It's puppy love for our kid testers--they can't seem to put Nintendogs down.
Nintendogs for the DS comes in three different versions which
essentially define the breeds of virtual puppies kids can care for
and play with: Chihuahua, Labrador Retriever, and Dachshund.
Nintendogs is truly unique. Kids use the built-in microphone
on the DS to speak to
their puppy, and the touch screen to pet and give commands to their
dog. The graphics are adorable with photo-realistic puppies--and
they remain puppies indefinitely (they don't grow up).
Using voice commands, kids train their puppy to do tricks, such as
shake, lie down, sit, and roll over. They use the stylus to stroke
the dog, who wags his/her tail, trots about, and even moves up to
the screen and greets his/her "master". Contests, such as the
agility and obedience trials, require kids to first train their
puppies, and earn them money to buy more supplies. As children
progress, they are able to earn enough money to purchase more
puppies to keep the first one company. Kids take their pup for
walks, meet neighborhood dogs, find dog toys, throw discs for their
pup, and so forth.
Note that kids can choose from a variety of breeds of dogs with each
separate title. For example, our 9 year old kid tester played
Nintendogs: Chihuahua and chose a Yorkshire Terrier as her first
Playing the game requires using voice commands, so it is not quite
as discreet as some other portable video games. It also should be
noted that some kids will tire of the game once the novelty has worn
off. However, for some children (especially those who love pets and
virtual pets), this game is just right. It can be, and is probably
best when, played a little at a time.
The game can be set so that the puppy barks when another child's
Nintendogs game is within wireless range.
Nintendogs doesn't play like a traditional video game, and it
"shows off" the snazzy features of the Nintendo DS. It's
refreshingly fun, appealing to many little video game "veterans" and
a whole new group of dog-loving, virtual pet fans as well.
For more information, user reviews, or to buy:
Nintendogs - Chihuahua
Reviewed: August 2005