Dogs. From the moment we domesticated the fearsome wolf, we’ve sought to turn one of nature’s deadliest predators into a cuddly little guy that we can give pets and scratches to as we see fit. Years of selective breeding has created dogs as we know them today, and is the subject of much moral debate. Instead of worrying about that moral debate, play Wobbledogs instead.
Wobbledogs is a game all about scientifically engineering the perfect dog, though the game’s definition of a perfect dog might be a little different than yours. Stretchy, bouncy, wobbly Wobbledogs are like little Stretch Armstrongs, bouncing around the world they’re in and creating a game that’s as much of a physics simulator as it is an exploration into the world of mad science.
Wobbledogs aren’t normal. Aptly, the game’s very own description describes these creatures as mutating. As you care for your “hive” of Wobbledogs (another descriptor from the game itself,) your funny little friends will begin to rapidly evolve wings, grow incredibly long legs, or otherwise develop other features befitting for man-made horrors beyond my comprehension.
The game features an interesting genetic code and evolutionary system that makes me imagine what a brand new Spore game would be like. Each Wobbledog’s DNA is affected by the food they eat and the environment they’re in. They evolve, passing on mutations and increasingly becoming more and more extreme versions of themselves, with some player influence involved in guiding them along their way.
The evolution in Wobbledogs is surprisingly deep and complicated, and breeding Wobbles together to amplify and discover mutations is as interesting and engaging as it is a nightmare to behold.
Each “dog” is also physically, separately simulated, creating a unique mind and behavior for each pet in your experiment. Two wobbles with the exact same features will behave totally differently, creating a fun and interesting game to observe.
And observing is really what you’re supposed to do with Wobbledogs. Wobbledogs is a passive simulation, functioning with or without your involvement. While you don’t have to do anything, you can still find plenty of reasons to interact with the game, whether you’re giving them some well-deserved pets, helping a dog out of a tight corner or simply tossing them around to watch them bounce off stuff.
Yeah, you can toss Wobbledogs around. Remember earlier when I said you care for your hive? You can also just choose not to. In addition to being throwable, Wobbledogs defecate en masse, and are not afraid to eat their own excretion. While I was initially researching this game, I came across someone describing a truly horrific story of a Wobbledog locked in a windowless lab living off it’s own feces, creating a never-ending cycle of fecal feeding like something out of a PETA nightmare.
Your Wobbledogs are less than immortal, too. They can and will starve, sometimes in a room full of food. It can’t really be helped, that’s just who they are.
In a game less goofy, some of the content of Wobbledogs would be absolutely terrifying, but I think the gross-out humor and slapstick plays into the whimsical nature of Wobbledog breeding. In this game about creating stupid little mutant monsters, you never once feel like you are actually causing any of these creatures discomfort or harm. They are just happy to be here, being tossed around and developing otherworldly mutations as they wander from meal to meal.
Wobbledogs is a shockingly relaxing game for what it is. There’s no tension, there are no real objectives, and there’s hardly even a reason to play, and I love that about this game. Sure, get involved with your Wobbles, manipulating their evolution and having fun with the interesting combinations you can discover, but don’t be afraid to just lay back and enjoy their company, either.
Wobbledogs are always calm, they’re always collected, and they’re always happy to see you. Even when they spontaneously grow wings and begin floating off into the distance, Wobbledogs just simply can’t find a reason to care, and that energy is really infectious.
The Final Word
Wobbledogs is a fantastic game, and there aren’t a whole lot like it. The combination between cute pet interaction game and horrific evolution simulator makes it a niche game that both pet and simulation lovers can enjoy in equal measure. Just remember to clean up after your Wobbledogs, or your next Pupation might be a little weird.
Our Wobbledogs review was written based on the PC version of the game. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website!