It’s dog walking time in the park. Oh, wait! A rabbit passes by, and all the dogs escape their owners to run after him, getting their leashes all tangled up. Quick! Find the end of the leash corresponding to the dog that was chosen at the beginning of the round in Dog Rush, pull it from the messy entanglement, and win a treat for your furry friend!
Dog Rush is a game of fast-paced visual perception. Every turn, one player chooses a color and drops a number of vinyl string “leashes,” each with a colored dog attached to one end and a wooden ball attached to the other. When they land on the table, the leashes naturally get tangled, so it’s a race to see who can figure out which ball is attached to the leash of the chosen-colored dog. It is a great game for kids and families, but it’s wonky enough that even adult game groups might get a kick out of it.
Without fail, every time I take my dogs for a walk, they manage to get their leashes into a twisted, tangled mess, which I then have to sit and undo. Dog Rush takes this knotted-leash-puzzle idea and makes a silly visual perception game out of it.
The game comes in a very small box. Inside are a number of “dog bones” (point tokens) and 6 “leashes,” each with a uniquely-colored dog on one end and a neutral-colored ball on the other. Players all start with 1 bone token.
Dog Rush is so incredibly simple that I can explain the entire game in a single, short paragraph:
Each turn, a player chooses a colored dog and drops all the leashes onto the table. Players examine the tangled leashes until someone figures out which ball is attached to the chosen dog’s leash. When a player believes she knows, she grabs it and pulls the leash out to verify. If she is right, she earns a bone. If she is wrong, she loses a bone. The first player to collect 4 bones wins.
That’s the whole game.
Here is a visual example, featuring a super-not-flashy GIF I made:
Suppose the player chose the color red; which ball is attached to the red dog’s leash?
Whether a player is right or wrong, grabbing a leash ends the round. The next player in turn order then picks a color and drops the leashes, and so on and so forth until a player collects 4 bones.
In terms of rules, Dog Rush may be the simplest game I have ever played (it’s right up there with Loopin’ Louie). This is not a bad thing, of course; in fact, it means it is extremely accessible to all. I love spatial puzzle games, and this one feels fresh and different. Mechanically, it works well at any player count due to its freeform play style.
The production is very nice, both in portability and presentation. The leash pieces have a strong tactile appeal, and there is something very satisfying about dropping them on the table. The box is quite small—easy to carry in a pocket, backpack, or purse. (I’m considering keeping this game in my glove compartment so I have it on hand when I go to a restaurant or something.)
I had fun playing Dog Rush, but I have to admit that there isn’t much “game” to it. The challenge it provides is extremely unique, but I’m not sure that it will have the long-term replayability of most Blue Orange products. That being said, though, its price point should be quite low, so if you like visual puzzle games at all, I still recommend giving it a try.
A review copy was provided by Blue Orange Games.
+ Great-looking components
+ Small package for portability
+ Interesting spatial puzzle
+ Nice “toy factor”
- May lack long-term replayability
- No real decisions to make; either you’re good at it or you’re not