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Forget Petting the Dog, Don't Touch These Animals

As popularised by the Can You Pet the Dog Twitter account, many video games offer endearing and supportive animal relationships. However, not every video game critter is helpful, loving or safe to pet.

In this list we pull together games where you decidedly don't want to pet these animals. Sometimes it's mild irritation caused by the animals, like Untitled Goose Game. Other-times the creatures are downright dangerous like the farm dogs in Inside or the creature in Carrion. Or maybe the animals are just being a bit of a dick, like Donut County. Finally, we include a few games, like Frog Detective where the animals are basically a confused mess.

This list includes 27 games from the last 31 years, with 684 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to deal with troublesome critters. We break them down into the following areas:

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to MA 15+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Collecting, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Shooting, Simulation, Stealth, Strategy and Traversal
Total Likes: 684
 

 

Squirrel with a Gun

Squirrel with a Gun is an open-world simulation game where you play, as the title suggests, as a squirrel with a gun. It sounds like a joke, but actually offers a surprisingly entertaining tongue in cheek challenge as you fight using precise moves and...

Albert Wilde: Quantum P.I.

Albert Wilde: Quantum P.I. is a mystery adventure where you play a detective cat in a fictional 1930's New York. It combines point-and click adventuring with e first person perspective. Solve murders, flirt badly, maybe discover a wormhole to another...

Animals Being Animals

Stray

Stray is a game about a cat lost in a futuristic city where robots live. You guide your feline friend in and out of buildings, across roads and generally poke your nose in to see what is going on.

Zoo Tycoon (Series)

Zoo Tycoon is a zoo simulator series where you take charge of a zoo business, build the park, care for animals and attract visitors. You can build, expand, and upgrade the zoo by purchasing animals, creating suitable animal habitats, and allocate staff...

Donut County

Donut County offers a simple style of play. You drag a hole around the screen; the more things you can make fall in, the bigger the hole gets. You start with bricks, road cones and bushes, but eventually you’re swallowing whole houses.

Viva Pinata

This game is a fantasy garden-simulation game where your tending and care encourages one of 60 different piñata animals to make it their home. You use gardening tools to plough, sow seeds, create ponds and sculpt the land. Do this well and more animals...

Break Human Stuff

Untitled Goose Game

Untitled Goose game is a silly and funny game but with a dastardly vibe. You play a mean goose who is intent on ruining the day of the inhabitants of a sleepy English village. By stealing items, squawking and otherwise making a nuisance of yourself you...

Catlateral Damage: Remeowstered

Catlateral Damage is a running, jumping and knocking-things-over game where you play a mischievous cat who wants to knock its owner's belongings onto the floor. "Bother that cat," as one children's book puts it.

Little Kitty, Big City

Little Kitty, Big City is a traversal puzzle game where you help a curious kitten find their way home in an overwhelmingly big city. You play by exploring the city, meeting and making friends with other animals and hiding to not get caught.

Confused Messes

Bugsnax

Bugsnax is a whimsical adventure where you track, trick, catch and eat anthropomorphic food in all shapes and sizes. But as you do, you literally become what you eat. It's silly puzzling fun from the creators of [link to game/Octodad+Dadliest+Catch...

Don't Pet

New Super Lucky's Tale

This is a platform game where you play a fox on a quest to recover pages from a magical book that will save his world. It takes gameplay in a more action-oriented direction but the islands and characters are full of quirky character and treasures like...

Cuphead

Cuphead is a running, jumping and shooting game that looks like an old Mickey Mouse cartoon. You play on your own or with someone else and work across the screen, jumping gaps, shooting enemies and avoiding projectiles.

A Plague Tale: Innocence

A Plague Tale: Innocence follows Amicia and her little brother Hugo as they use stealth to escape soldiers and swarms of rats. Against the stark threat and darkness of the world, the sibling relationship develops as the two learn to trust one another....

Smalland

Smalland is a survival adventure where you are a tiny character in an overgrown wilderness. The world is dynamically changing, not only with the weather, seasons, day and night but also in response to what you do. It's as beautiful as it is intimidating...

Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn, and the follow-up game Horizon Forbidden West, has a post-apocalyptic feel familiar from movies like Planet of the Apes. It plunges you into an overgrown landscape with now-crumbling remnants of modern life where animalistic machines...

Sonic the Hedgehog (Series)

Sonic the Hedgehog is a series of games staring an athletic blue hedgehog who runs, jumps and bounces his way around platform levels. Created as Sega's answer to Mario, Sonic is now on all modern video game platforms.

Kill It With Fire

Kill It With Fire is a fighting game where you kill spiders. Lifting objects, looking under things and generally exploring the houses means you find spiders. The challenge is then to kill them with increasingly ridiculous weapons.

Cat Quest (Series)

Cat Quest 2 is an adventure game, the sequel to Cat Quest, about a fantasy realm of cats and dogs. You explore and talk to characters who send you on quests to kill enemies in caves or retrieve hidden items. The addition of two player in the second game...

Carrion

Carrion is a horror game where you play the amorphous alien as well as human protagonists. This reverse-horror scenario puts you in control of an organic tentacled monster to make your way through the facility, stalking and killing humans in your path.

Inside

Inside is from the same developer as Limbo. As such, you play another boy in a dark dream-light and horrific world. Here though, it's more modern-day and realistic.

Frog Detective (Series)

This is a comedy adventure game where you play a detective frog, named (unsurprisingly) "Frog Detective". In the first mystery, The Haunted Island, you get a call about a ghost on the island. You set about solving the mystery by collecting the...

Goat Simulator 3 (Series)

Goat Simulator 3 is the sequel to Goat Simulator, where you cause mayhem and destruction as a goat (or other animal) in a relatively realistic world with exaggerated physics. This game adds several new challenges and ways to play to the game, like...

A Plague Tale: Requiem

A Plague Tale: Requiem is an action adventure where you play a pair of siblings Hugo and Amicia. The story continues from the first game's discovery of the plague of rats and Hugo's latent abilities. Standing out again for weaving the sibling...

Another Crab's Treasure

Another Crab's Treasure is a fighting game where you play a crab on a quest to reclaim their shell. As you explore verdant kelp forests, sandy shallows and deep trenches, you fight big crustacean enemies, unlock new abilities, and find new bits of...

Fight Crab

Fight Crab is a fighting game where you battle with weaponised crabs. But rather than pressing buttons to pull off moves, you have to work with the game’s over-the-top physics. This combines with giant crustaceans, insane weapons and claws to create...

Rain World: Downpour

Rain World, and the expansion Downpour, are traversal and survival games where you play a half cat, half slug in a living breathing world. You must venture out and brave the other predatory creatures to find food before the rain comes and you have to...

Stab Stab Stab

Stab Stab Stab is a frantic fighting game where monster birds try to impale each other with their sharp beaks. You play by running, jumping and grabbing power-ups in a rush to stab your opponents more than they stab you. You can either play the...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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