WAPPY DOG FOR NINTENDO DS by Cooper McHatton
In a world where everyone is looking for the next new thing, and you have a runaway hit like Skylanders merging the world of toys and video games, a new genre is clearly developing. The question game developers now must ask themselves is this: How do we get the game to jump off the screen and into real world?
The success of Activision’s Wappy Dog will be closely watched. Can the Pet Sim genre merge nicely with the world of robotic toys?
The Game: Activision has taken the world of Nintendogs and turned it on its head adding a whole new element, an actual robot dog kids can interact with and parents don’t have to clean up after! Players can enjoy two modes, Home Mode, where players play with their robot friend using the DS and Travel Mode, for when they can’t bring Wappy Dog with them or they just want to have a different kind of fun.
The Wappy Dog: This game’s biggest selling point is the actual toy that is included in the box: your child’s very own robot Wappy Dog! The Wappy Dog is an adorable robotic puppy that can react to different things the player does on the DS. He listens to high pitched sounds the DS emits in patterns and interprets them in different ways. He’ll bark and his cheeks and eyes will light up in response. As far as movement goes, Wappy is somewhat limited. He can shake his head, sit and lie down. While the dog is adorable, it would have been nice if it was able to do a bit more. After getting teased with the cuteness of what the robot puppy does do, you really want to see him do more; walking seems obvious and would have been really nice. In fact, a walking robot dog would have turned this super cute game into a must have for all DS owners.
Home Mode: In Home Mode, players will play the DS and interact with Wappy Dog. Young gamers can ask him questions, feed him treats, and play minigames with him, and Wappy will react differently depending on how and what you do in the game. When you’re playing games against Wappy; like Rock, Paper, Scissors or a game that is similar to Whack-a-Mole, he’ll be happy when he wins and a little sad when facing defeat. When playing along with Wappy, he’ll cheer for you to do well and “cry” when you lose.
Travel Mode: Here, the player plays the game without the robot dog, just like a standard DS game. This mode is similar to your normal pet sim (such as Nintendogs). Players can take care of their dog, feed it, do tricks with it, play fetch, and customize their dog in a number of ways. Activision did a fantastic job at creating a very enjoyable mode in a game focused around a physical toy. Accomplishments and activities completed without Wappy during Travel Mode can be transferred to him once he is brought back into the fold with Home Mode.
The Scoop: Parents should know that there are small amounts of reading required throughout the game. Most early readers should be able to grasp the meaning of most of it, but there are occasions (such as when the player unlocks a new object or trick for their Wappy Dog) that descriptions and such need to be read.
Overall: Wappy Dog is an adorable game perfect for younger kids who love puppies, but are looking for more than what Nintendogs and other games in the pet sim genre offer. It is also ideal for families in apartments, with allergies, or in other situations where owning a real dog is an impossibility.
OWTK WAPPY DOG DS RATING
OWTK received a copy of Wappy Dog for review consideration. The opinions above are honest and unbiased.