Release Date: November 1, 2021
Pure puzzle games really have to walk a fairly fine line between being challenging and not being frustrating. Without any challenge, there’s nothing to keep you playing, and if it gets too hard, well, there’s not much else to convince you to power through. Dogs Organized Neatly does a fairly good job of walking that tightrope after a few introductory levels, and it’s got adorable pups as a bonus.
Every few levels, you unlock a new canine companion to puzzle with. Each dog gets a small bit of backstory, but mostly they’re going to be new shapes. Pack the dogs into the grid, and you’ve completed the level. It’s not a complicated game, there aren’t a ton of mechanics, but it’s a fun package for people looking for a good coffee-break puzzler. I managed to complete three chapters in approximately an hour of play.
Dogs can be dragged around to fit in the grid, and rotated, but not flipped. The controls are simple and intuitive, and it plays very well on the Steam Deck. The music is pleasant enough, but if you prefer to have a podcast going or listen to your own music, you won’t be missing out on anything relevant to the gameplay. It’s a simple formula done well with a coat of adorable furry paint.
If you prefer cute cats to precious pups, the developers have a similar title in Cats Organized Neatly, or if you love all animals you can buy both in a bundle with a small discount. These games aren’t going to change your life, but with 80 levels each, if you like pets & puzzles, you’ll certainly get three dollars worth out of them.
SteamDB estimates that Dogs Organized Neatly has sold between 12,000 and 33,000 copies on Steam. What you see is what you get, and what you get is well constructed, and the Overwhelmingly Positive reviews reflect this. It is ranked 103 out of 10,967 games released in 2021.