Review: Nintendogs (DS)

From the creator of Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda…Nintendo DS $29.99

Nintendogs is a pet simulation game that plots you as a puppy trainer. There are no bosses and no game endings. Sounds straight forward enough though it’s not the premise of the game that makes it an extreme pleasure. It’s the first class gameplay, new interface mechanics, and slick presentation that make it a hit.

So what do you do that makes it fun? It’s difficult to describe without seeing and experiencing it first hand. You talk to your DS. You touch it (touching is good, right?). The electronic puppies get happy to see you and like when you feed, bathe, or pet them. They are amazingly lifelike and Nintendo does a good job narrating the entire process. I guess for me, I was taken back that I was able to name my dog and have it respond on cue. You can also train your puppies, take them for walks, collect an assortment of items, and enter your dogs in three different contests. I currently have three dogs all with extremely different personalities. One always gets dirty. One takes forever to walk just around the block. And the other is very loyal and dependent. In short, the game is so fun because it instills a level of care and interaction that you normally couldn’t get with the run of the mill game characters and their jerky movements.

This game has been selling hand over fist for good reason. Nintendogs is one of the most creative games released in a long time, if not in the past several years. Even the NY Times has reviewed and liked it. Not hardcore, I know, but who cares while your having this much fun. Now I understand pet simulations are nothing new, but Nintendo just nailed the genre with voice commands that work, and a sense of responsibility and feeling I never thought possible in a game. At least with me, I really want to make sure my “digital dogs” aren’t hungry or thirsty.

Play or Stay? Play. If you don’t have a DS, the time is now. I would gladly pay the $160 just to be able to play this game. And the replay value is N/A because it contains infinite play. 9/10


  1. I can’t get enough of this game. Working on upgrading my pad and i’m about to buy my 6th dog.

    Love it!

  2. There’s a rumoured Nintencats coming soon:

  3. I’m in total agreement, this game is amazing. I just got my third dog, Ebony a black pug. I think I’m going to train it for the frisbee tournament, my last dog Dana, was a champion at the agiality trials.

  4. It’ll get old. Harvest Moon got old, The Sims got old, Animal Crossing got old, and it’s only a matter of time before Nintendogs gets old.

  5. I agree. It’s guaranteed to become repetive. I’m sure no matter how well Nintendo nailed it, you’re still going to be going through all the steps over and over again, even if one dog is loyal and the other is disrespectful. I don’t see that as enough variety to keep people interested.

  6. Wow, you mean I can’t play it forever? Since when do games have a replay value of infinity? While Nintendogs is open ended, it is inevitable that it will become “tiresome” one day. At least the “I get bored factor” isn’t 1 hour, like the entire scheduled launch catalogue of Xbox 360.

    As a title that shows how games could be in the “next generation,” this one is a 10.

    Sorry for the rant, but when someone says “repetitive” I automatically assume they mean any current FPS or sports game.

    Kudos to Nintendo for being innovative, we gamers could use a bit more of that these days.

  7. I feel you guys. While I agree that it could get old, I honestly believe this game might have the best reply value of any game I’ve played based soley on the connection with the characters.

    I admit though, n/a was a stretch. Keep me in check cause i have no editor.

  8. The only game I could play forever is Tetris.

    I didn’t get Nintendogs, since the only copies left at my store where of Chihuahua and friends (and i want the Lab version) so I chose Advance Wars and it is a blast.

  9. Hehe, the only game I could play forever is… game at all….
    I can’t play games for a long period straight, they all get boring and repetitive.
    But Nintendo makes games that last longer or are easier to play again after a short break…
    I hope Nintendogs has this kind of replay value…

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