russian subway dogs a treat for gamers pax south 2017
It’s safe to say that pets have garnered a new spotlight, thanks to the power of the internet and social media. Though, it can also be said that cats, the felines of our lives, have earned quite a lot of attention, especially in the field of video games. Form TIKIPOD Ltd’s Aqua Kitty: Milk Mine Defender, to Catlateral Damage by Firehose Games, cats have been gaining quite the spotlight in games. However, dogs, canines, are not simply going to let such small fuzzy creatures have all the fun, and Canada-based Spooky Squid games are set to change all that with Russian Subway Dogs, an arcade score attack game featuring man’s best friend. From Russia and Canada, with love, Spooky Squid Games brought down their game for the masses to play at PAX SOUTH video game convention in San Antonio, Texas.
I sat down to spend some time playing and jumped right into a game immediately. Russia Subway Dogs has players choosing from a variety of canines, then going out into the Russian subway system, to take yummy foods from train passengers on the platform. Players will have to be careful, as some passengers will have deadly items, such as vodka and chocolates. Additionally, there will be other canines to compete with, such as poodles and blitzes.
As I went through the level, I discovered a very famous internet dog from the “THIS IS FINE” flaming comic, which has dotted itself across all corners of the internet. That particular dog was made famous by artist KC Green. David, a member of Spooky Squid Games, shared the exciting fact that the game would use other creative pets for the game, with permission from the artists.
From the very start, the game is incredible fun, from the instant you surprise your first passenger and pick up your first piece of food. As the game progressed, I noticed more passengers, some with burritos, some with vegetables, and others drinking vodka. I had to maneuver myself carefully, as the vodka is hazardous. If players surprise a passenger with vodka, the vodka will fall and explode like a stick of dynamite. It is incredibly deadly to players, but can be used to successfully eliminate the canine competition. Blitzes are aggressive, and poodles will flat-out steal your food.
The match was fantastic. The controls of the game were incredibly smooth, and the visuals styles were very well done. Even the sound mixing and soundtrack were very well done, adding to the enjoyment of Russian Subway Dogs. Surprising passengers in various ways was amazing, with some combinations yielding to different food pick up and clever way to defeat the competition. Barking in midair with vodka, for example, allowed me to juggle the vodka, earning a score multiplier and allowing me to properly position the vodka on the right competing dog. As this was an endless wave match, I would eventually lose all my health. After about five minutes, it came to that, and my demo ended.
Talking to David, I learned more about Russian Subway Dogs. The game came from a Game Jam Session at GDC. Game Jam Sessions require a development team to quickly conceptualize, build and create a working prototype of a video game in 48 hours. The early prototype was so well received; it was decided upon to make a game based on it. David and the team at Spooky Games were looking for subjects, and discovered the true story of stray dogs in the Russian subway system.
These real stories involved talented and intelligent canines that would identify passengers with food, then successfully snatch that food to secure for themselves. David also researched the rich artistry and architecture of the Russian subway system. David said that the world famous designs of the Russian Subway system were incredibly more ambitious to focus on for the game then the Canadian subway system, which was incredibly bland and boring. The final game includes a single player mode, boss fights, and the inclusion of a mystical, deadly Russian creature, Boba-Yega, which translates to the Boogey Man. There is a high probability that it is NOT Keanu Reeves as John Wick.
Russian Subway Dogs will be available on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Steam sometime in 2017. David is hoping to place the game on consoles as well. To get a taste of their talents, check out their first game They Bleed Pixels, an action platformer running at 60FPS, greatly inspired by HP Lovecraft and classic horror genres, on Steam.