Nintendo Switch

Wobbledogs on Switch Made Me Wish for a Mouse

Wobbledogs on Switch Made Me Wish for a Mouse

There are certain games you look at and go, “Sure, that’d be a great fit on the Nintendo Switch.” When, when they are there, it might not be immediately ideal. Like yes, the nature and spirit of Wobbledogs makes a Switch port seem like it’d be fantastic. In many ways, it is! It definitely fits the tone of the console-slash-handheld. But at the same time, the remnants of the PC version’s launch scheme can sometimes make it less than ideal.

To get an idea of why an issue comes up, it’s best to understand what Wobbledogs is. Remember the old Petz games on PCs? The ones that would even allow breeding. You’d see different traits from the parents carry on to future generations. Wobbledogs is a sillier version of that. You raise dogs, feeding them food-like substances, encouraging them to pupate to reach their mature states, and then fertilizing dog eggs to pass on the traits you think are cool to develop new “dogs.” As you accomplish goals, you can eventually increase the decorations in their enclosure. You also unlock new flora effects from feeding dogs different substances and encouraging different sorts of traits. So a dog can start out with a pink body and purple head and legs, but eventually feature a tail, different color schemes, and shorter legs. Or, you know, if you play long enough number of legs, eyes, and sort of wings. (Yes, essentially a Wobbledog dog can become a being not unlike a biblical angel.)

It’s very silly.

Wobbledogs on Switch Made Me Wish for a Mouse

Since much of the nature of the game is watching and experimenting with conditions to see what happens next, it seems like Wobbledogs would be a good indie fit on the Switch. It absolutely is! It works as something to leave up on the side while you do other things, occasionally checking in on your dogs to see what’s going on or they dug up. It’s fun to play for a few minutes between other games.

However, since a lot of the game involves clicking on dogs to select actions, clicking on things or locations to direct them to do things, and clicking around the environment to place or grab items, it isn’t always easy to properly find the dogs or accomplish actions. For example, when dogs enter their cocoons to begin the next stage of their life, they become suspended from the ceiling of their enclosure. However, actually clicking them to cause them to hatch isn’t easy. The button to change the current type of food and to spawn a piece of food product are quite close together, which again can make things a little tricky. Say a dog digs up some dirt clumps that can become food. Those tend to not go too far from the hole, which means selecting the correct item can be a pain. There isn’t the same precision a mouse provides. You can still do all of these things, to be sure. It just doesn’t feel as user-friendly as a PC version with a mouse. This is exacerbated by the fact that there are no touchscreen controls.

As a more minor issue, the Wobbledogs Switch version begins each session by asking someone to set the controllers. If you’re using a Switch in Handheld mode, you need to detach the Joy-cons, even though after that prompt you can reattach the Joy-cons to the side and play as normal. It’s an odd decision. I’m using a Switch OLED, so it isn’t any problem. It makes me wonder what someone using a Switch Lite would need to do.

However, I did encounter an issue after adding my second room that the game started grinding to a halt. Dogs ended up stuck with their heads pitched backward. They’d awkwardly hop places, rather than bumble about. Deleting the extra room did fix things. But it is an issue in a game in which elaborate dogs and compounds is an eventual goal. While the control scheming having issues isn’t great, the game grinding to a halt when you start to expand is worrying.

Wobbledogs is still an incredibly silly sandbox on the Switch. It’s the same sort of game people who grew up on classic Petz games or Viva Pinata would get a kick out of playing. However, it isn’t the most comfortable on the system. There are times when it really reminds you how valuable a mouse can be.

Wobbledogs is available for the Nintendo Switch and PC.

Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.