Previews

How much is that Nintendog in the DS?

Your own loving yappy virtual pocket pet is being prepared in kennels

How much is that Nintendog in the DS?
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DS
| Nintendogs

Already a phenomenal success in Japan, more details are being released about the Western roll-out of DS doggy Tamagotchi simulator, Nintendogs.

Due for release in the US on 22 August and in Europe during October, Nintendo is taking the same approach as with its dual Pokemon releases with different dog types featuring in three distinct flavours of the Nintendogs releases; each containing six dog species.

The Labrador retriever pack features miniature schnauzer, toy poodle, Pembroke Welsh corgi, miniature pinscher and shiba inu. The Chihuahua cover has German shepherd dog, boxer, cavalier King Charles spaniel, Yorkshire terrier and Shetland sheepdog, while the miniature dachshund edition has golden retriever, beagle, pug, Siberian husky and Shih Tzu.

As for how the game works, Nintendogs lets you choose a puppy from one of the breeds and then train and teach it tricks. Each puppy has its own artificial intelligence that you have to train to obey your commands, both using the stylus on the touchscreen - which will move a hand in-game so you can stroke your dog - and voice commands using the DS’ microphone.

More fun is the ability to buy toys such as balls, balloons, leads and frisbees that you can use to play with your Nintendog. This will improve its agility and stamina. You’ll also have to wash it when it gets dirty, although Nintendo has yet to comment on the likelihood of doggy scoops and doodoo bins being required during the house training process.

And as you unlock the various sections of the game by walking your puppy around the neighbourhood, you’ll get access to competitions such as obedience and agility trials as well as flying disk competitions. Success means more money and trainer points you can use to buy additional breeds and new toys. Over 100 accessories will be available including bows and, for some bizarre reason, 10 gallon cowboy hats.

There will also be the opportunity to interact wirelessly with your friends’ Nintendogs using what Nintendo is calling the bark mode. This is where you can set your puppy to bark whenever another Nintendog comes within wireless range of your DS.