Play Dog Play Tag is an insane party game about using your human as a weapon

I'll be clear up front: I understood about 25 percent of what was happening at any given time in Play Dog Play Tag, a Japanese indie game at this year's Bitsummit festival. Thankfully, that was enough to have a lot of fun. The gist is that this is a four player splitscreen party game where you control a dog, and your owner drags by their leash behind you like a limp rag doll. You hold down a controller trigger to 'charge up'—an everyday dog activity, I'm sure—and then fling your owner at other players like a human battering ram. Hit them and you'll get some points. I believe the currency is bones.

Oh, and if you throw your human at a building it'll freaking explode. This is a frenetic physics playground that reminds me of a multiplayer interpretation of Goat Simulator, and I can't say that it controlled particularly well or did anything particularly new when it comes down to the simple goal of hitting other players. But it's absurd enough to be a blast as a party game.

There's also a bear running around all the time, who is a thief, and may be carrying a big sack of bones. I was pretty unclear on that bit, but I did throw my owner at him a lot and I had the most bones at the end of the round. Clearly I did something right.

Play Dog Play Tag had some other things going on. My dog had a special power, which was based on my owner, but I wasn't really sure what it did. And seemingly every owner in the game is a unique weapon, so there were a lot of powers popping off at once. I had trouble telling how many bones I was losing when I got hit, or how many I took from other players when I hit them. 

Didn't matter, though. The chaos was still a blast. I would absolutely buy Play Dog Play Tag for a party and feel very confident it would be a hit. Japanese publisher Neuron-Age says it should be coming to PC this year.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).