View Full Version : Review:: Nintendogs

03-15-2008, 08:09 AM
Nintendogs is a real-time pet simulation video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS handheld video game console. It was first released in Japan on April 21, 2005, and was later released in North America and Singapore on August 22, 2005, in Australia on September 29, 2005, in Europe on October 7, 2005, in China on June 29, 2006, and in Korea on May 3, 2007. It was originally re-released in three different versions - Dachshund & Friends, Lab & Friends (Shiba & Friends in Japan), and Chihuahua & Friends. Nintendogs takes advantage of the Nintendo DS' touch screen and microphone, which are used to interact with the dogs.

Another version of Nintendogs called Nintendogs: Best Friends was released in North America on October 24, 2005 in a bundle which also contained one of two differently colored Nintendo DS consoles. After the initial shipment, Nintendo did not restock the bundle, but it was released later in Singapore on 15 July 2006. Another version called Nintendogs: Dalmatian & Friends was released in Europe on June 16, 2006, and later in North America and Singapore on October 16, 2006. It is currently the best-selling video game for the Nintendo DS.


Nintendogs lacks a concrete plot or story. The player takes on the role of a dog owner, caring and training for various dogs of his or her choice. Similarly to titles such as Animal Crossing, the game runs in real-time, and the player is free to do as he or she wishes, accumulating items and participating in various events


Using the touchscreen, the owner can play with, train, pet, walk, and wash their virtual dog. With the microphone that is built into the DS, the player can create voice commands that their puppy will understand and, if properly trained, follow. Dogs can be walked to the park where they can practice their disc catching skills and to the gymnasium to practice agility. Players can also visit the discount shops to buy supplies for a lower price. Dogs may be entered in disc competitions, agility trials, and obedience trials, as there are five different levels in each competition.(Beginner Class Open Class Expert Class Master Class Championship) As the game is played, the player earns "trainer points" for various activities such as walking their dog or winning in contests. As trainer points accumulate, more dogs and backgrounds become available for purchase. Trainer points will decrease if the player does not care for their dog properly or mistreats it.


The dog is fed with three different types of dog food,(Dry Food, Dog Food Can, Natural Dog Food Lad) two different treats,(Jerky Treat, Dog Biscuit) and given water or milk. The player can also wash the dog using the stylus and shampoo. (two types, Log Hair, Short Hair) Hunger can be measured from famished to hungry, normal and full, and its thirst can be measured with ratings from parched to thirsty, normal and quenched. The quality of its grooming varies from filthy to dirty, normal, clean and beautiful, though the 'beautiful' rating cannot be attained unless the proper brush or shampoo for the dog's coat is used. As time passes without being cared for, these ratings will drop. If its condition is not amended for a long period of time, eventually the dog may run away, and though it will eventually return, this will also affect the player's trainer points, which drop by the hundreds. In addition to this, dogs that are filthy, parched, or famished are not able to participate in contests until their needs are taken care of.


The game gives no indication of when a dog needs a walk, though non-player characters will comment that it is beneficial to provide them with at least one per day each, as only one dog may be walked at a time. Players also earn trainer points for walking their dog; the amount of points varies depending on the length of the walk, and activities participated in on the way.

Special areas around the map include two parks, a gym, and a discount store. Parks are a location where the player can practice for Disc Competitions, feed or play with their dog, or have it meet with others. The Gym, which contains agility equipment, is used for training dogs for the Agility Trials. Depending on what contest level the dog is currently at, different obstacles will be usable. Dogs may also walk to a discount store where all of the items at the normal supply store are available, in addition to some others. These will not include rare items found only on walks, as certain rare items will allow the player to unlock more dog breeds.

Question mark icons on the map point out areas that may contain neighborhood dogs or presents. When encountering another dog and its trainer, the player's dog may fight or play with the other. Occasionally, the player may stumble upon 'hidden' items, which are not shown on the map. Hidden garbage will appear if the dog is tired or hungry, and presents will appear if it is not. The hidden presents function exactly like the ordinary map-marked ones, containing a random object.

