Nintendogs

Game review by
Jinny Gudmundsen, Common Sense Media
Nintendogs Game Poster Image
A fabulous virtual puppy simulation.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 17 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 67 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness
Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is the best virtual pet program we have ever seen. The puppy mannerisms are so realistic that it's easy to become attached to your virtual dog. Be forewarned that these puppies are so endearing that your kids are likely to put pressure on you to get a dog. Also, if you decide to let your child put the program in "Bark" mode, you will want to pay attention to who is meeting your child's Nintendog.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 5, 8, 12, 14, 16, and 17 year old Written byMissBridgette July 3, 2010

Recommended for EVERYONE, makes a great gift

Love this game. Can't say I've never "borrowed" my 8 year olds Nintendo DS and played it myself. It's super fun. It actually prepares y... Continue reading
Adult Written bykalim007 April 9, 2008
Teen, 14 years old Written bySavviVague November 29, 2009

Good for almost all ages

I've owned this game for several years now. I know adults who play it and love it, and I also knew a 2-year-old who loved it very much and played it with e... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old February 12, 2011

BRILLIANT!!! for the little ones.

Love it as it gives everyone a chance to look after a dog if you cannot have one in the house. Has a positive attitude towards kids of all ages, a must buy for... Continue reading

What's it about?

NINTENDOGS comes in three versions: Lab & Friends, Chihuahua & Friends, and Dachshund & Friends. Players select a puppy from a group of frolicking dogs at the kennel. The puppies vary in breed, looks, personality, and gender. Once you select a puppy, it goes home with you; and then the real fun begins. You can train your puppy to respond to its name and other voice commands by repeating the commands into the microphone. You bond with your puppy by petting it with your DS stylus and playing games using balls or discs. Ideally, you should feed and water your puppy daily and take it on walks. And if you don't want it to get fleas, you will need to bathe your puppy periodically. All of this, of course, costs money, which you earn by entering your pup in dog competitions.

Is it any good?

In Nintendogs, the puppies you can adopt are nothing short of adorable; they're hard to resist because their mannerisms are so lifelike and their attention is focused on you. If you get hooked on Nintendogs, you can acquire up to eight dogs at a time, although only three can live with you at once (the other five must reside at the doggie hotel and can be "swapped").

Parents, be forewarned that these puppies are so endearing that your children are likely to put pressure on you to get a dog. Peggy Brummond, mother of kid-tester Shane, was impressed that "puppies seem so real and that the game teaches responsibility." For families where real dog ownership isn't desired or possible, Nintendogs is a fun way of experiencing some of the pleasures of owning a dog.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how realistically this video game portrays the responsibilities of raising a puppy. What is realistic within the game, and what is glossed over?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS
  • Price: $29.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release date: August 23, 2005
  • Genre: Simulation
  • ESRB rating: E

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate