Dogs are the purest form of goodness and innocence that will ever grace the universe. All they care about is love, affection, playing, and food. If you have a dog, you have access to an endless source of happiness that you should care for with all your being. They’re also very cute, which is why photos and videos of them dominate the internet while healing the soul. So, it’s only natural that a game studio like KitFox would come up with a game that revolves around capturing the glory of good dogs. It’s called Pupperazzi, and it’s filled with dogs that are just waiting for you to take their picture.
A Photographic Dogyssey
Some games don’t have stories because the concept doesn’t really require one, and that’s basically the case here. The world of Pupperazzi seems to be almost overwhelmed by dogs. There are some human-like figures wandering around, but the dogs seem to be running things. This appeals to your character, who seems to be an anthropomorphized camera, or more accurately a camera with legs and extendable arms. Literally being born into a life of photography, your goal is to explore different environments and take pictures of dogs to the satisfaction of your in-game audience. Go wherever your legs can take you to complete such an important task.
Dogs do so many good things without even trying, just by virtue of being themselves. Pupperazzi emulates this by doing good things, too. One of the better elements of the design is just the sheer number of dogs that it includes. There are too many dog breeds and combinations to list, but the game does its best to cover as many as it can. The dogs can be of different sizes, colors, and have different faces while engaging in a variety of activities. Considering dogs can also be wearing clothes and you can dress them yourself, you’ll never be short of new dog visuals.
Then there’s the freedom of movement. Though the game uses a first-person perspective, it doesn’t feel restrictive. There isn’t much platforming per se, but many of the locations you’ll visit will have a dynamic arrangement. You’ll be running around quite a bit, but environments are pretty lax about just letting you go wherever you want. It’s easy to get around quickly and your jump is effective enough to get you to new heights. It’s designed for you to move quickly and sharply so you can try to see as many dogs as possible.
Then there are the visuals. Pupperazzi has that rigid 3D polygonal style that you’d see above Minecraft level, but it works. The whole game is colorful and its simple visuals with chippy music make the whole thing feel like a playground. You start and you just want to run around until you run out of energy… and then run some more.
Discipline is necessary for helping establish structure and order, but it never feels nice to get strict with our dogs. Unfortunately, we also have to get strict with Pupperazzi on some things. The first is that the game is a bit too fast in terms of progression. It’s very easy to speed through and take random pictures which will earn you so many points with little effort. You can see the whole world within an hour if you’re efficient.
Then there are the collectibles. There are plenty of objects in the game that you can pick up, but they have little value. Most noticeable are gold bones or Bonks that you can collect to purchase upgrades, but you’ll earn more just by completing objectives. You can use toys to play with the dogs, but most of them are as simple as just throwing them. Then there are objects that you can hold and use but they have no effect other than being a novelty and you’ll drop it as soon as you try to take a picture.
Lastly, there’s the animation. While the visuals work well, it’s unfortunate that the dogs come off so stiff when they’re known for being such animated and expressive creatures.
Every Dog Has Their Day
Pupperazzi is a first-person adventure where you play as a camera with legs whose main purpose is to take as many photos of dogs as possible. It’s a very fun and wholesome experience that’s supported by a lot of free movement and simple colorful aesthetics. Sadly, it has problems mechanically that make the whole experience too easy, meaning it ends too quickly. However, sometimes it’s nice for an experience to be short and sweet. That way, you can appreciate it more — just like every dog photo you take.
Final Score: 7.5