Sawbuck Gamer

Paladog

You Are A Hard, Crazed Knight, Working Like A Dog

Paladog improves the usual castle-vs.-castle dynamic with sharp art and cute puppy facial hair.

By Tasha Robinson • June 13, 2012

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.

“In a distant future, the greed of Humans brought themselves to their ruin by destroying their own land and nature.” In that future, grammar apparently followed mankind into an early grave, judging from the rest of the garbled narration and dialogue in Paladog. But what the game lacks in English-language coherence, it makes up for in cartoony cuteness and polished gameplay. Paladog is largely a castle-vs.-castle game, where players spawn anthropomorphic animal soldiers (mankind’s replacement in the world) to march across the screen and battle the opposing castle, a stronghold of the demons who want to take over the planet.

The game’s primary twist: You play a dog paladin whose powerful personal aura gives nearby followers special powers. Instead of using fire-and-forget tactics, you’ll want Paladog risking his fuzzy skin in the thick of battle, and laying down the smack with a series of wands and rings that grant him special abilities, from group healing to meteor-summoning.

Like so many castle-vs.-castle games, Paladog is repetitive, though it mixes things up with huge bosses, three varieties of mini-game levels, power-ups, upgradeable minions, and a changing roster of challenging baddies. The soldiers and their foes are adorable and creatively designed, and the huge number of levels mean plenty of long-term challenge. The only major annoyance comes in the mini-game levels. Here, you have to fight with randomly dispensed warriors and weapons, which often aren’t adequate to the task; in these levels, luck substitutes for strategy, and the frustration factor is high. Otherwise, Paladog tends to be grindy, but addictive. Especially if you ramp up the drama factor by watching the game’s trailer, which posits Paladog as not merely a minion-spawning contest, but a war of outsized bravery, big personalities, and a dog who will definitely have his day.

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10 Responses to “You Are A Hard, Crazed Knight, Working Like A Dog”

  1. stakkalee says:

    I ran into this on Kongregate a couple weeks ago and I’ve been devoting time to it, an hour here and an hour there.  I love it, absolutely love it.  There’s at least 100 levels to play through, and there’s variety not just in the type of creatures you can call but also in the rings and wands you can equip (rings improve a stat, wands give you different attacks.)  There’s several different types of ‘leveling’ in the game – as you beat enemies you earn money with which to unlock new animal helpers and upgrade the ones you already have, but enemies also give XP which you can use to level up Paladog himself (faster mana regen, resource regen, health regen, quicker power ups, etc. etc.)  Some enemies even drop rings and wands, and there are certain pieces of equipment that can’t be purchased but have to be found.  There’s a nice variety of enemies as well that encourages you to play around with the different creatures at your disposal.  Truly one of the more addictive browser games I’ve run across recently.

    EDITED TO ADD: Also, the animals are adorable, none moreso than the one-eyed, bomb-throwing mercenary pirate monkey.

  2. HobbesMkii says:

    Damn, that trailer is incredible.

    • Yeah. I just hope people don’t watch it and expect the game to be like that. Also, I hope the studio makes a million dollars from Paladog and then makes a game exactly like the one suggested by the trailer.

      • HobbesMkii says:

        I think after Dead Island that we’re all well aware that trailers are for a different product, only tangentially related to the IP they purport to be advertising.

  3. Brainstrain91 says:

    It’s great fun, but about 5x longer than it needs to be. “grindy, but addictive” is a good summation.

  4. stakkalee says:

    Also, he totally looks like a schnauzer so he reminds me of my two guys, Walt and Allen.  SOOO CUTE!

  5. ShitMcFuckensteinAVC says:

    Love that headline.

    • Almost as good as the Hereford Times printing some article about something uninteresting with birds just so they could use the headline “Four Kestrels Manoeuvre In The Dark”.