Nintendogs + Cats (Japanese: ニンテンドッグス+キャッツ stylized as nintendogs + cats) is a pet simulation game developed by Nintendo EAD and is the successor to Nintendogs. It was released on February 26, 2011 in Japan, March 26, 2011 in North America and March 25, 2011 in Europe as a launch title for the Nintendo 3DS. It was later released in South Korea on October 18, 2012 and in China on January 11, 2013 as a standalone game.
This game was released in three different versions, which are called French Bulldog & New Friends, Toy Poodle & New Friends and Golden Retriever & New Friends*, each coming with different breeds, different unlockables and some exclusive items.
While this game has much of the same style as its predecessor, this game now includes cats that can be adopted and kept as pets, along with a slew of new features.
- Main article: Nintendogs + Cats/Beta
Much like how Shigeru Miyamoto's idea for Nintendogs was based off his own experience of getting a dog, the idea for the follow-up was based around his adoption of a cat. As Miyamoto watched the cat and dog get along, it became one of the main ideas for the game.
Nintendogs + Cats was first announced at E3 2010, along with the official announcement of the Nintendo 3DS handheld system. At that event, there was a playable demo where a Beagle dog could be dressed up in accessories and played with.
More details for the game emerged at the end of September 2010, during Nintendo's press conference event in Japan. At that time, some new games were announced along with the Japanese release date for the handheld. New screenshots were also released during this time.
Nintendogs + Cats introduces a lot of new features to the franchise, including the ability to purchase cats at the Kennel.
It includes facial PIE recognition technology, such as a dog being able to recognize its owner.
The graphics in Nintendogs + Cats are a vast improvement from the game's predecessor; dogs and cats look more life-like, since they're furry and have expressive eyes. The animals are also programmed with realistic gaits and fluid animations to make their models lifelike. Even simple items like food or toys are rendered in greater detail.
It also makes different stylistic choices than its prequel; environments in Nintendogs + Cats no longer have white borders (giving them a fuller appearance), and thanks to the inclusion of Mii characters, owners can now coexist in the environment with their pets.
New Dog Breeds
There are new breeds in this installment:
- Great Dane
- Cocker Spaniel
- French Bulldog
- Jack Russell Terrier (without obtaining the Jack Russell Book)
- Main article: Cat Breeds
One of the most notable additions to Nintendogs + Cats is the ability to adopt cats, which come in three different types. Unlike dogs, cats cannot be taken out or taught tricks, but they can get along with other pets and played around with via toys. Occasionally, cats will bring back a present while the game is still running, which can contain rare items.
The built-in StreetPass application on the system lets the player share game data, along with Miis.
As long as StreetPass is currently activated for Nintendogs + Cats, the game doesn't need to currently be playing. Information from other Nintendogs + Cats players that the DS picks up from public StreetPass will appear on the player's walks.
With SpotPass, the Nintendo 3DS will connect to a nearby internet source to check for updates and Downloadable Content released by Nintendo. DLC usually comes in the form of new neighbors who will bring a pet with a gift.
The video game allows the player to take pictures to go in the Nintendo 3DS Photo application and can be stored in an SD Card. While playing the game, the camera icon on the Touch Screen can be either tapped or the L or R buttons to take a photo of whatever is being displayed on the top screen. These photos will be stored on the SD card, which allows for players to transfer the photos onto their computer or via the Nintendo 3DS Image Share.
- Main article: Pedometer
The player can choose to walk their dog in Pedometer mode, which allows them to close their 3DS, place it in their pocket, and start walking. As they walk or run, the 3DS's internal pedometer keeps track of the number of steps they take. Afterwards, the player can open their 3DS, and their dog will bring them a gift. The more steps that are taken, the more rare and valuable the gift that they find, and the happier their dog will be.
There is a total of 27 dog breeds in Nintendogs + Cats, each version starting with 9 breeds. As with Nintendogs, there are breeds exclusive to certain versions of the video game-- though all breeds can be obtained in any version by earning Owner Points, playing a certain number of days, or by meeting a new dog breed via StreetPass.
The overall number of shops and items available in-game were increased for Nintendogs + Cats.
