|Release: March 27, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: N/A|
When Nintendogs was released it became a showpiece for the original Nintendo DS' touch screen technology. Nintendogs + Cats takes a similar approach to the 3DS new features, and incorporates them all subtly into the everyday functions of the game. Walks can now be completed with the pedometer (instead of just by dragging a leash), pictures can be taken using the AR cards (which place your pets adorably within your own space), and of course, the 3D visuals add a sense of depth to the game. Looking at your puppies and kitties in 3D is actually the best feature of the game, and if watching a cute little French Bulldog run up to you doesn't sell you on 3D, I don't think anything will.
Though the game's 3D effects can be a tad gimmicky at times, Nintendogs does look good. Animal models are true to the individual breed, and animations are unique to each breed's reputation and personality. You won't see a Shetland Sheepdog strut around like you would expect a German Shepherd to, and you'll never see repetitive animations between breeds, which will make dog lovers happy, and make the game feel a lot more immersive.
The game also takes advantage of the new StreetPass passive multiplayer feature, and if you walk by another 3DS owner who is playing Nintendogs, your 3DS will automatically receive and transmit gifts between your two dogs. Dogs you "meet" via the StreetPass system will also show up periodically when you are in the in-game walking mode (versus the pedometer walking mode) and after awhile you may have quite the local kennel club family in your virtual backyard.
Nintendogs + Cats is a very familiar game. If you've played Nintendogs, then you should not expect anything different. Though the inclusion of cats certainly makes the game a little bit more interesting, the cats don't serve much of a purpose within the game, and other than tossing some string at them every once and awhile, your virtual kitties will probably take a backseat to the dogs. However, if you loved Nintendogs originally and want to check out even more breeds (and immerse yourself with some truly sweet 3D visuals), you can't beat this title. Just don't set your expectations too high. After all, this is still only a pet simulator. It just so happens to be a ridiculously cute one.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer