More than just a bite-sized version of Nintendogs?
Pet simulators are nothing new on the Nintendo DS. After the success of Nintendo’s Nintendogs, developers such as Ubisoft started joining the fray, releasing games such as Catz and Dogz.
Joining the bandwagon this time, though, is Gameloft. Released exclusively on the Nintendo DSiWare service, Me and My Dogs: Friends Forever is Gameloft’s attempt at bringing the popular kid-friendly genre to Nintendo’s portable download service.
Like any other pet simulator where you take care of dogs, Me and My Dogs: Friends Forever allows players to raise their pet in a small village full of parks and scenery. Due to the size limits of DSiWare, you won’t find as much content and variety here as you would find in a stand-alone release, but the amount of content packed into the game more than justifies the premium price.
One particular area that is particularly lacking compared to retail games is that players are limited to selecting one of three breeds of dogs: Labradors, ChowChows, and Beagles. Due to this limitation, players may not be able to fully connect with their puppy like they would in Nintendogs as the experience isn’t as refined as Nintendo’s own creation, but for the audience this is aimed at, it shouldn’t make too much of an impact on their adventure.
After successfully registering your new dog and registering yourself as the owner using the DSi’s camera, players can then begin their day-to-day life of raising it. Like real dogs, players will be faced with tasks such as feeding, washing, playing, learning tricks and competing in competitions like obedience contests, just like one would do with Nintendogs. Again though, due to the size restrictions on DSiWare titles, these everyday tasks aren’t as fleshed out as they would be in Nintendo’s own pet simulator, but what’s present here proves to be more than entertaining.
Borrowing a page from Nintendogs , Me and My Dogs allows players to raise their dogs to participate in competitions. By heading on over to the playground and getting some one-on-one time with your dog, players can teach their dogs all sorts of neat treats, ranging from sitting to running, all of which are done by using the touch screen of the Nintendo DSi.
Another element of the game that adds to the overall atmosphere of the game is the visuals. As a whole, the game feels very entertaining and has a very relaxed feel to it, due mostly to the cute visual style. In the end, it was almost unbelievable to see how much the graphics added to the experience of the game. The cuteness and appeal really add a very relaxing feel to the game, despite being a little generic.
Me and My Dogs: Friends Forever is one of the more enjoyable titles from Gameloft on the DSiWare service. The thrill of raising a virtual pet will make some young gamers scream with envy, and for good reason, too. Compared to Nintendogs, Me and My Dogs: Friends Forever is a steal seeing as the game is only a quarter of Nintendo’s own creation. The lack of a fourth pet or the visual style may make some gamers a little turned off from the game, but don’t be fooled - Me and My Dogs: Friends Forever is a great piece of software and a bargain . If you enjoy pet simulators, don’t hesitate in giving it a try.