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Thunderdogs review - An online multiplayer shooter with a few technical issues


For: iPod   Also on: iPhone
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Woof air ahead

Product: Thunderdogs | Publisher: Lucky Kat Studios | Format: iPod | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
The .io games that have become popular on mobile over the past couple of years are often missing one very important ingredient - charm. They might get the mechanics right, but there's nothing for the eyes, or the heart, to really latch on to.

Not so with Thunderdogs. It's a meatier prospect than some of the games that have inspired it, adding a couple of extra levels to the running-around-in-an-arena template of the .io genre.

For one thing you're flying rather than running, and collecting the bones that defeated dog-fighters drop when they explode. There's plenty to unlock and upgrade as well, which adds even more depth to things.

Fight them in the air

The controls are simple. Drag a joystick around on the left of the screen to fly, mash your finger into the right of the screen to fire. Because you're flying a plane it might take you a moment to get to grips with the floatiness of the controls, but once things click you'll be swooshing around the screen no problem.

Fights take place in large, walled-in arenas. There are bones scattered around, as well as health-boost packs, and weapons crates that randomly change the guns that your plane has equipped.

Thunderdogs iOS review screenshot - A huge explosion

Your shooters are pretty underpowered at the start, blasting out single bullets, with a cooldown once you've used all your bullets. The weapons crates shake things up pretty dramatically. You get mini-guns, shotguns, lasers, rockets, and glowing orbs that surround your plane and hurt anyone that comes near to them.

They don't last long, but they can change a desperate chase into a sudden and decisive attack pretty darn quickly. Your aim is to get to the top of the scoreboard and stay there for as long as possible.

Thunderdogs iOS review screenshot - Chasing the leader

Obviously that's easier said and done, but the game is reasonably generous when it comes to doling out coins. You can use these to unlock new planes. A second currency, gems, is a little harder to come by, but when you get some you can upgrade your equipment as well.

However, there are a few problems with the game. For one thing, sometimes it doesn't work. There seem to be some problems with the network features of the game at the moment, and sometimes you'll get error messages popping up and not be able to do anything.

Disconnect

And that's a real shame, because games like Thunderdogs thrive on their instantaneous action. If the first time you pop in to play you're unable to tap on anything, it's unlikely you're going to come back for a second or third time.

You really should though, because once the glitch has passed there's so much to love here. The problems never seem to last very long, and hopefully they'll be ironed out in an update soon.

Until then it's definitely worth persevering though. Thunderdogs is a multiplayer battler with a mobile heart and plenty of pooches. Beyond the obvious issues, it's really hard not to like it.
 
Thunderdogs review - An online multiplayer shooter with a few technical issues
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 17 August 2018
There are a few too many technical glitches here at the moment, but the gameplay waiting for you beyond them is chaotic and brilliant
 
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