A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The message of Nintendogs + Cats is a positive one that teaches players responsibility as they care for and train virtual puppies and kitties.
Positive Role Models
Players meet other dog owners in the game who are friendly and offer tips and advice about caring for your pet. The game also encourages players to take real walks (with their 3DS in their pocket) and while they do, the game keeps track of their steps using the in-system pedometer. Players earn gifts based on the number of steps walked.
Ease of Play
The game is easy to interact with. Players will have to follow written instructions to learn the mini-games and learn the steps needed to teach their puppy tricks.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Nintendogs +Cats is an extremely realistic virtual pet game that lets players care for puppies and kittens. A pedometer mode encourages kids to get active by taking their pets for "walks" in the real world (by putting their 3DS in their pocket) and kids earn presents and bonuses based on how many steps they take. Once SpotPass becomes available (via a system update in a few months) and if it is enabled, the 3DS automatically connects to wireless Internet access points to download special items. Kids can also enabled StreetPass, which allows two 3DS devices in close proximity to automatically exchange user information and gifts -- including a short 16-character personalized message that may contain objectionable language. Nintendo does not recommend viewing of 3D images for children under 7. Nintendogs +Cats is still extremely enjoyable without the 3D features, and parents can disable the 3D through the system's parental controls.
Is It Any Good?
In Nintendogs + Cats the animals are even more endearing than in the first game. Not only are they fluffier and more realistic in appearance, but thanks to 3D, they literally jump out of the screen as they put their paws up on you and lick your face. A new facial recognition feature allows puppies to recognize their owners, and players can use the AR cards that come with the 3DS to make a projection of the puppy appear in real-world surroundings. Players can keep up to 3 animals at a time in the house; additional ones can be "donated" or housed at the Pet Hotel. For households where real dog or cat adoption isn't possible, Nintendogs + Cats is a wonderful alternative that teaches kids about the responsibility of caring for a pet -- even the not so fun parts like scooping poop!
Online interaction: Kids can take pictures of their puppies and send them to friends. If SpotPass is enabled, the 3DS automatically connects to wireless Internet access points to download special items. Kids can also enabled StreetPass, which allows two 3DS devices in close proximity to automatically exchange user information and gifts -- including a short personalized message that could contain objectionable language.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.