Wobbledogs is a massively hands-on simulation game where players will breed dogs with increasing amounts of mutations, but it may be too passive for some.
Wobbledogs Console Review: A Strange and Idle Canine Experiment
The sandbox simulation game Wobbledogs has come to consoles, bringing with it dog breeding mechanics and amusing automation. More akin to Spore than Nintendogs, this canine-focused title will have players experimenting with genetics and watching their creations take on a life of their own, though this may be too wasteful for some players.
Wobbledogs comes from developer Animal Uprising and publisher Secret Mode, the latter of which has previous published games like A Little to the Left and Penco Park. Just as Spores can be used to evolve terrifying creations, so can Wobbledogs, essentially putting players in the role of a god for dog breeding. The title’s main gameplay loop revolves around combining the genetics of two dogs within a simulation room, selecting a final dog to place in a fertilized dog egg, and hatching them to add to a growing collection of canines. Is.
These dogs are simple but distinctive in their design, with different intestinal flora – which is altered by what the dogs eat – contributing to traits such as long bodies, color and facial shape. As players continue to breed, they will achieve stranger results, from mismatched legs to wings.
The crafting mechanics common in many games labeled as sandbox titles are largely absent in Wobbledogs. Players will not need to collect materials to build machinery such as egg incubators and various feeding machines, nor will they need anything to fill their dog play pens with decorations that are unlocked throughout the game.
This means that there is really little for players to do consistently, mainly with the actions of tracking dogs as well as triggering their pupation state – a cocoon dogs enter, then they Feed each time of age – when it becomes available and making sure they don’t starve, although for the most part pups eat spontaneously. That being said, it is quite entertaining just to watch the strange canine creations go about their day, interact with each other and cause trouble.
While they’re not the cutest video game animals, they’re really not intended to be – Wobbledogs is all about creating the weirdest creatures players can imagine. Watching dogs result from incredibly unfortunate combinations of genetics is absurdly entertaining, though that doesn’t mean Wobbledogs is a game players will stick with. This is a sport that is best enjoyed while doing other things, pausing to see how the dogs have changed since their last pupation.
Wobbledogs has a few goals that players have to work towards which helps to keep things somewhat confusing, each one unlocking things like new wallpaper, furniture and food machines. The goals are reminiscent of Animal Crossing’s nook and crannies tasks, such as digging a set amount of holes and breeding a set number of dogs. While this gives some direction to a very open-ended game, most of the prizes aren’t particularly exciting.
Some of the fun of Wobbledogs has been thwarted by technical issues on the Nintendo Switch. While the dog animations start out smoothly, once additional pens and tunnels are added to the layout, they become a mess, sometimes freezing up entirely, which detracts greatly from their charming absurdity. Huh. The controls aren’t the most optimal either, and it can sometimes be hard to select the desired dogs when they’re roaming around because of this clutter.
Wobbledogs isn’t perfect, and players looking for a sandbox game with an incredibly involved pet simulator or satisfying crafting loop will be disappointed. However, for those who don’t mind a more passive playstyle, Wobbledogs offers a weird, engaging experience, albeit a fairly simple one in terms of both its graphics and gameplay.
The game’s gut flora and breeding mechanics are fun to experiment with, whether players set out to create just the cutest puppy or test the game’s laws of nature. While the game may not scratch the itch of a player looking for an included pet simulator, Wobbledogs is a great source of silly, open-ended, sandbox fun.