Forget ‘Stray’ – this Xbox Game Pass indie is one for dog lovers

Forget ‘Stray’ – this Xbox Game Pass indie is one for dog lovers

Animal toys is in a rage right now. Stray has set the world on fire with her adorable, lifelike feline explorations. (Even real cats get in on the fun.) But where should players of the dog-loving persuasion turn?

Humans and dogs have always had a special bond. No other animal has such a unique evolutionary relationship with us. Together we conquered the animal kingdom. In return, we give our best friends an honored place in our society (sorry, cats). Of course we are not out hunting and gathering and herding cattle in our modern world. We mostly create content, and hey, wouldn’t it be great if there was a game about it?

It is! Pupperazi from Sundae Month is a premise that is as straightforward as the funny title. There are cute dogs out there. There are cool dogs out there. There are cool dogs out there. There are dogs on skateboards with backwards hats out there. Your job is to take pictures of them all and share them on the internet. Sounds like a fun escapism, right?

Your escape begins as a human camera with cartoonish arms loose in a world of dogs. There are no people in the world of Pupperazi, truly a paradise worth visiting. Your task is simple, become the best dog photographer. Your path to success is also quite clear. An escalating series of in-game tasks will have you scrambling for some very specific requests. Your rewards for completing tasks are awarded in Bonks, a basic currency used to upgrade your gear.

If it sounds simple, that’s because it is. This is not a game meant to clock up entire weekends; a pleasant afternoon is enough. There is no long narration or cutscenes. The graphics are stylized, but a bit rough (pun intended). You get cute dog pictures, but the puppies are mostly stationary. Don’t go in expecting it to be Stray-but-dogs and you will be fine.

Just a couple of salty dogs.Kitfox games

Exploration is rudimentary by design. There are no waypoints or shortcuts because the maps aren’t overwhelming and the challenges are open-ended. If you need HUD-level help for a goal like “take a picture of a dog wearing clothes” in a game with nothing but dogs, video games might not be for you. The joy of Pupperazi is in these small discoveries.

These discoveries are logged in the game Puppypedia, which catalogs the various clever boys and clever girls you photograph along the way. Most of the major breeds are here, along with context-specific images such as “dog with a sandcastle”.

People complaining? On the Internet? What?Kitfox games

You will also track your popularity on dogNet, the social media platform where you have to upload all your photos. It has a number of specific follower categories such as “goth” or “fashion” that reflect the various dog capers you’ve caught on film. There are also secret objectives found in envelopes scattered across the map. Wander around long enough and you’ll find something new to do.

If you want to get the most out of the game, don’t chase your tail for achievements. Slow down, take your time and appreciate all the silly puppies out there. Sit down. Stay. Good person.

Pupperazi is available now on Game Pass. It is also available for purchase on PC and Xbox.

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