Is there anything better in life than videogames? Yes, dogs. Our furry little friends are non-stop hugging machines, bundles of positive energy, and even when they drag mud onto the clean carpet, you can’t help but love them unconditionally. It’s no surprise then that there are plenty of videogames featuring our canine chums, so even if you live somewhere you can’t have a real dog, you can bring a virtual one along with you.
With so many games featuring dogs, there’s quite a lot to choose from. Some titles are virtual pet simulators, letting you imagine what life would be like if you were a dog owner. While a few of these are just lovely games that feature dogs in the starring role. After all, life as a dog seems pretty chill, so why not play as one in one of the many games in our list of the best dog games for Switch and mobile.
When you are finished here, be sure to take a walk through our many other great guides, covering the best Switch board games, the best Switch games, the best Switch simulation games, and the best Switch RPGs.
Here’s our guide to the best dog games on Switch and mobile:
Little Friends: Dogs and Cats – Switch
The nearest thing we have to Nintendogs (seriously Nintendo, what are you doing, bring my precious furry boys out of their DS prison), though don’t expect it to have the same level of quality as Ninty’s own work.
Little Friends: Dogs and Cats is an admirable, if underbaked, alternative that does its best. If you simply want to play around with some virtual pets, waggle some toys, and enjoy the life of a pet owner, this is your best option right now on Nintendo Switch. If you see it for a decent price, give it a go.
Puzzle Puppers – Switch
An adorable puzzle title where you must lead some very long dogs to their food bowls, without letting them overlap. It’s a nice little package with pleasant visuals and could be a great way to get younger players to test their brains. What starts out as a fairly simple concept eventually truly tests your gray matter, so don’t let the cutesy presentation fool you. It’s also nice and short, so is a very pleasant way to get through a cozy afternoon.
Phogs – Switch
On the most chaotic end of the spectrum is Phogs. Instead of Catdog, imagine Dogdog, a Lovecraftian being composed of two dogs joined together at the abdomen, and controlled by two separate players. This adorable monstrosity makes for some fantastic puzzles, as two players must navigate dangerous environments, and solve puzzles that only a very stretchy double-ended dog can solve.
There’s a lot of fantastic ingenuity in the level design, and this would be a fantastic game for parents to share with a younger player. Everyone gets a chance to do something, and it feels amazing to work as a team.
The Red Lantern – Switch
If you’ve ever wanted to go on a grand adventure with dogs, The Red Lantern is the answer. Trek across the Alaskan wilderness with five dogs as your guides, in this story-driven rogue-lite with nearly 100 possible different encounters. Each dog that can join your team has their own personality, and you gather new items and upgrades as you explore the world around you. It’s a thoughtful and moving piece, where the relationship with your dogs is a crucial element of the story.
Chicory: A Colorful Tale – Switch
There are plenty more animals in Chicory; A Colorful Tale, but you play as the most important one, a dog named after your very own favorite food. My journey was led by a dog named Lasagna, as you explore a world devoid of colour, use a magical paintbrush to bring piles of colorful paint back to the land, and use your illustrative abilities to solve environmental puzzles.
It may look adorable, but Chicory is also a heavy tale of introspection, imposter syndrome, and what it means to create. We absolutely adore it, and you can check out our full Chicory: A Colorful Tale review for more.
Grapple Dog – Switch
If ever a game did exactly what it said on the tin… in Grapple Dog you play as an adorable little mutt with a grappling hook in a tricky platformer that takes cues from the tougher games of the 90s like Mega Man and Bionic Commando. It’s an expertly crafted platformer that feels amazing to control and satisfying to master, plus it’s got an impressively detailed pixel art style that jumps off the screen. For more on this wonderful little title be sure to check out our Grapple Dog review.
Okami – Switch
Alright, we’re pushing the definition a bit here, but we had to include this. Have you ever heard of the fantastic Zelda game from 2006 where the hero uses wolf powers, in a world beset by darkness, where you must save the land with help from a plucky but annoying sidekick? That’s right, we’re talking about Ókami. Playing as the sun goddess Amaterasu, you must use the power of a magic paintbrush (just like Chicory, what is it with dogs and paintbrushes?), to attack enemies and restore the world to its previous splendour.
This title also uses an impressive blend of cel-shaded character models and an art style based on classic Japanese paintings, creating truly one of the most beautiful video games ever made. Throw in some great combat, huge bosses, and particularly tricky dungeons, and you’ve got a masterpiece on your hands. It’s certainly better than Twilight Princess anyway.
Old Friends Dog Game – mobile
You know what they say about dogs, you should always adopt instead of shop. There are plenty of older, forgotten, and often lonely dogs in rescue homes just waiting to give you their love. Well, Old Friends Dog Game is all about those older pups, and you can look after a whole shelter of them, giving these senior dogs the best twilight years they could ever hope for.
BUT WAIT, do you want to know the best bit? This game is made in conjunction with an actual dog shelter, and all the dogs are based on real dogs in their care. If you spend money on Old Friends Dog Game, it directly benefits the rescue center and the real-life versions of the virtual pups you’re caring for. Who said videogames are bad? This game is so lovely, we could cry just thinking about all the dogs it could help.
That’s it for now, we hope you enjoyed our breakdown of the best dog games for Switch and mobile, but if you need even more great games to play, be sure to check out our guide to the best upcoming Switch games do you don’t miss a thing in the coming months.