Dog Unit New York: Detective Max

(Big Fish Link to game)


Reviewed by Cherie Jung
(May, 2015)

Max is a bomb-sniffing dog. There has been a rash of bomb threats received by the police. The game player is teamed with a veteran cop and they dash around the city trying to defuse bombs, both dummy and real ones, while trying to gather enough evidence to learn who the bomb maker is, why he’s hiding the bombs, and where he or they might strike next.

I was a bit disappointed with this game. For starters, I expected Max, the dog, to be more active; as in jump from the lower left hand corner onto the crime scene and sniff around for clues. Instead he stayed where he was, sniffed, and pawed at the ground in such a manner that I thought he was doing a cha-cha-cha dance. (In other games I’ve played, a helpful character such as a cat, a squirrel, a raven, or even a tree sprite will jump into the game from their place in the lower corner to help out the game player; to find an object or reach an object located where the game player cannot reach.)

Another very annoying aspect of this game is that while searching for the hidden objects on the list, the player will find that some items are simply not what they are supposed to be. It’s more than just needing to know that a torch is a British term for a flashlight or that an insulated flask is a Thermos bottle. For example, a fire exit is not the same thing as a fire extinguisher. By a long stretch of the imagination, you might be able to locate a parking meter when the clue asks for a parking sign but won’t accept a sign with a P inside a circle on a wall. (Hint: it might not accept the first parking meter you click on as the parking sign either.) But I am most adamant about this; a screwdriver is NOT a wrench, especially when the clue asks for a wrench, three wrenches are visible in the scene but only by clicking on the screwdriver will you get credit for the wrench. Neither is a triangle a ruler. It may have a ruler along one side but when choosing between a real foot-long type ruler, a rolled up measuring tape, or a triangle, triangle isn’t my first choice. Many of the clues are misleading, at best, and some are just outright wrong. Fire exit/fire extinguisher?

In places, footprints indicating another area to explore are overlaid on items needed from the hidden objects list. The player must battle against the footprints trying to reach the hidden object to click on it.

The narration between Jane, the new police recruit (the game player), and Detective Kane is quite stilted and annoying – some game designer must have been watching too many old cops and gangster movies – but these can be skipped for the most part.

In the end, the game is only okay. At times it feels like the programmers are cheating. (Fire exit/fire extinguisher…)

This is a Hidden Object/Adventure game. I consider myself to be an intermediate computer games player.

Hidden object puzzles within the game vary. Puzzles involve not only the traditional lists of “hidden” objects to find but some lists show only the outline or silhouette of the “hidden” object, in others, the task is to locate “pairs” of items that are covered or hidden behind other objects. Some of the hidden object puzzles are interactive; find certain items on the list then combine them with another item then use it to find yet another hidden item.

The price is listed at $9.99 USD however discounts may apply depending on the player’s account. For example, I received the game for no charge because I used one of my credits. 

You can download a free sample of any game and play it for an hour before deciding if you want to purchase the entire game. I strongly recommend that you do so. There’s no sense buying a game and hating it when the Big Fish folks will let you try it for free. Also, reading comments in the forum area (each game has one) can also give you an idea about what other players think of the game. I consider myself an intermediate level player. In the forums there are a wide range of player comments from novice players, expert players, and in between.


Game System Requirements:

OS: windows XP/ Windows Vista/ Windows 7/Windows 8
CPU: 1.0 GHz
RAM: 1024 MB
DirectX: 8.0
Hard Drive: 214 MB

Big Fish Games App System Requirements:

Browser: Internet Explorer 7 or later

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