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The Bottom Line
An absolutely adorable virtual puppy simulation!
In Nintendogs, a new virtual pet simulation for the Nintendo DS system, the puppies you can adopt are nothing short of adorable. And unlike real life, these puppies never grow up.

The game comes in three versions: Lab & Friends, Chihuahua & Friends and Dachshund & Friends. In each, there are six different breeds initially, but further play can unlock all the other breeds available in the other versions.
Players select a puppy from a group of frolicking dogs at the kennel. The puppies vary in breed, looks, personality and gender. Once you select a puppy, it goes home with you; and then the real fun begins.
Your Nintendog adores you and will run to the screen to pay attention to you whenever you tap the lower touch-sensitive screen. You can train your puppy to respond to its name and other voice commands by repeating the commands into the microphone. Your bundle of energy can learn to “Sit,” or “Rollover”—up to 14 tricks in all—if you patiently repeat a combination of voice and hand-drawn commands (using the lower screen).

You bond with your puppy by petting it with your DS stylus and playing games using balls or discs. Ideally, you should feed and water your puppy daily and take it on walks. And if you don't want it to get fleas, you will need to bathe your puppy periodically. However, if you neglect your dog, it will not die; but, it may wander away into the surrounding neighborhood and forget all its training.
Owning a Nintendog costs money. Initially, the game provides you with $1000, which is enough to purchase a dog and care for it for a while. But if you want to acquire additional puppies, you will need to compete in dog competitions to earn more money. Puppies compete in agility, obedience, and/or disc-catching.
These puppies are hard to resist because their mannerisms are so lifelike and their attention is focused on you. If you get hooked on Nintendogs, you can acquire up to eight dogs at a time, although only three can live with you at once (the other five must reside at the doggie hotel and can be "swapped").

Another interesting aspect of the game is that it can be set in “Bark” mode which utilizes the wireless communication aspect of the DS to communicate with other Nintendogs owners if they come within 100 feet of each other. Dog owners will get to see their puppies play together and may even receive a present or acquire a new puppy breed.

Parents, be forewarned that these puppies are so endearing that your children are likely to put pressure on you to get a dog. Peggy Brummond, mother of kid-tester Shane, was impressed that “puppies seems so real and that the game teaches responsibility.” For families where real dog ownership isn’t desired or possible, Nintendogs is a fun way of experiencing some of the pleasures of owning a dog.

All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.

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Company: Nintendo
Price: 29.99