Somehow better than it should be.
I got my first DS Lite for Christmas when I was 7 and Nintendogs is one of the games i got with it. I would never have chosen this game. I don’t like dogs and from what I could tell, this game looked boring. But since I didn’t really have any other DS games at the time I ended up playing this game and I was very surprised that I actually enjoyed it. In fact, I still occasionally play this game nowadays, more than 10 years since I first got it!
There’s not much to this game, you just take care of virtual dogs: feed them, walk them, train them, play with them, groom them, bathe them etc. and somehow it’s not as boring as it sounds. My favorite part of the game is the competitions. I’m a champion at the disc competition! Unfortunately you can’t enter competitions whenever you want and are limited to only 3 competitions a day. I’m very impressed with how well the DS mic works with this game, for example, you can call your dogs names/commands out loud into your DS and your dogs will hear you and obey (if you’ve trained them to obey, of course!) there’s also a bubble toy and in order to blow bubbles with it you have to literally blow into the DS mic and it works pretty realistically. I don’t know of many other DS Lite games that require use of the mic, especially this much, but I’m really impressed with how well it actually works, especially considering the fact that the first DS model came out in 2004. (The DS Lite came out in 2006, but Nintendogs came out in 2005 so it can work with both versions.)
Overall this game isn’t one of the best DS games, but it’s not one of the worst either. If you like dogs then playing this game is a no brainer for you. But even if you’re like me and you don’t like dogs, you still might find something charming about it. This game could also be used to teach kids the responsibilities of caring for a pet. 5+