If a dog smells urine on the ground, marked on the upper screen map by large, medium, or small dots, proportionate to how recently it has appeared, it will attempt to urinate there. A dog may urinate or defecate at a random point as well; if the latter is not picked up the player will lose trainer points.


The contests are the player's main method of earning money. There are three contests: Disc Competition, Agility Trial, and Obedience Trial. If the player's dog places 3rd or higher in whatever class it is in, the dog will proceed to the next difficulty level. Prize money earned differs depending on which contest has been entered, what place is finished, and the class the dog is in. If the player does not place at least 3rd, they will be dropped to the previous difficulty level, unless they were in the Beginner class, at which point they will remain there. Dogs who consistently place higher than 3rd at the Champion class remain at that level. Consecutive placings of 1st while at the Champion class will go towards the 'winning streak', which is broken as soon as the dog places under first place.

Bark mode

Nintendogs supports a link-up method through the Nintendo DS's built-in wireless networking capabilities. A player can link his or her system with that of another person who owns a copy of Nintendogs to let the players' puppies play together. This is called "Bark Mode". If connected with a player who has a dog currently not in the current player's kennel, that dog will become available. Also, players can use an item called the "White Record" to record a message. This can be used to say something to the other player. Dogs may also carry a present to give away for good to the other player.

Nintendo released Nintendogs in multiple versions with minor variations from one another. While all versions of the same language are able to link to one another, each release of Nintendogs features a different set of dog breeds that are available at the beginning of each game.

A game may only do this once with every version per the player's version, so for example, if the version Player A owns is Dachshund & Friends, and they go into Bark Mode with Player B, who has Lab & Friends, and Player B brings Player A dog they have not unlocked, the kennel will receive donations of that dog. If the players do it with the same Lab & Friends game card again, or a different Lab & Friends game card, they can not unlock the dog that they bring.

When the player first starts the game, he or she is brought to the kennel to choose a dog. The player then selects one of six available breeds, and is shown three dogs of that breed, varying in gender, personality, and color. Once the player comes to a final decision, the dog is taken home, and the player is allowed to name his or her new pet. As the player gets more trainer points in the game, more dogs may be purchased from the kennel. However, only three dogs may be kept at the player's in-game dwelling, and five dogs may be stored (but not interacted with) at the "Dog Hotel" for free; the hotel will care for the dogs. The dogs may also be swapped, dropped off, and picked up at any time, though the game does not allow the player to have all of his or her dogs in the Dog Hotel at one time. After having 8 dogs, picking up and dropping off is disabled; only swapping may be utilized. The player may not have any more than eight dogs at a time, but dogs may be "donated" to free up space for more pets. Donating a dog permanently removes it from the player's profile.


Originally, three different versions of Nintendogs existed. In Japan, their subtitles were Chihuahua & Friends, Dachshund & Friends and Shiba & Friends. In North America, Singapore and Europe, the game's subtitles are maintained, but Shiba & Friends was changed to Lab & Friends, a more recognizable breed in those countries, though the Shiba Inu is still present in the game. Another version of Nintendogs, titled Nintendogs: Best Friends, has been bundled with teal and pink (in the U.S., the pink version was only available at Target and Toys "R" Us) Nintendo DS models. Nintendogs: Best Friends was released in Singapore on 15 July 2006 after new location of GameScore at Funan opened. Europe had slightly different bundles: a pink DS bundle with the Dachshund version of the game, and a blue DS bundle with the Lab version. Nintendogs: Dalmatian & Friends was released on June 16, 2006 in Europe on North America and Singapore on October 16, 2006. This version includes the most popular breeds from the other versions, as well as the Dalmatian available for purchase from the beginning of the game, without the player needing to locate the Fireman's Hat.


Gameplay 10/10
Graphics 9/10

03-15-2008, 12:17 PM
awesome review - i have heard of this game but never played it, seen people play and was even offered to play a friend, but i didn't go through with it lol

this game reminds me of neopets without a lot of pet choices and other activities, it's just the name and some of the game play of the game lol

Nintendo is a great job picking the name though Nintendogs :D