Hey, remember when we made a list of the Best Cat Games On The Nintendo Switch? If you’re a cat person, you were probably more than satisfied — but what about the poor, forgotten dog people? Fear not, folks. We have you covered, too. In fact, it was a lot harder to narrow down the Best Dog list, although we won’t pretend to know what that means, since we don’t want to starts a cats vs dogs war in the comments.
So, here they are — the best dogs, and the best dog games, that you can find on the Nintendo Switch!
Publisher: Super Rare Originals / Developer: Medallion Games
Release Date: 10th Feb 2022 (USA) / 10th Feb 2022 (UK/EU)
Grapple Dog is one of the most refreshingly unfussy platformers we’ve seen in a long time. It’s digital popcorn — chocolate covered popcorn, to boot. Naturally the central mechanic (other than, well, being a dog) is the titular grapple. This allows you to traverse the game’s perfectly-sized levels using said hook to swing from ceilings, build momentum, attach to enemies and Donkey Kong Country-style cannons and generally add a whole layer of mechanical complexity while maintaining extremely simple three-button controls. Real dogs can’t grapple, but we’ll let that one slide.
Publisher: GameMill Entertainment / Developer: Ludosity
Release Date: 5th Oct 2021 (USA) / 5th Oct 2021 (UK/EU)
The only game on this list to attempt to unite the warring factions of cat and dog with the diplomatic inclusion of Catdog, All-Star Brawl makes this list purely because it’s funny to have a game that’s on the Best Cat Games list, and the Best Dog Games list for the same character.
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Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: HAL Laboratory
Release Date: 2nd Jun 1995 (USA) / 18th Jul 2013 (UK/EU)
When you first start out in Earthbound, you are given the option to name your party, who default to Ness, Paula, Poo, and Jeff Andonuts. But there’s a fifth character you can name — Ness’ family dog, whose name defaults to King. You might assume that King would therefore accompany you on your travels, and he does, for a time. Sadly, that time is about five minutes. He spends the rest of the time at home. He is, nevertheless, a good boy.
Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom
Release Date: 9th Aug 2018 (USA) / 9th Aug 2018 (UK/EU)
Okami is one of the most iconic dog games on the Nintendo Switch, so of course it’s on here. And we won’t be having any arguments about whether Amaterasu is a dog or a wolf. All wolves are just big puppies, and even goddesses love a belly rub.
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: 20th Mar 2020 (USA) / 20th Mar 2020 (UK/EU)
ACNH has a fair few dog villagers in its lineup, from the adorable Goldie to the slightly scary mummified Lucky, but the most iconic dogs in the game are its NPCs. Isabelle, of course, is the golden (retriever) standard, with her floppy little ears and her wagging tail, but KK Slider, Harriet the hairdresser, Digby the real estate agent and Harvey the hippy are all canids, too. The cats don’t have nearly as many NPCs, so we can venture a guess at Nintendo’s favourite pet…
Publisher: Finji / Developer: Finji
Release Date: 15th Dec 2021 (USA) / 15th Dec 2021 (UK/EU)
Chicory: A Colorful Tale was originally called Drawdog. Did you know that? Obviously, that title didn’t stick around, but the titular dog did (they’re just called Pizza instead).
Publisher: Coatsink Software / Developer: Bit Loom Games
Release Date: 3rd Dec 2020 (USA) / 3rd Dec 2020 (UK/EU)
What’s better than a dog? Two dogs. What’s better than two dogs? One dog with two heads. At least, that’s the case in PHOGS!, a chaotic physics-puzzler with a wiggly dog-snake. Play it co-op for the best, most frustrating, most hilarious time.
Publisher: Chucklefish / Developer: Chucklefish
Release Date: 1st Feb 2019 (USA) / 1st Feb 2019 (UK/EU)
In Wargroove, an Advance Wars-type turn-based strategy game, you can play as a general… who is a dog. And all his units are dogs. And when they get destroyed, they don’t die — they just run away. As the devs themselves said:
“Whether they are clad in armour or are missing bits of their flesh, one thing remains the same – the Dog unit is always a good boy.”
Publisher: Finji / Developer: Finji
Release Date: 19th Sep 2019 (USA) / 19th Sep 2019 (UK/EU)
Of all the post-apocalyptic media out there, there are only four that we can think of that get it right. One, Fallout 4. Two, I Am Legend. Three, Tokyo Jungle. Four, Overland. What do these have in common? You have a puppy sidekick. That’s the only way to survive the apocalypse! Everyone knows this!!
Publisher: 8-4 / Developer: 8-4
Release Date: 18th Sep 2018 (USA) / 18th Sep 2018 (UK/EU)
This is the only game on this list that is made by a dog, because creator Toby Fox’s avatar is… a small, white dog, called “The Annoying Dog”. He also appears prominently in Undertale, as a foil for the character’s plans. He’s very cute.