Sniff Around with the Detective Dogs!

Review of:
Relaxed Focus Games
FREE (Lite) / $0.99 (Full)

Reviewed by:
On January 3, 2013
Last modified:January 3, 2013


A match-3 game with a doggy twist. Join Hardy, Mac, and Junior as they uncover the mystery that's spreading in their neighborhood.

Sticking their noses on just about everything, dogs can be considered as one of the inquisitive animals in the biosphere. They have a sense of smell that’s more sensitive than that of ours, and while they’re capability can be beaten by other creatures, dogs are still the number one choice of being the “case buddies” of policemen and even civilians because they have this innate knack of communicating effectively with humans. From their powerful sensory organs to their impeccable cuteness, dogs are more than just pets; they can be heroes as well.

This general fact was used by Relaxed Focus Games as they created another match-3 game with a doggy twist on the side. Last time, you’ve probably rescued a number of cute puppies from their doom with their Save The Puppies app, but now, on the contrary, you’ll be guiding three dogs as they solve a burglary mystery in the form of their hot off the oven iOS and Android game called Detective Dogs.

With a great story line to back up the adventures of three dogs namely Hardy, Mac, and Junior, you will never get tired of matching a number of doggy paraphernalia just to hand out a couple of clues to our day-time detectives. Make way for our trifecta of detective canines as they sniff around for valuable clues towards finding out who’s responsible for the missing jewels.

Detective Dogs is a match-3 story-driven game created by Ken Patel of Relaxed Focus Games. It follows a story of three house dogs which started using their sniffing prowess to uncover the criminal behind the major case of jewelry theft aside from burrowing holes in a spacious backyard. Detective Dogs is an enticing application by the developers who are targeting the pet-loving tech-savvy audience. The game is multi-platform and comes with two versions in both iOS and Android devices.

The story…

First off, there were only two dogs: Hardy and Mac. But when Junior confided in them that his chew toy was missing, the three went about on a mission to find the out-of-sight toy. After proving themselves successful, came the deluge of things to solve. From digging up an old-looking box to unraveling larger than life mysteries, the enthusiastic detective dogs became more than determined to find out the answers to all of their questions.

With a fast-paced tour around their neighborhood, Detective Dogs will give its players a fun roller coaster ride as they find clues, dig up items, and complete the adventure by imprisoning the sneaky evil mastermind that’s creating quite a scene in their little serene community.

Snoop around with the pooches

There are two game modes: Story and Endless. If you’re in it for the adventure and the hunt for the thief,  then go ahead and tap on the Story mode. The whole story consists of 80 levels with cutting edge cut-scenes to give its players a deeper involvement as they progress. With each level, the trifecta of pooches has a certain mission to accomplish or a number of clues to gather.

The things that players will have to match are items that has a connection with dogs. There are fire hydrants, raw meat, paw prints, tennis balls, collars, and the occasional leashes to line up. And as usual match-3 games are, the more matches you make and the faster you are, the greater your chance of obtaining a high score and beating the timer.

On top of the screen, you will see Hardy in his detective position. He will be your indicator if you’re about to finish a level while the green line underneath him is your timer. Be aware that the more you match, the greater is Hardy’s progress. What I like about the story mode is the precise adoption of the dialogue on the actual game. For example, Hardy mentioned that he wants Junior to come along with him, then you will see Junior alongside his superior on the indicator. Or if it’s Mac’s forte (digging), then you’ll see lone Mac on the hunt. It’s cute, really. It will make its players feel like they’re the most important element in solving the cases. Oh, this is one of the features I love about Detective Dogs because the story is very engaging and well-written that you’ll probably end up wanting to know who the culprit is in a snap.

Beside the clue-hunting, there are times wherein you are required to match the items on top of a patch of “grass” on the game board to reveal the underlying surprise and whatnots or you’ll have to escape the grumpy neighbor to avoid being beaten up with a broom. Believe me, the game is definitely far from being “blah”.

Since there are moments where you just can’t seem to find anything that’ll match, you can always use the help options found on the menu bar just above your progress meter. You can buy the hints for a couple of doggy treats that you’ll have to earn by playing. Don’t worry, you’ll be awarded with 35 free treats on your initial play.

The full version includes all of the levels while the trial version only has a handful. When the players reach the last free level, the app will then ask them to purchase the full version if they want to continue on.

As for the endless mode, it’s basically just that: an unending game of matching everything you see that can be obliterated into glitters. There’s no timer and no clues to collect but the hints and treats you’ve garnered in the other mode can be used in the endless one. The only sad thing is, you can pretty much exhaust your help and treats in the endless mode but get nothing in return.


(As seen on the app’s press kit)

  • Unique match-3 modes: Dig, Search, Collect, Fight, Chase, Reveal, and more
  • Memorable characters, quirky humor, and an intriguing mystery story
  • 80 story chapters for hours of gameplay
  • A stimulating challenge for players of any skill level
  • Suitable for all gamers, ages 5 and up

Design and Music

Looking at the manner the characters were supposed to look, it totally reminded me of how Disney illustrated the movie The Lady and The Tramp and Simon Well’s Balto. The over-all look of the app borders on being an animated film and a comic strip. I specifically loved how the developers made use of Hardy as the indicator of a player’s progress unlike other games where you’ll only see a meter. I had no issues whatsoever with the app’s superficial aspect and even its sound scoring is well thought of. The fun and upbeat melody right from the get-go will appeal to everyone especially because the app exudes a positive aura that will attract players of all ages.

Harrie helped the hunting hounds

To be completely honest, I never found match-3 games interesting enough. Something about it makes me feel drowsy after a couple of levels but when I gave Detective Dogs a go, surprisingly, I enjoyed it. Maybe it’s the story behind it all or maybe I just can’t say no to cute dogs. Whatever the reason is, I have no regrets in trying the app.

Detective Dogs is a fun game for the enjoyment of not just adults but kids ages 5 and above as well. Its rich story line filled with mysteries and the witty dialogue that comes along with it makes the app worthy of space in your devices. People will surely love the app and the main characters because of their snooping skills, sarcastic comments, and the whole game play. Indeed, match-3 learned a new trick!

Detective Dogs FREE: |

Detective Dogs Full: |  ($0.99)

Watch the video below to get a glimpse on how the trio works:

Harrie Sade

A caffeine-dependent power tripping damsel who loves murdering keyboards, her shabby photography, and the rain.

Latest posts by Harrie Sade (see all)

Sniff Around with the Detective Dogs!
6 votes, 5.00 avg. rating (98% score)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


No spamming please!

27,110 Spam Comments Blocked so far by Spam Free Wordpress

HTML tags are not allowed.