Petting Dogs in Pupperazzi Melts My Heart


Look, Pupperazzi isn’t a great game. Let’s get that out of the way first.

Its menus are a pain to navigate, for one. When you complete a quest, there’s no way of knowing until you press the ‘view’ button and go back into the menu and see if it’s turned gold. There’s also no way of knowing if the photograph you’ve just taken is good enough, or if you’ll have to retake it for it to count. It’s scrappy, too; its environments don’t look great, and you’ll probably spot more than a few graphical glitches.

But does any of that really matter? Not one jot. Because this isn’t a game that’s designed to be beautiful, thought-provoking or revolutionary in any way. It’s a game about taking photos of, and petting, dogs. So many dogs.

What Pupperazzi lacks in finesse, it makes up for in sheer numbers of doggos. The moment you start the game, you’ll find yourself on a beach. A dog in a raincoat is addressing you – odd – but look to your right, and you’ll see more than a dozen dogs running around, owning the place, having the time of their lives. You know what makes them have an even better time? Interacting with them.

Pet a dog, and it instantly reacts to your attention. You can stroke its head or its back, and the dog will move with your hand. Forget your weirdly long, misshapen arm that appears from nowhere, and focus on the dog. The way it nuzzles into your hand, enjoying the display of affection, is genuinely the best animation in the entire game. And, immediately, its little tail starts wagging enthusiastically. As someone who had to say goodbye to two family dogs in the last few months, this has warmed my cold, broken heart. It’s not quite as good as the real thing, of course, but I’ll take it.


But petting dogs isn’t the purpose of Pupperazzi, of course. This is a game about photographing dogs, and so your time should be spent behind a camera lens, capturing dogs performing certain activities or standing in certain locations. It starts off fairly easy: take a photograph of the lighthouse, and ensure a dog is in the shot. Then at the next location, a seaside promenade, you’ll need to take a photograph of a surfing dog. And a dog riding a bicycle (!). Nobody said these were ordinary dogs.

As I mentioned above, you’ll need to navigate to your menu every time you want to see a new quest, check if it’s counted as complete, and hand it in. It’s a bit of a pain; a notification to let you know if your quest is complete would go a long way. But it doesn’t really matter. You might not even want to do any quests at all, anyway. Sure, you’ll unlock new areas, which in turn will reward you with more doggos to pet. But even on that very first island, there’s more than enough digital dogs to pour your love onto.

Simply pet a dog, and make your day instantly better. Who cares about anything else?