A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
There is mainly one central message in this game: take good care of those who entrust their care to you. Players are rewarded for ensuring their pet 'Wappy Dog' is played with, fed well, and cared for. At no point is negative behavior ever encouraged or rewarded. This game is about building a bond with a virtual pet and/or toy.
Positive Role Models
Players become a role model of sorts for their pet dog. The game rewards players for good, responsible behavior.
Ease of Play
This game uses simple point-and-click controls, allowing players to easily search through menus to provide their pet dog with food or toys, or play a mini-game to raise its spirits. When connected to the physical Wappy Dog toy, the controls are just as seamless. The interaction with the toy is presented in a user-friendly and easy-to-control way, making it accessible for any player.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the Wappy Dog is both a tech toy and video game. The video game functions similarly to most other virtual pet games -- players can feed, groom, and pet the dog as well as play mini-games with it. What sets this game apart is the physical robotic toy dog that comes with the game. The toy connects wirelessly with the Nintendo DS, allowing communication between the two (for example, the toy dog makes barking sounds, which the game "translates" for players). The robotic toy stores information from the game and changes over time, making it appear as though it becomes more familiar with the player and adjusts its attitude accordingly. The game can also be played without the toy nearby.
Is It Any Good?
Wappy Dog provides a great experience just for the sheer novelty of the robotic toy that reacts in real-time to the game. It should be noted that Wappy Dog's interaction with the game are limited. The toy makes sounds and limited movements in response to actions that happen in the game, but these are all pre-defined and not truly customizable by players. It is not a sophisticated robot, but it does not need to be. The point of the toy is to make the hard work and dedication of caring for a virtual pet seem more tangible and real, which this game/toy combo accomplishes. Aspiring pet owners will no doubt find the charm and novelty of this game well worth it.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.