Genre: Simulation, Sandbox
System: Steam (Windows, also available on macOS)
Developers | Publishers: Animal Uprising| Secret Mode
Price: US $ 19.99 | UK £ 15.99 | EU €19,99
Release Date: March 15th, 2022
No review code was used, I purchased the game myself.
Wobbledogs isn’t your average pet simulator. It has an enticing premise: “raise your own personal hive of mutating dogs.” That’s right, a hive! Your dog may look normal at first, but don’t be deceived. Wobbledogs is surprisingly complex, charming, and downright bizarre.
New Pet Parent
Your first wobbledog will have a rectangular pink body and spindly blue legs. It will stagger around its habitat (which looks more like a hamster cage than a house), sleeping, eating, and playing. If you find its awkwardness endearing, then you’re in for a good time!
Wobbledogs introduces a variety of mechanics to keep you entertained. You can build vending machines that produce different types of foods. You can tell your dogs to perform tricks. You can plant seeds that turn into flowers and trees, creating chaotic little gardens. If you are like me, then you can let the game idle while you work, checking on your dogs every so often. Just don’t be startled when your first wobbledog begins to pupate.
After a certain period of in-game time, you will be prompted to click on the “pupate” button and your wobbledog will swaddle itself in a green cocoon, shooting up to the ceiling on a silky zipline before metamorphizing into a slightly larger, more mature version of itself. Depending on what you fed it beforehand, it might even change its appearance. This is when the real fun begins!
You are not just a caretaker; you are also a matchmaker! Your wobbledogs will produce eggs that you can infuse with genes from two parents. A breeding simulator allows you to browse future offspring in a matrixlike room. Each wobbledog has genes which originate from their parents and the food that they eat. By monitoring your wobbledog’s diet, you can encourage certain mutations as they grow. I’ve seen wobbledogs with wings, stripes, and flamboyant curly tails, wobbledogs that scuttle around their habitat with ten legs, wobbledogs with multiple heads, wobbledogs with bright colors, spots, and a glossy sheen—the possibilities are truly impressive.
There’s enough planning and strategy involved to keep you occupied for hours, experimenting with new genes or working your way towards the most ridiculous wobbledog imaginable. The fun doesn’t stop here, however, because you can share your wobbledogs with other players using an in-game code. Part of the joy is participating in the community and seeing what other players have created. These dogs can be imported, and you can use their genes in your own experiments.
Wobbledogs have a lifespan that can be adjusted through the options menu. You can also disable death entirely. When they die, they break apart. This is not graphic; instead, it is whimsical, with dogs bursting into a variety of pieces that look like candy or gummies. Even after death, you haven’t seen the last of them! Dogs will leave a “core” behind which is an orange orb. Cores can be transformed into graves, memorializing your friends. Occasionally, you will see the ghost of an old wobbledog prancing around. You can also summon them whenever you wish. This gamified dog log is genuinely charming, helping you keep track of previous generations without erasing their presence. They are neither gone nor forgotten.
Your wobbledog habitat will expand as you unlock new rooms. These can be decorated with whimsical pieces of furniture, food machines, fences, flooring, and wallpaper. I have one room that serves as a graveyard and another that looks like an 80’s themed bowling alley, complete with squiggly carpet and funky decorations. Decorative items can be unlocked from achievements but also from gacha capsules produced by your dogs.
Wobbledogs will naturally travel through hamster tunnels which hurtle them gracelessly from room to room. It’s a joy to witness, and I still haven’t grown tired of watching my wobbledogs even 30 hours in. I also haven’t grown tired of the peppy music. It is hard to feel sad while playing Wobbledogs, with its intensely vibrant atmosphere and goofy physics.
Conclusion: Wobbly or Solid?
Wobbledogs is odd. Dogs sprout extra limbs, burst from cocoons, and return as ghosts, but none of these aspects feels macabre. Instead, they are marvellously whimsical. There’s always something new happening. Dogs develop personalities, learn tricks, build dens, and play with toys. The breeding mechanics are also surprisingly deep, and while the gameplay loop can get repetitive during long sessions, it’s still solidly entertaining. This world feels alive and customizable, with a perfect balance between randomness and control. Now that Wobbledogs is finally out of early access, I can wholeheartedly recommend it for fans of the sandboxes, pet sims, and all things wobbly.
Final Verdict: Two Thumbs Up