Dogz is basically a pet for your desktop. When you first start the program, you are given previews of five different dogs available for adoption. These run the gamut from hound through terrier up to bulldog.
Once you've selected a dog to adopt, you go through a registration process. Once you've done this, you are allowed to "take your dog home." He (or she) now has a playpen on your desktop.
It is your responsibility to keep your dog fed, watered, and happy. The cursor changes to a hand when it enters your pet's playpen. You can now scratch him, call him, or throw toys around with him. You have the ability to change your pet's colors, access to treats that can be used to train him, and an option to let him run rampant across your desktop. A password protected screen saver is also included.
According to program documentation (which is unfortunately accessible only through the web page), your pet will grow out of this playful stage into adulthood, and his behavior will change accordingly. I find this fascinating.
If the boss walks in, the playpen and toolbar can be quickly minimized.
The dogs are quite similar to the real models, enjoying attention, having the ability to be taught to do tricks, and sometimes being a little underfoot. Wisely, the developers left out the "poop and pee" feature that is unfortunately the norm with real puppies.
As near as I can tell, you can only have one dog at a time. You can readopt, however, giving up the pet you currently have to try another.
I own a couple of Schnauzers, so I adopted a terrier. I soon had him turning backflips, standing on his head, and rolling over in response to hand signals. In this respect, he is sharper than my real dogs, Murphee and McDuff. My onscreen pet proved completely ineffective in keeping my backyard free of cats, however!
So, if you're chained to a computer at work, Dogz can be an attitude-improving, fun companion. If you want a real dog but can't have one, it can also fill that gap in your life.
Dogz: Your Computer Pet is the first game entirely based on caring for a virtual pet, even before the Tamagotchis became popular. From the title screen players can choose one of the five available puppies and interact with them using the mouse. The dog can be picked up and dragged around, and it lives on the player's desktop. The dog needs to be fed and you can play with them, scold them, and teach them tricks. It is also possible to take pictures and design a playpen for them. In other applications the dog can grab your attention by holding on to the cursor, or you can throw a ball to keep it busy while doing something else.
When the dog is not fed or cared for, for a long time, it dies. This concept was also used as a business incentive. The game was distributed freely, but only came with five days of food. Because without food the dog would die in the demo version, this encouraged players to pay the $20 to get the full game and an unlimited amount of food.
People who downloaded Dogz: Your Computer Pet have also downloaded:
Catz: Your Computer Petz, Oddballz, Catz 4, Babyz, Creatures 2, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Myst: Masterpiece Edition, Riven: The Sequel to Myst
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