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DS  header logo

Wappy Dog

For: DS

A bit cWappy

Product: Wappy Dog | Developer: Activision Blizzard | Format: DS | Genre: Virtual Pet/ Toy | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Wappy Dog DS, thumbnail 1
Almost unbelievably, given that it comes with a robot dog that you can control remotely by having your DS emit high-frequency sounds, Wappy Dog is completely underwhelming.

The concept of an artificial pet dog that you can interact with in the living room is nothing new, of course: Sony's AIBO, the i-Cybie, and the Genibo have all attempted to toy with our affections by imitating flesh, blood, and fur with nuts, bolts, and plastic.

Wappy Dog isn't nearly as sophisticated (nor as expensive) as its more complicated counterparts, but it also seems completely irrelevant to the game it accompanies, making its inclusion a little pointless.

Plastic-not-fantastic

If you haven't seen Wappy Dog in action yet, go and watch our unboxing video.

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It's a huge box and a sizeable robotic dog, but I imagine its innards are fairly basic, since it does so very little. Though it can bend its front legs forward, flash its eyes, and turn its head, it does precious little else. It won't be performing elaborate tricks or scampering to meet you as you get in from work.

Wappy Dog is absolutely aimed at the younger end of the games-playing market. Menus are bold, colourful, and feature simple text descriptions to make navigation easier. The visual representation of your plastic pup is solid but uninspired, though there are a couple of customisation options to put your own stamp on it.

There are two modes: Home and Travel. The first lets you communicate with Wappy using sound, sending out signals to make the dog slowly and awkwardly move as you play along. You can say "hello" to Wappy, find out what he wants, ask him to tell you your fortune, and so on, but all communications back to you are through the DS.

In reality, the DS seems to be handling almost all of the processes of communication - so much so that you can play this mode without the robot. That's right: you don't actually need the device to enjoy the only mode that uses it, rendering Wappy largely useless other than as a novelty item.

Ruff around the edges

Travel mode is for the times that you can't use the toy. This portion of the game is a just a very basic pet sim.

Wappy toddles about on the screen, and you can feed him, pet him, play with him, and make sure he's scrubbed up all nice. A wide selection of toys are on offer with which to interact with him - everything from a trumpet to a flying disc - though there's no skill involved in this element.

When it comes to feeding time, Wappy prefers sweets and cakes, and preparing his dinner of eclairs and buns comes in the form of short games asking you to cut along a dotted line, or time your squirts of cream on a pastry just right.

When you tire of this - and you will - a handful of traditional mini-games are on hand. Catching fruit in a basket, guiding a penguin along a race course, a Whac-A-Mole game: you've seen it all before, and better.

Play with Wappy often and you unlock more games, accessories, and locations to play in. None of it changes the title enough to be worth the effort, but if your youngster gets invested there's at least a fair amount of stuff to see.

Other than the ludicrous pack-in accessory, there's very little of note to Wappy Dog. It's an uninspired pet game, featuring a largely pointless toy, and while it may entertain your little one for a while it'll make its way to the bottom of the toy box before long.
 
Wappy Dog
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 18 January 2013
Wappy Dog possesses just slightly more sophistication than a Furby does. Only the very young and easily amused will get much from Wappy Dog, other than its sheer novelty
 
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