse, and not translated the best for touch. The voice work also feels a bit lifeless, and that contributes to some of the bland stretches of the game.

Dog Mendonça ($4.99, Universal) has an intriguing pedigree and premise, but has too many flaws in execution making it tough to recommend.

$4.99, Universal


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