Review: Nintendogs (and Cats) for the 3DS

Rating: E (for Everyone)
Genre: Pet Sim
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: March 27, 2011


Most of the time I’m playing console games or taking on some raids in WoW, but then there are times I just curl up with my DS to play more casual games. In this case it was curling up with my new 3DS and playing Nintendogs (and Cats). I went into playing it with the thought that I could play for an hour or so and get what I needed for the review, however it’s now been a week and I’m saving up so I can get a cute kitten. I’ve also got a friend to get the game just based on talking about the game.

“But you’re just taking care of a virtual pet. What’s so great about that?” Maybe it’s the fact that I was part of the Tamagochi craze back when I was a kid. I love taking care of that little creature and would sneak it in to school even though they had been banned (hey my friends were doing the same). But I guess I’ve grown up liking to take care of virtual pets so this game is perfect.

The first thing I noticed was how improved the graphics were from the first Nintendogs. The puppies look a lot more realistic, and the kittens have great models as well. I started off with a little Shiba puppy who I named Ein. I learned how to feed and give him water, take him for walks and even wash and teach him tricks. The trick learning seems to go smoother, however there is still a delay and some difficulty regarding the verbal commands.

Going for walks is fun. Your puppy can meet more friends, as well as go to cafés, the gym or the park. Shops with rare items also pop up from time to time. There are some great features though that go with the 3DS system. Miis are now integrated into the game, so any other people you meet on walks are in Mii form. You also get to see your Mii from time to time as well. The other great feature is the walking system that uses the built in pedometer to track your steps. This allows you to close the DS when it’s on to and you can take it with you when you’re walking around. It will also scan for Streetpass hits. At the end, if you’ve taken a nice long walk your puppy will be very happy with you and you get a present which can be anything from a toy to food or treats.

Anyone who you meet via the Streetpass, who also is playing Nintendogs and Cats will show up in your game and you will be notified upon resuming the game that you met some new people while on your walk. Their Miis and respective pets will also stay in your game so you can go to the park or café with them so your puppies (and presumably kitties) can spend time with each other.

Now for the 3D aspect: for the most part I just played the game with the 3D turned off. Playing in your house, practicing with the Frisbee or walking just doesn’t need the 3D, though it does look cool. The one aspect that was fun was doing the training test with the AR cards. When entering this mode you need to place the ? block card on the table and point the outward facing cameras at it. Your pet will then appear on the card and you have to go through a series of tricks to get the highest score possible. This was the only part of the game I felt was great with the 3D.

Nintendogs and Cats is a great game for kids. They can interact with their friends pets, go on walks and train and play with them. Plus the fact that the 3D isn’t really needed for the majority of the game means that parents can get this for their kids and allow them to play on the 3DS with the 3D disabled with no loss to the game quality itself. It’s a great starter game for kids and I highly recommend it! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a kitten to go adopt.

Game provided by Nintendo and does not affect the outcome of this review

GamingAngel moderator

I want this for a kitten too! But I think this is a great game to teach kids responsibility of taking care of an animal every day before you just go out and get one.