- Main article: Pet Supply
The Pet Supply store, also known as the BARC, sells items like food and toys for pets. Like its predecessor in Nintendogs, items get unlocked as the player earns more Owner Points, and separate pet supply shops selling different items can be found on Walks.
BARC sells additional toys, records and version-exclusive treats.
- Main article: Secondhand Shop
The Secondhand Shop makes a return, this time as a Recycle Shop (or known as Mr. Recycle) which allows the player to exchange materials found on walks for exclusive items.
Like the Pet Supply store, more items are available to exchange as the player progresses further into the video game.
- Main article: Kennel
The Kennel makes a reappearance, and now includes new dog breeds, coat colors, and (most notably) Cats. Pets can now be picked by coat color or pattern and interacted with up close, allowing the player to get a better impression of what kind of pet they desire.
- Main article: Accessory Store
The Accessory Store, also known as Coletta, is a brand new addition in Nintendogs + Cats. As the name suggests, it sells various accessories for pets like collars, hats, glasses, and additional accessories such as bows or masks.
- Main article: Interior Decorator
The Interior Decorator, or known as Modo Home returns again, and allows the player to buy some house renovations that will change the overall atmosphere of the setting. Depending on the version, the prices for the rooms vary depending on which one the player starts out with.
A new addition to the shop is the ability to buy furniture, that could be placed in four corners of the room. That gives the ability for the pets to interact with them, like dogs sleeping on a dog bed or cats playing on a scratch tower.
- Main article: Pet Hotel
The Pet Hotel makes a comeback from Nintendogs, now known by the brand name Altesse. It allows the player to drop off their pets for care, and simultaneously swap out their pet. However, the player can now own a maximum six pets, as opposed to the original eight.
- Main article: Café Petrov
Café Petrov is a brand new place that can only be visited during Walks. It serves as a place to buy dog treats, and allows the dogs to play around the area. While the treats they have to offer somewhat vary (like Tea instead Juice, or coffee for one of the options), they all offer the same effect for the pet.
A Longhair Pointed Cat going by the name of Precious resides in the cafe, and usually wears a different accessory every time the place is visited. He can be interacted with from the perspective of the owner or the dog, and mostly serves as a decoration.
The game was originally released on the 3DS Nintendo Eshop for $14.99 USD. Hard copies were distributed to gaming retail stores such as GameStop-- which sold French Bulldog & New Friends at $19.99 and both Toy Poodle & New Friends and Golden Retriever & New Friends at the price of $24.99 -- and Best Buy.
Nintendo 3DS Bundle
A bundle with the Coral Pink Nintendo 3DS was released on November 18, 2011, featuring a screen cleaner and a copy of French Bulldog & New Friends, Golden Retriever & New Friends, or Toy Poodle & New Friends.
Nintendo Selects (Product Line)
In late 2015, Nintendo decided to launch a different marketing strategy for Nintendogs + Cats. In regional markets (Europe, Japan, and US) it was temporarily removed from the 3DS Nintendo Eshop and then re-released as part of the Nintendo Selects product line.
This took effect in Europe on October 16, 2015, in Japan on March 17, 2016, and in the United States on August 26, 2016.
Under the Nintendo Selects branding, copies of the game would be sold at an increased price. The US Nintendo Selects line was reportedly redistributed at the price of $20 USD.
|Official Nintendo Magazine||84%|
Nintendogs + Cats received mostly-positive reviews from various video game critics. While it was heavily praised for the improved graphics, it was criticized for the lack of things to do with cats and not having enough variety in the gameplay.
Japanese gaming website Famitsu gave the gave a 38 out of 40, giving it a slightly lower score than it's predecessor (which was 40).
- This is currently the only game in the series to be released in Europe before North America.
- Even though this game once had a Miiverse community, Photos could not be posted. It might have been due to people wanting to abuse features relating to the AR Camera or Obedience Trial.
- Even though Nintendogs has minor text differences between the European and American-English versions, Nintendogs + Cats is the first entry in the series to have largely different text translations. That includes the renaming of characters, items, and sentence changes.
- This game marks the first time that fictitious "brands" were used, mostly for in-game shops (Coletta, BARC), and on obtainable items. It would later go on to appear in Nintendo games like Mario Kart 8, Splatoon, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, ARMS, and Super Mario Odyssey.