Generally favorable reviews - based on 53 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 53
  2. Negative: 0 out of 53
  1. 10 / 10 / 10 / 10 - 40 platinum [April 2005]
  2. It's the perfect way of working out if your flatmate's a robot - only a heartless cyborg assassin wouldn't love these fluffy little pups - but it's not for those that are easily bored of endless, patient training and failure. [NGC Pocket]
  3. 100
    Raising your own Nintendog takes a lot of hard work and patience, but the dogs are so adorable that the payoff is definitely worth it. In a very short amount of time, you will have a new best friend that barks, wags, and poops just like real dog!
  4. Raising your virtual puppy is so realistic that this game should come with a ringing endorsement from Battersea Dogs Home.
  5. As addictive a game you will ever play Nintendogs is easily one of the most addictive and wholly original games ever made. If you own a DS then this my friend, is the title to have.
  6. Fun, casual gameplay, a real sense of raising a pet and the ability to make friends through bark mode makes this game a universal hit for both young and old.
  7. I will defend this title to anyone who doesn't see it for its complete originality, creative gameplay and darn cute puppies. This is the game that will sell another million Nintendo DSs.
  8. The core replay value, however, comes from just firing up your DS and interacting with your puppy. If I’m bored I'll pull out the tennis ball or just scratch my dog behind the ears with the stylus. No matter what, your Nintendog will always be happy to see you.
  9. You'd have to have a cold heart indeed to not be charmed by the bright eyes and madly wagging tails of the wonderfully lifelike Nintendogs. The game's boisterous and affectionate young canines are impossibly endearing, making the tasks of caring for them, training them, and simply interacting with them a joy.
  10. Splendid (and strangely addicting). [Oct 2005, p.73]
  11. If you let it, Nintendogs will warm your gaming heart. Nintendo put more than enough content into Nintendogs to keep your kids and, lets face it, you engrossed for many hours.
  12. Overall, while the items and competitions will keep you involved, what really makes the game is, of course, the puppies. Talking to and petting such lifelike little cuties fosters an enormous sense of attachment, and it’s amazing how one of my dogs can make me break into a smile simply by looking at me as we walk.
  13. It's a very alluring piece of work, and the little virtual puppies can be very enjoyable playmates. They're lifelike and responsive, and they can learn a wide variety of tricks. It's also not too much effort to care for them.
  14. The AI, voice recognition (even with its occasional snags) and graphical technologies make it hard not to be impressed, and the overall sense of reward given for taking the time to really care for your dogs and raise them properly is certainly satisfying.
  15. 90
    Despite some screen layout flaws, Nintendogs is infectiously cute, and pretty addictive. It's really easy to form an emotional bond with your puppies--they're so life like. Who knew rubbing a pixilated sprite could be so enjoyable.
  16. The level of graphic detail is astonishing. The dogs are fully rendered in 3D and display incredibly realistic animation as the puppies frolic and tumble all over the screen. It's hard not to get attached to these mutts for crying out loud.
  17. 88
    The interaction with the virtual dog is done extremely well on the Nintendo DS, and even if you pride yourself in your masculinity it's hard to resist these adorable critters romping around on the handheld. With all the things that you can do and collect in Nintendogs, though, it doesn't feel like it's enough.
  18. 87
    An incredibly accurate simulation as to what pet ownership is really like.
  19. If you're drawn to dogs, Nintendogs could easily become and obsession. [October 2005, p.96]
  20. 85
    The game also gets very repetitive if you play it non-stop but I think the creators wanted the player to play for about thirty minutes a day since the game often only lets you do so much in a certain amount of time.
  21. 85
    Nintendogs is packed full of quality throughout and it’s always nice to see something so refreshingly different in a world overwhelmed with FPSs and sports games. Highly recommended.
  22. Nintendogs is truly is a man's best friend. Woman's, too. [Oct 2005]
  23. The game is flawed, sure. You can’t play too long in any one day without becoming bored. And you’ve got to commit to taking care of your virtual pup(s) even after the walking and feeding become tiresome.
  24. This one breaks the mold of conventional gaming and is still extraordinarily fun to play.
  25. And while it is clearly geared for a younger crowd, it nonetheless shows off well the DS experience – something that no other system currently has a prayer of duplicating.
  26. With all of those unique traits, I wish there had been more ways to show off my little troopers. An "Animal Crossing"-style society and level of interaction would have been a perfect fit. [Oct 2005, p.124]
  27. The puppies are astonishingly realistic, and very easy to become attached to. This in itself makes for an incentive to keep on playing the game day after day, but there's also the fact that there are so many funky items (oh, how we long for the pirate hat) and different breeds (oh, how we long for the Shetland sheepdog) to collect.
  28. Nintendogs is more like one of those squishy stress balls than an actual game. Both are tools to ease some of the strain of everyday life, and both are at peak effectiveness when used in short bursts.
