Phogs [official site] is a co-op game in which you use half a gamepad to control half a dog while the other half of the dog is controlled by your mate. Both sides of the dog are the head – there is no dog bum. I played some of this bright puzzle game at EGX after it was described to me by another developer as “it’s like CatDog, but DogDog”. It is somehow cute and disgusting at the same time.
The idea for the controls is similar to the sausagey hero of Noby Noby Boy, or the disjointed joysticks of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons [don’t forget Push Me Pull You! – Ed] Each level has you and your friendo delivering an acorn to a giant “world worm”, who then swallows you both whole and spits you out in the next level (these worms also have two heads and no bum, it seems to be that kind of a place). Puzzles involve stuff like jumping around, herding “munchlets”, swinging across gaps using both mouths, and anchoring yourself to one place while your pal fights against the wind – the kinds of trials and tribulations a zero-bummed canine might experience in everyday life.
But at one point, my team mate and I had to water a plant. I was playing with one of the developers, and he attached his dog mouth to a leaky pipe to demonstrate the solution. Water started pouring out of my mouth. I was the arse-maw of the dog. “It’s better if you try not to think of it,” he said.
It’s made by a team of former Abertay University students called Bit Loom, and it won the Dare Academy game design competition.
“We are going to release the game next year,” says James Wood, of the studio, “as we are now graduated and beginning our careers as developers.”
He was non-committal when asked if future DLC would feature a dog with two backsides.
“I guess you will have to wait and find out,” he said, “butt I’m not promising anything.”