RATING: 5 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 8:27
Band together to vanquish all of the dog villains in an effort to once and for all answer the timeless question: Who’s a good boy? Who’s a good boy?!
Meet man’s best friend: you! Life is sunshine and rainbows, until you realize that you’re missing your favorite red ball. Will you find it before your owner returns?
It’s no secret that life as a dog is difficult. There’s the walks, the treats, the belly rubs, the occasional scratch’ems behind the ear and of course, the assorted Dog Business™. But as humans, we couldn’t possibly comprehend the perils that our furry friends protect us from on a daily basis:
The Dog Villains™.
Cats. Squirrels. Mailmen. These nefarious ne’er-do-wells are literally the worst known monsters in the entire Dog Universe™, and with your favorite red ball missing, any one of those baneful barbarians could be the culprit.
So, no, you’re not just barking at nothing; Things are about to get really, really serious up in this yard.
Well, actually I suppose it’s the polar opposite of that. It’s A Doggy Dog World creates a cartoonish alternate reality wherein we ourselves are dogs hot on the scent of our favorite red tennis ball. It’s silly and goofy and stupid and wonderful all at the same time – creating an instantly immersive narrative that we can not only all relate to, while also exposing an indisputable universal truth: cats are dicks.
It’s A Doggy Dog World is a larger than life exaggeration of things as your four-legged best friend may view them. We begin our quest inside the house – where we’re clearly not supposed to be, for you see, that is where the cats live. (And as we’ve established, cats are dicks.) Rummaging through their food bowls and toys, as well as cabinets around the gigantic kitchen at the risk of getting caught by our human puts us in grave danger of a water bottle spritz to the nose, but it’s all worth it to get back that red ball!
Through the doggy door (literally) and into the yard, things feel much more at home. The ground is covered with fluffy grass, meaning we can pretty much legally pee anywhere we want (and Level Games actually endorses it – at least, that’s how we justified it to ourselves.) Our bright yellow dog house offers a cozy respite from that squirrel in the tree. I hate that guy.
But it’s the giant fence blocking us from the rest of the known Dog World™ that offers the most excitement. Jumping on our hind legs (or as we humans call them, “legs”) offers a momentary peek, but not really enough to quench our curiosity. What could be out there? The neighbors? Because they’re not supposed to be there! Other dogs? Because they’re not supposed to be there! The mailman? BARKABARKABARKA BARK.
Sorry, sometimes we get carried away. But the point is, it’s easy to do within an environment like It’s A Doggy Dog World. Every twist and turn is so delightfully, light-heartedly immersive that it’s literally impossible not to want to play along.
The whimsical world of our four-legged friends comes to life with a whole host of puzzle tasks that mesh perfectly with the day to day activities that obviously make up Dog Business™. The cats (who are dicks) may or may not have vital information as to the whereabouts of our red ball. Obviously, being dicks, they won’t help us until we bribe them with food and treats.
In the yard, we’ll need to dig up our favorite bones, tangle the hose and watch out for the squirrel who has been looking at us funny. There’s more balls, sure, but none of them are as good as our red one — even the other red ones.
And then it comes down to the most epic battle mankind will ever know: Dog vs. Mailman. You’re sure to win if you let yourself think like a dog and just have a ball while making a total mess.
If this sounds different than a usual puzzle section, it’s because there’s really nothing common about the experiences in It’s A Doggy Dog World. Every single thing we mention above is factually true, and far more than just cutesy storyline. To the contrary, these wacky cartoon actions are quite literally the tasks you’ll need to achieve to get back your red ball and the coveted title of “Good Boy.”
Every single silly step is logical and intuitive, with a clean and satisfying flow that always kept us wagging our tails (don’t make fun; it’s a medical condition.) And it all builds up to one of the wackiest finale puzzles we’ve ever seen, which quickly went from “well, sure, it would be easier if we made a mess but we want to be respectful of the venue” to “WE CAN APOLOGIZE LATER, MAKE A MESS! MAKE A MESS! MAKE A MESS!!”
By their very nature, escape games typically need some sense of urgency to make them compelling. There needs to be a reason why you are working to achieve the task at hand, and more so, why that task must be achieved in a hurry. What results is often games of life or death, with critical consequences and a never-ending tone of intensity. It’s incredibly rare to find a game that’s light-hearted, and even more unique to find one that’s genuinely funny. In that regard, It’s A Doggy Dog World is a true dogicorn (That’s a unicorn for dogs; try to keep up.)
Created by ESCapades LA, and featured for a limited-time run at Level Games, there’s just nothing quite like It’s A Doggy Dog World. It’s sense of humor and unique storyworld makes it sit (and stay) like a good boy in the company of some of Southern California’s most enjoyable games.
It’s A Doggy Dog World is such fun that it’s guaranteed to make the adults in your pack feel like kids again, while simultaneously turning each and every one of them into wacky, rambunctious puppies. There’s literally only one type of person that wouldn’t love every second of this game: Cats.
And cats are dicks.
Venue: Level Games, presented for a limited time by ESCapades LA
Location: North Hollywood, California
Number of Games: 2
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 8 people
Group Type: Private / You will not be paired with strangers.
Cost: Prices vary between $35-50 per person depending on total group size.
We thank ESCapade LA and Level Games for inviting us to play this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.