  29. Nintendogs shows its attention to detail in the main game modes in so many different ways. [JPN Import]
  30. It's definitely a game to play casually when you need to pass a bit of time, but don't expect to be addicted to it like you may have been to "Animal Crossing."
  31. If you don't have the nurturing gene or the attention span to keep a virtual animal alive, steer clear - but if you're looking for something that's totally nonviolent and uses all your DS's whistles and bells, Nintendogs is it.
  32. There's no denying how adorable the puppies are, how amazing the technology that runs them is, or how much stuff there is to find, but I can't help thinking that bending the rules of reality would have made for a better game, in the traditional sense. [Sept 2005, p.114]
  33. 80
    This is the type of game you can play to pass the time on the morning commute, while watching TV, or waiting in line for your husband to buy power tools. Touching is good, play well with others, etc. -- Nintendogs is a unique game that brings something new to the DS.
  34. 80
    Fun, if your a dog lover, and don't mind playing something every day for 10-20 minutes.
  35. I can’t help but say this, but Nintendogs will get boring if you don’t have others around to play it with. After you’ve mastered tricks, beat the competitions, and unlocked some cute accessories for your little puppy, everything will just be the same old thing again.
  36. While it's not a game so much as a pet simulator that you fiddle with for a few minutes every day, Nintendogs is ridiculously charming and cute. And virtual dog poop is a lot easier to clean up than the real stuff.
  37. Nintendogs will not appeal to everyone because it is not an action game, in the true sense of the term, but it does have "action" in the form of interacting with your pet by taking care of it. The touch screen system of the DS allows you to pet your dog and teach it tricks. The onboard mic allows you to interact with your pet through voice commands.
  38. 80
    If you're not heartless, Nintendogs will be one of the most innovative, inimitable, and impressive games you've come across.
  39. A glorified Tamagotchi, but infinitely cuter and more appealing.
  40. 80
    The actual game design is amazing. These puppies look, sound, and act like the real thing.
  41. This is the best possible tool for luring non-gamers into the fold, and they will likely not mind the shortcomings for joy of their newness to videogames.
  42. If we assume that videogames are partly about realizing control-fantasies, Nintendogs is about the absolute opposite. Coping with the stubborn and playfully anarchic mindset of a puppy can teach gamers an important lesson: learn to let go.
  43. 75
    Nintendogs offers up unconventional gameplay, adorable puppies, and might just bring out the obsessive compulsive behaviors you never knew you had.
  44. And the best thing of all? No mess.
  45. So if you're looking for a traditional gaming experience, you're likely to find Nintendogs lacking in gameplay and variety. Those with more open minds stand a better chance of being captured by its undeniable charm.
  46. There’s more to be got out of this new kind of play than Nintendo has found this time around, and some of it could be better implemented. But, for now, it offers an experience that can’t be matched. [July 2005, p.89]
  47. It’s cute, and a bit silly, and extremely easy to play and enjoy. It’s a relatively new sort of videogame, and one whose premise doesn’t have much to do with hours of play or complexity. [Nov 2005, p.122]
  48. If your idea of a good time is rubbing your stylus across the screen of your DS to simulate petting your dog, then you’ll have hours of enjoyment, but most people will choose to play a real game, and pet a real dog.
  49. 70
    Indeed, the game requires constant shouting into the mike; so you can forget about ever playing this cart on public transporation... unless of course you don't mind being mistaken for an insane person.
  50. Nintendogs is comparable to "The Sims" in the respect that it’s all quite engaging and entertaining at first, but then everything just becomes an aimless chore.
  51. 70
    Nintendogs is good, but after the novelty of the voice recognition wears off, there's just not a lot to do.
  52. Quotation forthcoming. [Nov 2005]
  53. Nintendogs captures the essence of puppydom in its adorable stars and genuine charm, but focuses so much on being a cutie that it forgets to be a game. DS owners thirsting for companionship will certainly find some here, although it’s really just a virtual pet without enough interesting gameplay enhancements.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 49 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23
  1. SophiaD.
    Jul 13, 2008
    Nintendogs is the best game I have ever played! The cute little dogs the fun toys,collars,toys,etc. I think it is much better than raising a real dog. The onlt thing i don't like is that you can only have puppies they don't grow up or anything. Full Review »
  2. SamanthaM.
    Aug 20, 2007
    Nintendogs certainly takes a lot of work and patience, but the rewards are endless. What's cooler than telling your dog dog to "flip out' and he does a backflip. The tricks take a while to learn, but they are fun once you get them down. The items are also very innovative and make good use of the stylus (for things you throw) and the microphone (for recording and blowing bubbles and balloons). The DS features are used so much in this game that it really shows how amazing the technology is. Full Review »
  3. MeganM.
    Jul 29, 2007
    This game is awsome I have played with it everyday since christmas and am still not bored with. You will wutomatically enjoy the game if you start beliving they are real and everything becomes very enjoyable and competitive at times. Before I hated most dogs but now I feel I have a connection to them! Full Review »