Nintendogs Review: Reasons to Buy

Nintendogs Cover Art

Nintendogs Review: Reasons to Buy

Animal lovers, dogs in particular, can revel in Nintendogs. As a real time, pet simulation video game Nintendogs brings the interaction of having a dog without the hairy leftovers. Published by Nintendo for Nintendo DS and released in 2005, Nintendogs is a series of three virtual pet games that feature incredibly realistic puppies for you to raise.

Features and Graphics

Interactive features allow you to pet your virtual pup.

There are three different versions of Nintendogs but aside from the name and a different roster of dogs it’s virtually the same program. Dachshund & Friends, Lab & Friends, and Chihuahua & Friends offer different breeds of dogs. Unlike any previous game, the DS is utilized to the max. With it you can pet your dog, throw balls for him to fetch and give commands via the built-in microphone using a voice recognition program. By saying a command three times into the microphone the system will recognize your voice and issue the command to the dog. Always talk in the same clear tone and try to eliminate any background noises to reduce any tracking errors.

The level of graphic detail is astonishing. The dogs are fully rendered in 3D and display incredibly realistic animation as the puppies’ frolic and tumble all over the screen. If you leave your DS in sleep mode, to save on batteries, it will recognize, via the wireless network, anyone in the immediate area with the same game in the same mode. What will happen is the dogs will visit each other and be able to exchange gifts and information. You can then put these anonymous passersby into your friends’ list.

Nintendogs Puppy Play

Nintendogs Screenshot
Responsive pups will learn cute tricks.

Nintendogs lets you pick a puppy from a variety of breeds available at the beginning of the game. As you start spending time with your pup you can throw flying discs and balls to improve the pup’s agility. You can bathe it when it gets dirty and use your own personal voice commands to train the dog to do tricks. If you train it well enough, your dog will excel in obedience and agility trials and disc competitions, which will earn money that you can use to buy other supplies and puppy breeds. 

When you earn enough cash, you can buy even more puppies to live with their original pup. Players can socialize their pups by walking them around the town, where they will meet neighborhood dogs, and maybe even find new toys. Trips to the park and gym offer valuable training time to prepare for agility trials and disc competitions.

Taking your best friend out for a walk, you will explore new environments and interact with all kinds of toys, bones and balls while amassing a collection of collectibles. The way you interact with your pet will affect his or her demeanor although the dogs never become aggressive or dangerous. Bark Mode is interesting but I’m sure it will never attain mainstream status. It might become popular at dog shows or other such events. 

Parting Words

Nintendo has done a really good job of bringing the virtual pet genre to an entirely new level. It’s hard not to get attached to these cute furballs. Over time, the pup’s stamina will increase so players can explore farther and farther. Players also can interact wirelessly with their friends’ Nintendogs — they can set their DS to bark whenever another puppy is within wireless range. Allowing for a very interactive gameplay experience. 

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