Here Comes the Dog: A Push-Your-Luck Game of Taming Dogs in Prehistoric Times | Casual Game Revolution

Here Comes the Dog: A Push-Your-Luck Game of Taming Dogs in Prehistoric Times

Here Comes the Dog

From Japanese publisher itten, comes a game about taming wild dogs in the distant past.

Collect meat from the fire to feed the dogs and win their affection, and use charcoal and flames to fend off attacks from the more vicious members of the pack, in this push-your-luck dice game Here Comes the Dog.


The bonfire game piece is placed in the center of the table and the colored popsicle sticks are placed around it. These sticks come in three colors, each representing a different resource: brown (meat), red (fire), and black (charcoal). Each player takes three villager figures and the game begins.

On your turn, you take the three dice and roll them. Each die will show one of the three colors of sticks. You may then choose two sticks to take from the bonfire, choosing from two of your three dice results. Alternatively, rather than rolling you may exchange a stick in your hand with one or two from the bonfire. You may exchange one charcoal for a meat, or one fire for either two meats or two charcoals. It is now the next player’s turn.

If the bonfire runs out of meat sticks, a feed event occurs and the round ends. When a feed event happens, each player takes one dog meeple for each two meat sticks they have. If the bonfire runs out of charcoal sticks, an assault event occurs and the round ends. When an assault occurs, you are attacked by a number of dogs equal to the number of meat sticks you have. However, you ward off one dog for each two sticks you have. For each dog you do not ward off, one of your villagers faints. If all your villagers faint, you must return all your dogs and start again with one less villager than before. If you run out of villagers due to having them all faint multiple times, you are out of the game.

After the round ends, all sticks are returned to the bonfire and another round begins. The player with the most dogs after five rounds wins the game.

There are a few special events that occur based on special dice rolls. If a player rolls all three browns on the dice, a feed event occurs, all meat sticks are then returned to the bonfire but the round does not end. If you roll all blacks, then an assault event occurs and any sticks used in defense are returned to the bonfire, but the round does not end. If you roll all three reds, all fire sticks are returned to the bonfire. If you roll one of each color, you may steal one stick of any color from another player.

The game also has a dancing villager variant, in which all players collectively roll their villagers each round instead of dice. The number of villagers who land in different positions determine whether players remove meat or charcoal sticks from the fire, and when one or the other runs out players must either race each other to grab the bonfire piece or the dog meeple placed in the center of the table.

Here Comes the Dog Components


Here Comes the Dog is a very light dice game. While it is very luck heavy, players do still have just enough choice and control to keep things interesting and competitive. There is a nice amount of suspense as the sticks around the fire start to dwindle.

There is a certain element of pushing your luck when you take meat sticks. The greedier you are, the more dogs can come after you if there is an assault event. You can also use this against your opponents by trying to force an assault event by selecting charcoal more often from your rolls.

For the most part, the components are solid. We liked the bright, bold colors, the dog meeples, and the popsicle sticks. However, in our copy at least, something a little strange was going on with the villagers: our copy came with three more than shown in the components list and four of them were headless (clearly the dogs had gotten hungry). Being headless is not a major problem for the main game, but could be for the dancing villagers variant where their balance is not likely to be uniform if missing parts.

Both the main rules and the dancing villager variant are enjoyable. This is a very light game, no matter which mode you play, but its lightness works in its favor. It is a good fit when you want to play something easy and relaxing, and the theme is both enjoyable and novel.

Pros: Blend of push your luck and risk mitigation through stick choices, two game modes

Cons: Will be too light for some players, some component issues

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.