Demo this dog, dang it!

Look, I know Nintendogs + cats isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Honestly, I understand (animal haters!)

But now that eShop has a FREE DEMO of N+c available for download RIGHT NOW, every 3DS owner should give it a spin. Why? To witness some pure Nintendo magic; this is one of the most amazing and effective uses of 3D in any title for the platform.

Try starting the demo up with 3D switched off. Looks impressive. Then turn on 3D full blast and…the animals look real. Suddenly you’ve got these living, breathing little creatures running around on the other side of a magic portal into another world spraying spit all over you.

Sadly, it’s a rather lame and very limited demo that only allows you to interact with your chosen puppy/kitten pair inside the single room. None of the competitions (the best part of the whole experience!) are included. Also missing is the entire Mii city to walk your pooch through. No parks, no shops, no 3D fireflies and dandelions, and no surprise U.S. President appearances. Still, there’s fun to be had with the available supplies, so be sure to play some Frisbee with the critters and dress ’em up in crazy head gear. (C’mon…Elvis cat! That alone’s worth the download.)

On a funny note, this demo limits you to ten plays–much fewer than previous game demos–and I think the reason’s pretty obvious. Even I, a big fan of N+c, would not bother to play with this limited demo more than a few times. Even sadder, the demo doesn’t bother to tell you about all the great locales, collectibles, and minigames that are only available in the full version.

Ah, well. At least non-buyers can at least get a look at this game’s amazing visuals; N+c is one of the system’s best examples of how 3D can make a huge difference in a game’s impact. Sometimes you don’t need laser beams and swords thrusting out of the screen; sometimes you just need some flying dog spit (Ooh! Ooh! This game should have come packed with a tiny water sprayer to clamp to the 3DS underbelly to spritz players in the face at the right moment! That would have been awesome!)