Imagine spending your days running around, getting what you want, and owning the streets. That describes A Dog’s Life – the Kickstarter board game by Christophe Boelinger and Beton Games. You can call them doggo, woofer, pupper, long doggo, blooper, puggo, or shibe. (Note: One of those is made up.) You will be running around town looking for bones or simply chasing your tail in the process. The first person the bring back three bones to their base will be the winner.
Bones don’t just rain in from the heaven. You’ll need to use your canine talents to build up your puppy pile before anyone else to win in A Dog’s Life. Everyone starts out with a full belly, a little bit of pee in them, and a home where you’ll need to bring back the goods to be declared the “Best Puppers in the World” or at least for the remainder of the game. Game cards keep track of your hunger levels, how many action points you can spend in a turn, how many things you have in your mouth, and how full your bladder is now. These are all important things for dogs to know.
There’s a grand world out there for your personal doggo to explore – including helpful restaurants, stuffed trashcans, papers that need delivering, and that pesky dogcatcher to avoid. Every puppy point puts you closer to your goal, but you never know what you’ll get until you get there. Hitting up the finest restaurants doesn’t mean you’ll head home with a full stomach, and knocking over cans won’t just give you a mouthful of recyclables.
The doggie deck of action cards lets you know whether you succeed, fail, or fall somewhere in between. After hitting your destination, you’ll flip over a card to see the outcome, and no one action will guarantee food or bones. You’ll need to believe in the heart of the cards to find out your fate – or know your pooch a little better.
Dogs not only come with little figurines that run and piddle across town, but you get a custom deck that leans your action in one direction or another. Buddy, for instance, gets a bigger reward for passing the paper, but he won’t get much for taking his puppy eyes to the local food joint. Romeo makes his living knocking over cans and roughing up the competition. Focusing on your strengths doesn’t always guarantee success, but it will tip the scales in your favor.
Fighting might seem like a solid strategy, but peeing all over town turns out to be the optimal option for both offense and defense. Once a pupper crosses a stranger’s marked area, they immediately stop and lose the rest of their action points. Losing even just half a turn could cost you a game where every step matters. One cannot just paint the town yellow. You’ll need to spend a turn drinking water and another to find the right lamppost. And if someone manages to paint the town in piddle, knocking over all the trashcans brings in the clean-up crew to wash away their mess.
For a “pick-up and deliver” style game, A Dog’s Life aims to bring the family to the table as they play fetch around the city. Light elements of interaction such as fighting, moving the dog catcher around, or simply holding your territory by letting go of your bladder makes it so you have to keep an eye on everyone else on the board. And really, you want to check out a game with personal pee markers.
This was a sponsored post for A Dog’s Life.