By Genric Jan Elazegui
Pros: Very simple game, quick to load and runs well, looks colorful.
Cons: Not much to do with the dog, graphics are poor.
Dog videos and pictures are a sure thing online: everyone loves a cute pup. Not surprisingly, there are a number of apps that let you virtually play with digital dogs on your device. Puppy Dog 3D is an Android app available in the Google Play store. The app lets you interact with a bulldog in a 3D environment by tapping the dog's image or one of the various buttons on the screen. It's a simple app — too simple, in fact. To call Puppy Dog 3D a game would imply that there are objectives to complete. There are none.
After installing opening the app, the game quickly takes you to the main menu. Options are minimal: You can start the game, or look as some advertisements — which you get even when you start the game. The environment around your bulldog is colorful and bright, but zooming in shows that the textures are very blurry. The same is true for the dog. While the bulldog is designed nicely, and looks like a proper bulldog, the graphics are very choppy as if someone tried to cut the images out with a dull pair of scissors. The visuals aren't going to blow your mind away, but they are serviceable.
You control the camera by dragging your finger across the screen. To zoom in and out, you pinch the screen just like for a photo.
Interacting with the dog is very simple. There are three buttons that depict a paw print, a first aid kit and a bone play other animations as well. You tap on the dog to get the canine to perform various animations, all of which looks nice, minus the fact that the back paws tend to disappear beneath the floor. The buttons themselves are actually programmed incorrectly: the pictures don't match the action. For example, the middle button that looks like a first aid kit only makes the dog stand on his paws then get back down.
After tapping the dog, and the buttons there's not much else to do. Puppy Dog 3D is really just a basic simulation app in where you tap a dog and watch it move in place. There are no props, no tricks and the bulldog never leaves its spot. Once you played the game for about five minutes, you've pretty much seen everything that the game has to offer.
The best part of the game? It works. Ads didn't show up that often, and my battery didn't drain too quickly. But the so-called gameplay of the application is lackluster at best. It's not a bad app at all, but considering the amount of other better-looking dog simulators that are out on the Google Play store, you're better off just avoiding this one and saving your phone space.
-Genric Jan Elazegui will be studying game design at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts this fall.