Long-distance relationships can be hard; even harder when you have to navigate a bunch of crazy airports inhabited by stock photo dogs. The ridiculously titled An Airport For Aliens Currently Run By Dogs is honestly a pretty good description of what you can expect from the game, as the entire focus is wandering around various airports in an effort to find the gate for your next flight, all while interacting with a wild cast of sentient dogs.
There is a setup here as mankind has, somehow, gone extinct, leaving you and your fiance Krista as the only two remaining humans in the universe. An Airport For Aliens Currently Run By Dogs is a fairly standard adventure title in terms of gameplay, and in order to find the next flight, you’ll need to look at your boarding pass and cross-reference that with the alien language scattered around the airport. The real focus, however, is interacting with the utterly strange dogs that inhabit the airports.
There are plenty of generic NPCs known as Pedogstrians, but there are also a handful of unique characters that you’ll need to help out. There’s the mischievous Husky David Bonie, who’ll give you illegal bones if you help him, or my personal favorite Rodney the Cursed Dog, who’s turned into the most generic human man in an office picture conceivable.
Each airport is dotted with a multitude of different shops and restaurants that give you items. These items are needed to complete sidequests as well as to give to the gate agent, in order to board your flight. For example, one gate agent named Bribe Dog might be looking for a cabinet to put all his bribes in, while another needs to “become magic” by being hit with a magic wand. It’s all as ridiculously dumb as it sounds, but the game’s fantastic writing adds an edge to everything.
A Doggone Good Time
The different airports add nice visual variety and different layouts, but ultimately the core gameplay loop boils down to the same thing; talk to dogs, find the items they need, then head to the next airport to meet Krista. That sounds simple, and it is, but it’s not necessarily a problem. There’s always something new and ridiculous to discover by helping out dogs, like a speakeasy run by secretive cats or a pirate cave with an accordion-playing ghost. I simply can’t overstate how consistently hilarious the writing is, and it had me laughing out loud across my entire roughly six-hour with the game. The stock photos really add a unique flair to the experience, and it simply wouldn’t be the same without them. Sound effects are also, intentionally, low-budget sounding and it just adds even more to the overall aesthetic.
An Airport For Aliens Currently Run By Dogs is definitely a slow-burn experience, entirely about what you make of it. There’s a surprising amount of depth packed into the item interactions and environments, but you won’t find any of it without experimenting and exploring. There are certainly some minor annoyances, like a slow move speed, but ultimately the discoveries lying in wait are well worth any frustrations that might crop up along the way.
As someone who dealt with a long-distance relationship for years, the core narrative definitely struck a chord, and despite most of the characters being stock photo dogs, there’s a lot of humanity and kindness on display. It’s like stumbling through an absurdist dream, but one that’s well worth seeing through to the end.