Puppies 3D



Cute puppies and fun ways to play make this a good pet sim.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game is all about caring for your puppy and making new friends. Kids may be confused by the stranger messaging -- each new person you meet asks your name before telling you about their own dogs. 

Positive role models

The people in town are polite and friendly, and emphasize how important it is to take good care of your pet.

Ease of play

The game starts with a brief tutorial and the basics of the game are relatively simple. There are also a number of icons on the screen that are never explained and that aren't at all obvious. You'll need to click through these and read the descriptions. One of the menus has a set of tutorials, but those aren't obvious, either. The game doesn't auto save, which will be an issue for kids who are used to exiting with the 3DS Home button and closing from the Home screen.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Puppies 3D is a cute, feel-good puppy simulation game. The 3D graphics doesn't add much to the game and most kids won't notice or care if it's turned off. While this title has appeal for younger kids, it relies heavily on your ability to read. Even the icons aren't necessarily what you'd expect they would be. This isn't your preschooler's puppy game. In addition to the reading requirement, you'll take your cues from the puppy. It's obvious when he wants to be fed, but he'll let you know he needs to go for a walk by scratching on the floor. And once outside, your puppy will relieve himself, just like a real puppy would do. Puppies 3D utilizes all aspects of the 3DS, including Street Pass, augmented reality, and the camera (you can take pictures and use them to create rooms in-game). Nintendo does not recommend 3D viewing for kids ages 6 and under. The 3D effects can be disabled in the device's Parental Controls.

Parents say

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What's it about?

PUPPIES 3D invites you to adopt a puppy (or two or three) and care for him or her. You'll teach the pup tricks, feed him, bathe him, play games, and take him for walks, where you'll both meet new friends. By competing in competitions, your puppy can show off his skills and earn coins that you can use to purchase more food, bath products, toys, and decor. A set of challenges encourages kids to try new activities and meet goals. Over time, you can unlock new items to purchase.

Is it any good?


Despite some navigation challenges, Puppies 3D is a fun game with nice graphics and plenty of things to do. Kids will love walking around town with their puppy on a leash, meeting new friends and going shopping. The puppies are adorable, and it's just cute to watch them fetch a ball or flying disc. It's even cooler to play with your puppy virtually in your own living room using the AR (augmented reality) cards that came with your Nintendo 3DS. Teaching them tricks can be a bit tedious, especially if you're eager to get it done, but you'll want to pull out the dog treats when you finally see your little puppy rolling over or shaking paws for the first time. This is a gem of a game, only slightly hampered by an overcomplicated icon system.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the responsibility of caring for a pet. How is a virtual pet different from a real one?

  • How should you handle meeting new people in real life? Who is it safe to talk to? What should you say when you are introduced to someone new?

  • Families can also talk about being a good sport and the importance of practicing new skills if you want to be good at them.

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo 3DS
Available online?Not available online
Release date:November 8, 2011
Topics:Cats, dogs, and mice, Friendship
ESRB rating:E

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 7 years old December 24, 2011

A Father

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