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Thirsty Suitors has one of the best dog petting sequences in a game I’ve ever seen

You can pet the dog, high five the dog, and more

An image of a small dog in a restaurant. It’s giving a character a high-five with its paw as it sits on a skateboard. Image: Outerloop Games/Annapurna Interactive
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

A lot of Thirsty Suitors is just so extra in the best of ways. A conversation with an ex isn’t just a conversation, but a full-blown cinematic and choreographed battle. Even aunties can take on the proportions of a kaiju in this game. Luckily for us, developer Outerloop Games brought this same sense of style to petting dogs. The new adventure game has what I think is one of the best dog petting sequences I’ve seen in a game, ever.

In Thirsty Suitors, you play as a woman named Jala who undertakes a quest to make amends with her many exes and get to know herself better. In one very special scene, Jala meets a dog in a restaurant. Instead of simply just creating an animation of Jala petting the dog and calling it the day, Outerloop went all in. She can pet the dog, but also do so much more.

As Jala, you can pet the dog. You give it a high-five. You give the dog a skateboard. The dog does a kickflip. The to top it all off, you scratch it under its chin and the dog will give you a little lick in return. It’s a whole dang scene that you progress via a series of little quick time-esque events. It’s an incredible sequence I didn’t know I needed. You can view a recording of it below.

Whether you can pet the dog or not in a game has basically become a recurring meme. Obviously the human desire to pet a dog predates any internet joke, but the above Twitter account tracks whether or not a game allows you to pet a dog, and has grown in popularity over the years — so much so, that some developers have even admitted to adding dog scenes because of it.

I imagine it can be frustrating as a developer. You make an entire game and people focus on the dang dog? However, what I like about this scene is the way petting the dog connects to the larger intent of the developers. In an interview with Polygon, the developers talked about how they wanted Jala’s story to be about joy. And while there are a lot of ways to lean into the joys of life, one small way can be stopping to pet a pup — and watch it do a kickflip.

If you’d like to pet this dog, Thirsty Suitors is available now on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

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