A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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.
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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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the differences in behavior between dogs and cats. Why don't we take cats for walks or teach them tricks? What kind of personality do you prefer in a pet?
Families can also talk about their favorite dog tricks. What tricks are the most fun to teach your dog in the game? Are there any tricks that aren't in the game that you would have liked to teach your dog?
For kids who love animals
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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.