Dogfight – A Sausage Bomber Story is a new shoot em up from Hound Picked Games. As the title suggests, you are a pilot trying to save the nation of Relishtonia from the invaders from Vega Nation. It is up to you to save the world and destroy the evil machines and forces trying to ruin your way of life.
There is a story in the game, but honestly, I lost interest in it. Factions go to war over sausages, sausages become weapons and advance technology and the war ends. Now a new enemy hates you for your meat munitions, and it is up to you to defend your homeland.
The game is your basic 2D side scrolling shooter. Fly your plane and destroy all the enemies you can before they take you down. There are 9 levels to clear, and you get rated up to 5 stars based on your performance. This is important because the more stars you earn, the more weapons you unlock. But, even if you 5 star all levels you will still be short stars, so multiple playthroughs are required.
There are 4 pilots to choose from, but they are just graphically different. You are not granted any bonuses based on the pilot of choice. It just makes it easier to figure out who is who in a 4 player, local only, co-op game. There are also multiple difficulty levels. Ranging from Sweet to Atomic, they do offer you a vast differential in difficulty. On the easiest setting you can take a fair number of bullets before crashing. But, on Atomic there is a chance to get one shot if you are not careful. No matter the level you pick, you can also decide on how many lives you want (up to 5) and the speed run speed.
The game has a built-in speed run function. You can either play it normally and get through the levels in normal time or you can increase the speed. The speed will increase to 1.6 times normal based on your kills but will slow back down every time you take damage. Even if you die a few times, a normal round will only take about 40 minutes, with the starting weapons. Once you increase the speed and find the guns you like, it takes just over 20 minutes to complete the game on the lower difficulties. And this is for a player that isn’t the best.
One of the true highlights of the game is the accessibility features. You can have you main weapon auto fire if you have dexterity issues. You can even turn off the background graphics and jumping pilots to avoid too much visual stimulation. And the difficulty settings make sure that everyone is welcome.
The biggest drawback to the game, in my opinion, though is one of the main draws to the genre. The game seems to be built to make it all about speed running and getting the quickest time. But to do this, every enemy acts the exact same way every single run. This means after even just a few runs you can see all the patterns and it loses its shine. I enjoy seeing how quickly you can complete a game, but for me this gets very repetitive very quickly. And once you unlock some of the more powerful weapons you can just sit in one place for 90% of the levels and let your homing missiles destroy everything that comes your way and take minimal damage if any.
Dogfight – A Sausage Bomber Story is out now on Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo Switch. With a price tag of about $18, I would only recommend this if you were really into speed running games or are looking for another title to add to your rotation on couch co-op game night.