Dog's Life is a PlayStation 2 video game developed by Frontier Developments and was released in the PAL region on October 31, 2003, in North America on September 14, 2004 and in Japan on May 26, 2005.
One day, Jake witnesses Daisy, a Labrador Retriever whom he has a crush on, being taken away by dogcatchers, and resolves to rescue her. He follows them from the small town of Clarksville, to a mountain resort called Minniwahwah, and finally to Boom City, using information gained from overhearing conversations between humans to track them down. Throughout his adventure he is continually harassed by Killer, a doberman belonging to a dog catcher.
Eventually it is revealed that Miss Peaches, head of a cat food company, is arranging for dogs to be caught, and smuggled to a factory, where they will be made into her cat food. Jake ultimately makes it to the dog pound, and after rescuing a number of dogs and bribing Killer with bones, gains entry to the factory. There, he manages to prevent Daisy from being killed by the machinery as she is taken through it on a conveyor belt, only for Miss Peaches to appear with a shotgun. Jake farts, sending Fortune falling onto the conveyor belt, where she is taken through the machinery which turns her into her own cat food.
The epilogue reveals that all the stolen dogs were saved, and that Jake and Daisy are together.
- Jake, an American Foxhound and the main protagonist of the game.
- Daisy, a Labrador Retriever, Jake's love interest, who, in his eyes, is the perfect dog.
- Lopez, a Chihuahua, who assists Jake in retrieving a bone from the Farmhouse. Located at the Clarksville Farmhouse.
- A Dalmatian who assists Jake in retrieving a bone from a rogue swan. Located at the Clarksville Watermill.
- A Bernese Mountain Dog who assists Jake in herding the sheep into the pen. Located at the Clarksville Big Field.
- Snooki, a puppy, who assists Jake in delivering a letter to her grounded owner. Located at the Clarksville Village Houses.
- A Yorkshire Terrier, who Jake must lead into the garage in order for the mailman to deliver the mail. Located at the Clarksville Village Houses.
- Killer, a Doberman, who is the dogcatcher's accomplice. Although he serves as a secondary antagonist and is often ordered to catch Jake, he helps him to retrieve a bone from the mean clerk woman. Located at the Clarksville Centre, but is also seen at the Minniwahwah Café and the Boom City Park, Centre and Dog Pound.
- A Pug, who assists Jake in retrieving the newspaper cut-outs from the chicken coops. Located at the Clarksville Chicken Farm.
- A Boxer, who assists Jake in chasing away the pigeons. Located at the Minniwahwah Café.
- A Husky, who assists Jake in retrieving the RC Helicopter from the roof. Located at the Minniwahwah High Street.
- A Weimaraner, who assists Jake in retrieving the hat from the snow slope. Located at the Minniwahwah Ski Slope.
- A Mastiff, who assists Jake in dragging the wooden log into position. Located at the Minniwahwah Mountain Top.
- A St. Bernard, who assists Jake in reviving the injured climber. Located at the Minniwahwah Mountain Side.
- Pixie FrouFrou, a Miniature Pinscher, who assists Jake in catching the rats. Located at the Minniwahwah Hotel.
- A German Shepherd, who is a police dog. He lost his sense of smell when a criminal named the "Sleeping Bandit" doused him in perfume. Assists Jake in opening the door to the Sleeping Bandit's hideout. Located at the Boom City Station.
- A Whippet, who assists Jake in catching the runaway kittens. She bears a resemblance to Daisy. Located at the Boom City Park.
- A Greyhound, who assists Jake in stealing the loot from the Sleeping Bandit's accomplice and luring him to the policeman and his German Shepherd.
- Miss Peaches, the game's main antagonist.
- Two unseen dogs are also mentioned during the game. Sadie, a foxhound belonging to the Chicken Farmer, and an unnamed female dog belonging to the Village Houses mother, have also been stolen along with Daisy.
- The Dalmatian, the Boxer and the Bulldog later appear at the Boom City Dog Pound, after being captured by the Dog Catcher. Jake must find the keys to their cages to release them, but Killer is hot on his tracks.
The game allows the player control or interact with over 15 breeds each with distinct traits and abilities. They handle things in a different way, that can also be used in challenges or puzzles.
The game is divided into three areas: Clarksville, a rural town; Lake Minniwahwah, a ski resort; and Boom City. These are then divided into smaller areas such as districts or farms. In every area are humans willing to give missions in exchange for bones. Bones can also be found buried underground or hiding somewhere. Bones are used to increase your stats, which will make it easier to complete missions.
Certain smells picked up through the game's "Smellovision" will activate challenges against a local dog. In each small section of the game there are four challenges, two of which are to find eight smells of the same colour and compete against a local dog. These missions include races, obedience trials, tug-of-war games and a territorial game where the player must run around urinating in marked areas to obtain territory.
There are also salons in some levels where Jake can get his coat cleaned and brushed. He also gains a shiny new collar with a silver 'J' at the front.
Once these dogs are beaten, the player is able to take control of that dog and use their special abilities to find other bones. Other challenges include scent-collecting challenges, and a minigame called "Doggy Do", where the player must copy the moves of the local dog. There are also dangers in certain areas, such as the dog catcher and his Doberman. The player must also keep the Jake healthy by feeding him, allowing it to defecate and coax people into giving the player snacks by growling and barking or performing tricks unlocked by doing the obedience trials. Jake is able to do a range of tricks including begging, sitting, lying down and marking his territory.
Jake can interact with many characters including chasing chickens, stealing sausages, and shaking kittens.
Eurogamer found the game amusing, but felt that it offered little for experienced gamers, being aimed at a younger audience. They praised the game's "warm sense of humour" and "cute visuals" and found the idea of controlling a dog to be "actually quite cool". GameSpot said, "There's not a whole lot to Dog's Life, but what there is entertaining enough, and it certainly lets you do things you can't do in just about any other game." GameSpy called it "a nice change of pace" but found the game bland and considered it to be aimed more at younger children than teenagers. IGN called the gamplay "simple and well-executed", but noted that the visuals "look like the game was ripped from a PSone title" and that the audio seemed "all over the place." Charles Herold of The New York Times called the game "fun but forgettable. I was expecting something more: the feeling of complete and utter admironishment." In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of one eight, one six, and two sevens, for a total of 28 out of 40.
According to the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2009, Dog's Life holds the world record for the most video game voice-overs recorded by one person in a game. Kerry Shale voiced 32 characters from the game.
- "Dog's Life - Case Info"
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- Herold, Charles (October 14, 2004). "Touches of Weird, Done Best in Japan". The New York Times. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
- Guinness World Records (ed.). Guinness World Records 2009 Gamer's Edition. pp. 108–109. ISBN 978-1-904994-45-9.