This dynamic little indie action game is a standout from the get-go thanks to its gameplay, which grabs you from the start, though the difficulty will test your skills. Russian Subway Dogs' theme is one-of-a-kind: Taken from a real-life phenomenon during the Cold War years, it's presented in a fun retro style. Sadly, though the art's a winner, the initial control scheme falls short. The default keyboard setup is downright terrible, making moving, jumping, and barking clumsy and frustrating. Fortunately, the controls can be changed in the options menu. A better option though, if you have one, is to plug in a console game controller. This makes things far easier, and cranks up the fun because you can then focus on scaring the wits out of food-toting subway riders by barking at them, scoring lots of points, and blasting the competition.
As you get comfortable at scare-barking subway riders and catching food, you unlock more playable dogs (Cute corgi, anyone? Sassy Shiba Inu?) and more stations that you can visit. New stations mean new food items to steal and hazards to avoid (how'd a charging elk get into the subway, for Pete's sake?), and things get increasingly hectic the more you explore the subway. Despite the sometimes frustrating challenge of achieving preset score requirements, clever Cold War propaganda-style graphics keep things light, and pun-heavy humor keeps things fun even for players who don't get the political references. Actually, Russian Subway Dogs is a light and fun way to talk about this period of history without diving into heavy topics, while also seeing who's got the best scavenging chops. So if you're hungry for fast-moving arcade action that pushes your reflexes to the edge, this is one indie game you can sink your teeth into.