Product Type: Nintendo Nintendo DS games
Newest Review: ... local 'GAME' store for around £25 ('GAME' no longer sell DSLite games but you could find 'Nintendogs' online if you wanted to. The 'Ninten... more
I've got a Puppy!
Nintendogs Labrador Retriever & Friends (DS)
Member Name: loulou22
Nintendogs Labrador Retriever & Friends (DS)
Advantages: It's cute and fun.
Disadvantages: It's not a real dog :(
Nintendogs Labrador and Friends was one of the first games to be released on the Nintendo DS. Many Nintendo DS bundles included a Nintendogs game. The bundle I purchased was the original Nintendo DS in blue which came with Nintendogs Labrador and Friends back in November 2005. The game itself comes as all DS games do, in a small square plastic box containing an instruction manual and small Nintendo DS game cartridge.
** Game play **
I wanted the Nintendogs game in particular when I bought my DS as I really liked the cuteness of the game. Ideally I wanted the version of the game that includes the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, but I bought the wrong one.
The idea of Nintendogs Labrador and Friends is that you have a virtual living room for your puppy to live in and you must take care of it in the same way that you would take care of a real puppy.
The first time I played the game I chose to have a puppy Labrador and call him Toby. When I was choosing the puppy I was given a choice of 6 breeds to begin with and then shown various puppies of different colour variations and sex and could choose between them. After selecting Toby and taking him home there are a few things you must do before you can start the fun and games. First of all like in real life your puppy will be nervous about being in a new home so you must get him used to your voice and teach him his name using the microphone on the DS and your stylus to fuss your puppy when they come to you. After around 5 minutes your puppy will warm to you and you can begin things like walkies, playing games and training.
Just like in real life your puppy will need food and water, to get these you will need to visit the pet store and buy them with your Nintendogs money. At the pet store you can purchase toys, the toys include tennis balls, frisbees and balloons. The store also sells novelty items including dress up clothes and dog collars and grooming products such as brushes and doggy shampoo.
When you start the game you will be given some nintendogs money to get you started, but after this you will need to earn your money by training your dog and taking part in various competitions and dog obedience shows.
Training your dog for obedience is relatively easy and can be done in the home environment. Training is a case of using your stylus to make your dog sit, lie down or roll over and then repeating a word to them which they will then learn and remember the action. The game will help you with training and give you hints and tips along the way. The commands I mentioned are only a few of what you can teach your dog, I also taught Toby to give his paw, spin around and beg. All of the training is pretty easy, but it does take a lot of time and repetition and you must continue to practice what you have learnt to stop your puppy from forgetting it.
Training for sporting events such as frisbee and agility training will take place out of the house during your walks. When you first take your puppy for a walk he or she will be nervous and you can only go a short distance. To plan your walk and how far you can go you are shown a map of the area and you must plan a little route. The more often you walk your puppy then the further you will be able to go. During your walks you can call in at places like the discount pet store, this store often has everything the regular pet store has but cheaper along with a few extra novelty items or special offers. Also on your walks you can visit the park which is an excellent place to teach your puppy to catch a frisbee or you can visit the agility training centre and teach your puppy to jump bars and run through tunnels.
Walkies will begin with your puppy on the screen with an extendable lead floating above it, you need to take this lead with your stylus and guide your puppy around the streets, if your puppy poos you must double tap the poop to clean it up, you don't want to be regarded as a bad owner! The walks pretty much control themselves, your puppy will stop to sniff things and occasionally you will meet other dog walkers and your puppy will get the chance to have a little play with their puppies.
If you walk to the park you can have some open space play time with your puppy and throw balls or whatever other toys you have. The park is also a great chance to train for the frisbee competitions. Training your dog to catch a frisbee is simple as the dog will automatically chase it so you just need to make sure that you only throw the frisbee short distances to begin with and gradually make them longer as your puppy runs faster and further.
Training for agility is a little harder but still easy, there is an agility course you can practice on where you must tap the screen to get your puppy to run to a particular obstacle, once at the obstacle most of them are a simple case of double tapping to encourage your pup to jump over or run through it. As with all of the other training in this game agility takes time and repetition to get your dog good. I enjoy the agility as it is really cute to see the puppy running around.
To take part in an event you simply need to select it from the menu, be aware you can only take part in a certain amount of events per day as your puppy will get tired so make sure you choose the ones you are confident you have trained enough for as to maximise your winnings. My favourite to take part in is the agility as it is fun, fast and really cute. I don't enjoy doing the obedience competitions though as I feel a bit silly sitting telling my DS "sit" "paw" "spin" in the excited voices that I stupidly taught my puppies with!
Once you have trained your first puppy you can purchase more puppies to train and play with and make your game even more demanding! You can have up to 3 puppies living in your home at one time, but if you want more then you can choose to leave others in the dog hotel where they will be looked after for you until you want to take them back home. As I mentioned earlier, when you begin the game you are given a choice of 6 breeds to adopt, they include labradors, toy poodles and corgi's but as you play the game you can unlock many more breeds that are also available on other versions of Nintendogs.
From time to time your puppy will get dirty and need a good shampoo in the bath. This is a really cute scene where you use the DS stylus to hold the shower head or a bar of soap to wash your puppy. After bathing you will need to make sure you have a brush to give your pup a nice shiny coat. If you don't bath your dog it will look scruffy and have fleas jumping off it.
If you fail to be a good owner in this game and you don't feed and water your puppy or spend quality time with it then it will run away! As yet non of my puppies have run away from me so I cannot give any retrieval advice here.
The controls in Nintendogs Labrador and Friends are really easy which helps to make it suitable for all ages, most of the game involves using the stylus to tap the screen or your voice to command your pup to do things. The menus in the screen have picture icons making them user friendly for younger children who may struggle to read them.
** Graphics and Sound **
The graphics in the game are great and the puppies animations are really cute and reasonably realistic. The sound is good, any music in the game is more like gentle background music and when your puppy barks at you it is pure cuteness.
** Price and Availability **
Nintendogs Labrador and Friends is available on play.com for £24.99 which for the amount of game playing time you will get from this I think is a good price.
** Other Versions **
There are 4 versions of Nintendogs available for the Nintendo DS, they are Labrador, Chihuahua, Dalmatian and Dachshund. Each version I am led to believe is basically the same but the breeds of dog available vary.
** My Experience and Opinion **
I really enjoy playing Nintendogs Labrador and Friends, I find it is a very good game for de-stressing with a cute puppy but I also think it is a great game for children to learn the responsibilities of dog ownership in a fun way. I own dogs so I know that playing a game wont teach them everything... especially not the mess and chewed furniture part, but it will teach them the basic idea that you need to feed and exercise them and there is a lot of training time involved! I can sit playing this game for hours on end, the cuteness of the puppies and the amount of activities that are included in the game make it very playable and very hard to put down!
Thanks for reading :)
Summary: Puppy training without the mess and destruction!
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