Dog Duty is a real time tactical squad game that captures the feeling of the old arcade machines. You control a team of three mercenaries on a mission to stop the Octopus Commander from conquering the world.
The game controls like a simple real time strategy game. You can select any combination of your three mercenaries and click on the map to move them to that location. You can select which targets to attack and each mercenary has one special ability. The special abilities can range from healing your entire squad instantly, to propping up a make-shift barrier to block incoming attacks, and a grappling hook to reach faraway locations. You recruit new mercenaries to your team by rescuing them from enemy zones.
The combat isn’t too difficult but your entire squad can be wiped quickly if you just run out into the open. Using cover to block enemy attacks and using your abilities to get the upper hand is vital to clearing the level. Enemy reinforcements keep arriving and playing haphazardly will often leave you pinched between enemy fire.
Outside of combat is a somewhat open world that you traverse via vehicles. Each vehicle can be equipped with mounted turrets and you can choose to engage enemy squads that occasionally come to pester you.
The main goal of the game is to defeat each of the Octo vehicles in the three separate zones and then take on the Octopus Commander himself. There are side areas to capture in each zone which will make the final zone boss encounter easier. Capturing zones can give you benefits such as enemies no longer having armor or special weapons, and weaker enemy reinforcements. The boss fights are sort of challenging and it took me roughly one hour per zone and an extra hour to beat the Octopus Commander. It took me a total of eight hours to collect all achievements.
Overall, Dog Duty is a decent tactical squad game. It is a little rough around the edges, with the driving not feeling the best. The vehicles have a tendency to get stuck on whatever surface they hit. There are also a few bugs that make the combat a little more frustrating than necessary. Sometimes you will lost control of your entire squad and will have to reselect them again. Other times, team abilities, such as the team heal, will fail to apply to all members. Minor issues aside, the game still provides a fun distraction with its simple and straightforward gameplay and wholesome sense of humor.