If you can play Nintendogs + Cats for the Nintendo 3DS, and not form at least a tiny emotional attachment to the pets you are tasked with raising, then you are a scary person. This game is not designed for hardcore gamers, and it won’t be able to keep the attention of those looking for a true video game in the traditional sense, but there is just something fun and addictive to this updated version of the Nintendo DS title that makes it fun to play.
When you fire up this game for the first time, you are given the choice of dog that you want to take home with you. There are three versions of this game–“Toy Poodles & New Friends”, “Golden Retrievers & New Friends”, and “French Bulldogs & New Friends”–each with nine different dogs t0 choose from at first, but regardless of which game you purchase you will eventually be able to unlock all 27 animals.
Once you pick your breed and color, the game tells you a bit about the dog and sends you home to get to know your animal. From there you need to bond with your new pet by playing with it, teaching it tricks, taking it for walks, and entering it in games and competitions.
Basically this title is a collection of minigames that all revolve around your adorable pet. As you and your dog bond, it can then help you win cash in some of the games like disk fetch, or chasing a lure. As you complete one successfully, you unlock another level of difficulty with higher cash rewards. Once you have some bling to throw at your pet, you can pimp your crib with new furniture, and even buy new animals including cats.
The addition of cats is fun, but they are limited in what you can do, just like in real life. You can’t take a cat for a walk, but you can play with it and watch it bond (or fight) with your dog.
You can also train your dog to do tricks through voice activated commands–these will help with shows that you enter your mutt into–and you can walk your dog through various locations, but there is no real exploration, unfortunatley. You have a street, and there are a few ways to interact with objects and other animals on the street, but you start on one end and finish on the other and that’s it.
Nintendogs + Cats isn’t a game for older gamers, or gamers that want a complicated game. It is, however, suited for younger gamers and people that are looking for a brief distraction.
The 3D also works well in the environments, and the use of the touchscreen is well integrated. If nothing else, this title is an excellent tutorial on the Nintendo 3DS and its abilities for people that may not be familiar with the device.
Overall it is hard to dislike Nintendogs + Cats. There isn’t much to it, but what there is, is done well and fun. Fans of cute will love this game, and for younger gamers it is a welcome introduction to the Nintendo 3DS.
Score: 7 out of 10
(This game was reviewed on the Nintendo 3DS on a copy provided by Nintendo)