Game #134: Nintendogs

Game: Nintendogs

Developer: Nintendo EAD

System: Nintendo DS

Year Released: 2005

Available online: No. 

Purchase Here: 

nintendogs box

Released in 2005 for the Nintendo DS, Nintendogs is a real time pet simulator for the Nintendo DS system. Originally released in three different versions: Dachshund & Friends, Lab & Friends (Shiba & Friends in Japan), and Chihuahua & Friends.  Nintendogs is the highest selling game on the DS system with all of the releases combining for 24 million copies. The game received awards for Innovating game from PC World and Best Handheld game from Associated Press. The game has been popular everytime that it has been released leading to further entries in the series, toys, cards and sequels. 

Nintendogs is a real time pet simulator that functions using the date and time to age the dog and handle when the pet is hungry, needs bathed or wants attention. You can use the touchscreen to pet and play with the dog. The microphone can be used to train the dog with actual voice commands sit, stay, come, and the dog will respond to its name. Adventures to the park for disc catching practice, agility training  and obedience training. All of which there are contests to compete in to earn money to spend on the dog. Connecting with wireless connect from ds to ds will allow you to visit friends dogs and have them play. 

Not really sure why I have never played this game. It seems right up my alley, an advanced Tamagotchi but with dogs and I love dogs! I think it was the whole going out and buying a DS and then the game just so I could play with the virtual dog. That seems like a bit much. So, now it’s time to set an alarm and start playing the game because I will get sucked in. It is about dogs. This is all counting on the fact that the game holds up to the hype and is as good as they say. Let’s get to the Scores! 


nintendogs gp

The game looks great overall. The detail on the dogs could be just a bit better. The smoothness of the dogs comes off as just being blurred. Creative measure in saving space with the background by whiting out the areas that are not needed and including furniture in the background. Adds depth to the game and saves programming space at the same time. Great idea. Overall, the game looks great, all of the detail and design in both the different dog breeds and the backgrounds come together and create a decent looking game. It could be better but still is not bad. 4stars


There is not very much sound here. There is no need for constant background music, So the sound that you do get is dog noises or a few background noises here and there. The sounds that are here, sound great. The dog noises are authentic and sound great. I imagine that if my dog responded to dog noises it would have made him go nuts. (He usually only responds to the sight of another dog.) The play noises and commands are all also well balanced. For a game that has very little sounds, it sounds pretty good. 4stars


Easier than training a real dog, More difficult than the Tamagotchi. Nintendogs is not a difficult game. Simulation games of this type are never difficult. Take care of the animal, play with the animal. Have fun. You can’t kill this animal so there is no stress. The dog will be hungry and dirty when you turn the game on but it’s a computer program so it’s not a crime to not play it. Master the mini games in the game and you will be able to earn the money needed to treat your dog to that sweet life. 3stars

Entertainment Value:

It’s interaction with dogs. What is not to like about this? It is a fun game for a little bit. Then you move on and do something else. You may remember to come back tomorrow or you may not.. It’s not a game that really draws you in. It’s a “stuck at home because there is a statewide stay at home order in place and you have run out of things to do” type game. This game would have been even more popular had it been released in this day and age but unfortunately, there are other games that have come one that hold attention must better. Fun for a bit, but that runs out. 3stars

Does it hold up:

Unfortunately, the game does not hold up that well. Nintendogs just does not have the nostalgic feeling to it that other life sims have. Tamagotchi holds up because it was a huge part of pop culture. This did not hit the same way. It was groundbreaking when it was released but now it is just another game. You can boot it up but you notice the flaws and it is just not the same today as it was then. 3stars

Overall Score:

Nintendogs comes in with an overall score of 3.5 out of 5. 


The game is not bad. Has a good look for the time and the sound fits the game, not overwhelming, just right. Had I played the game closer to when the game had come out I am sure that I would be a little kinder. However, the purpose of The List is that these are games that should be required for all gamers and this game just doesn’t feel that way to me. I get the appeal of why it should be on the list but just don’t see that as being enough. 

Final Thoughts:

Nintendogs isn’t a bad game, just not that great. The innovation is not enough for this game to be a must play game. Sure, it used the touch screen and microphone but there are a lot of games for the DS that did that exact thing. Give the game a shot, it’s not a complete waste of time just not a must play game. 

What are your thoughts? Agree/Disagree? Have something to add? Leave a comment down below!  Do you want to help the Journey progress? Visit the Sponsor a Game page for more details to help keep this train rolling!


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