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iPad Game Review: The Adventures of Dog Mendonca and Pizzaboy
      #49594 - 07/27/16 08:14 PM

The Adventures of Dog Mendonca and Pizzaboy is a point-and-click adventure game ported from a desktop version, which is, itself, based on the graphic novels of the same name. For those unfamiliar with these works, Dog Mendonca is a middle-aged werewolf who works as a private investigator in an eerily supernatural version of Lisbon. He is assisted in his investigations by Eurico (Pizzaboy), Pazuul Nhgwaiatuu (an ancient demon in possession of a teenage girl), and Gargoyle (the talking head of a, ya know, gargoyle).

Unfortunately, the only character you have at your disposal in the game is the least interesting of the bunch; the Pizzaboy. Still, thanks to the artwork and dialogue, the spirit of the graphic novels (mostly) comes through as you play, which was enough to keep me interested in a pizza boy investigating a gypsy curse. Gameplay is consistent with the standards of the genre. Investigate your surroundings, collect useful objects, use/combine these objects in clever ways to pass obstacles and advance the story. If you've ever played a point-and-click adventure game, you will feel right at home here. I found the puzzles to be fairly straightforward, but more difficult and less obvious than what you would find in hidden object adventure games. Everything collected is stuffed by the protagonist into his jacket, no matter how large or absurd. Accessing it is as simple as clicking on the oddly drawn row of fingers on the right side of the screen. When open, the inventory blocks nearly half of your view, however, this isn't really a problem because when you drag something out of it, the jacket snaps closed, and some dialogue appears at the top of the screen telling you exactly what you are about to do with the object (e.g. use stuffed cat on dog). If you're feeling a bit stuck, you have two options. First, try clicking on the magnifying glass at the bottom of the screen. This will highlight all interactive areas of the current location, and will save you from tediously tapping on literally everything you see. Seriously; use this. Second, is the built-in "hint system." To access it, open Eurico's coat, and tap on the notebook at the bottom. Be forewarned, doing so will unabashedly reveal the solution to a given problem. If you were wondering why I put quotation marks around the words hint system, this is why. Lastly, gamers should expect this game to take 2-5 hours to complete, which seems a bit on the short side to me.

The Adventures of Dog Mendonca & Pizzaboy is not a particularly innovative adventure game, but it's really not trying to be. Instead, it's a way to immerse yourself a bit more deeply into the world of the graphic novels, and to enjoy the visual feast the game provides. Although not on par with the graphics, the audio portion of the game is also very good. All of the dialogue is spoken with some solid voice-acting, and the sound effects and music both round out the audio experience nicely.

Bottom line: The Adventures of Dog Mendonca & Pizzaboy is a very good adventure game, but not a particularly great one. However, it's easily worth the price of admission for anyone who enjoys point-and-click adventures, and especially those who have read, or intend to read, the graphic novels.

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics: - 5 - All artwork was drawn by the original graphic novel artists, and it shows. First-rate.
Sound: - 4 - Good sound effects, music, and voice-acting; although the latter can get a bit repetitive after a while.
Controls: - 5 - A solid interface.
Gameplay: - 3.5 - A fun adventure game, limited by it's short duration and the lack of other, more interesting, playable characters.

Playing Hints and Tips:

Use the magnifying glass at every location. It will save you from randomly tapping on EVERYTHING. Collect everything you can, and experiment with objects by combining them when possible.

App Facts:

Developer: Fishlabs
Release Date: April 27, 2016
Price: $4.99
Buy App: The Adventures of Dog Mendonca and Pizzaboy

Reviewed by Tom Slayton


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