Wobbledogs wants you to look after a kennel of very normal pups next year

Dogs. Man's best friends. Four legs, a wet nose and a wagging tail... but wait, are we sure they only have four paws? What if we tripled the number of eyes? Why can't the tail be a tree? So goes Wobbledogs, a delightfully daft upcoming "pet simulation" that dares to redefine our canine companions.

Wobbledogs is a simulated sandbox from Tom Astle, a former gameplay engineer on The Sims 4 who's taking his procedural talents to genetically-engineered pups. Starting with a regular roster of fairly normal (if surprisingly wobbly) dogs, you'll eventually be performing ethically-dubious experiments on them, skewing them into all sorts of mutated nonsense.

I've been following the game for some time on Twitter, and some of these dogs are rough, y'all.

Dogs, as any biologist will know, enter a pupal phase at adolescence—metamorphosing in new directions based on what kinds of flora they've ingested. This genetics system is simulated to arrive at all sorts of bizarre outcomes based on what lurks in a dog's guts, letting you redefine a pup based on what you feed it.

As described, the game is more passive observation than puzzle. You're not breeding pups to solve challenges so much as just to see what monstrosity comes out next, crafting rooms and tunnels for their physically-simulated bodies to explore while evolving their own personality traits.

Yes, you can pet the dogs. You can also teach them tricks or throw them across the room. I'm sure their little jelly bodies won't mind.

Wobbledogs is coming to Steam Early Access sometime next January.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.