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Nintendogs + Cats Review

Are Nintendogs' days over or will we Labrador this beagle-eyed pet sim?

Nintendogs + Cats review: Nintendogs + Cats is a pet simulator in which your pups and moggies are placed in the virtual fishtank of the your 3DS's top screen.

Nearly every feature of the original Nintendogs on DS has found its way into the sequel; your dogs can be trained to respond to voice commands, made to compete, walked around the neighbourhood, washed, fed, played with, stroked - all through the touchscreen, microphone and camera.

The introduction of cats is less of a deal than we'd hoped for. They're expensive, and can't be chosen as your first pet. You can't enter them into competitions, they regularly ignore your calls, they can't be taught tricks and you can't take them for walks.

Instead they're more fun to simply observe as they interact with your other pets. They'll hiss at overly playful pups, only to paw at them as they try to nap. They kip on shelves, chase shiny things and are chased by the jealous, attention-demanding dogs.

It's unfortunate that petulant kittens are a sideshow when it comes to outdoor activities - a few cat-based competitions wouldn't have gone amiss, even if they ended up as simple kitty fashion shows.

Click to view larger image
Competitions see the return of the Flying Disc contest and Obedience Trials, the latter of which uses the 3DS's AR card to project your pup into the real world as he attempts to carry out your voice commands.

These judge-pleasing tricks are taught through adorable storybook-style tutorials, showing how to wave your hands at your dog to have him carry out a trick before you utter an associative command into the 3DS microphone.

Flying Disc challenges have remained much the same - you throw the frisbee using the bottom screen and win points for successful catches.

Lure Coursing is a new introduction, though. These are essentially races in which you control a bauble attached to a retractable string, reeling it in like a fish as your doggy runs towards it. The aim is to keep the lure close enough to your dog for it to keep up pace - not so close that your pooch catches it, and not so far that it gives up and defiantly jabs its nose into another dog's backside instead.

Yappy Days

The training for all of these activities is achieved by walking your pet, and Nintendogs + Cats introduces several new areas in which to stroll. Even simply walking on a lead is something at which your dog can improve. Young pups will wee wherever they please, chew on binbags, terrorise other dogs and roll in mucky puddles.

On your walks you'll have the option to visit gyms, parks and beaches to train for the Lure Coursing and Flying Disc competitions. You'll also discover unique and occasionally rare Barc stores selling obscure dog and cat accessories as well as cafés selling snacks for hungry pups and offering a place to meet some of the weirder dog owners in the game.

These dog-lovers will pass you as you walk, too, chiming in with sometimes-helpful advice as your dogs either hit it off or become mortal enemies.

Fluff And Nonsense

You can also take your Nintendogs for literal walks using the 3DS pedometer, with rewards for the number of steps you've taken. Biscuits are the typical bounty for short trips to the loo, while longer treks will shower you in toys, piggy banks and other miscellanea.

You'll also come across these items on in-game walks, and, once you've exhausted the range of competitions and tricks the game has to offer, they become the only real reason to keep playing, bar an illogical emotional attachment to something as alive as a pair of googly eyes sellotaped to a rock.

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9 comments so far...
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  1. Bravemouth Thursday 24th Mar 2011 at 11:00

    Looks nice enough, stunning fur, but yeah, this isn't my kind of game, looks lovely though! :D Shame about the lack of things to do in terms of interacting with cats, but the dogs are where its at anyway! :)

  2. JamieRIOT Thursday 24th Mar 2011 at 12:23

    I love that picture, I will call him 'Sampuss'. I think the AR is really incredible and will be a big part of the 3DS' appeal. Hopefully lots of future games take advantage of this technology! Roll on tomorrow! :)

  3. imbusydoctorwho Thursday 24th Mar 2011 at 14:16

    Looks great should be picking this up.

  4. Ellar14 Thursday 24th Mar 2011 at 18:08

    Can't Wait to get Nintendogs + Cats,Shame the Cats don't interact much.I love that the Puppies look so fluffy.

  5. andmaggie Thursday 24th Mar 2011 at 20:33

    Preordered-hopefully getting tomorrow. :D Can't wait!

  6. Zelda101 Friday 25th Mar 2011 at 09:35

    when i get Nintendogs + Cats im adopting a dog. the cats dont interact as much.

  7. sciqueen Friday 25th Mar 2011 at 11:20

    I thought they would include more features than that. It sounds more like an upgraded Nintendogs than a proper sequel.

  8. woodflute Wednesday 30th Mar 2011 at 14:40

    It's not bad, but I don't remember having so much trouble earning/finding money to boost diminishing funds in the original. I would like to get more than 1 dog and a cat to get the interactiom between them all, but at this rate it will be weeks before I can afford it. I would also like to have seen the Obstacle course of the original retained. The 3D is pretty good, but I agree that it's not really worth more than around Ł20. :|

  9. Natz04 Wednesday 11th Jun 2014 at 10:27

    I bought the Golden Retriever version from Amazon and it arrived yesterday. I'm so excited to play it for the first time after work today!!

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