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
As Shigeru Miyamato'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 Miyamato 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 revolving around the Nintendo 3DS handheld system. At that event, there was a playable demo where a Beagle dog could be played with toys and dressed up in accessories.
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 and some new screenshots were released.
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 have also been vastly improved as dogs and cats look more life-like, as they're furry and have expressive eyes. Environments in this game no longer have white borders, giving them a more full appearance. Even simple items like food or toys have a more detailed appearance. The animals have more realistic gaits with a more flowing movement.
The built-in StreetPass application on the system lets the player share game data, along with other Miis. When on a walk, any publicly-shared with will appear on walks with one of their dogs. As long as Streetpass is currently activated for Nintendogs + Cats, the game doesn't need to currently be playing.
With Spotpass, the Nintendo 3DS will connect to a nearby internet source to check for updates and Downloadable Content released by Nintendo. They usually come 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.
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.
One of the most notable additions of this video game are 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 toys.
Occasionally, cats will bring back a present while the game is still running and can contain rare items.
Nintendogs + Cats also has brand new dog breeds below. There are a total of 27 dog breeds in the game, each version starts with 9 breeds. All breeds can be obtained in any version with Owner Points, playing a certain number of days, or by meeting them via StreetPass.
As with the previous game, there are breeds exclusive to certain versions of the video game. This time, there are new breeds and as usual, some are unlocked later on.
The shops that can be visited to buy some supplies have been given a new look, and includes more items to buy.
- Main article: Pet Supply
The Pet Supply, or known as the BARC sells items like food and toys for pets. Like the predecessor, items get unlocked as the player earns more Owner Points and separate shops selling different items can be found on Walks.
It also sells more items, which include 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 exchanged as the player progresses further into the video game.
- Main article: Kennel
The Kennel appears again in the video game, which now include new dog breeds, coat colors and most notably, Cats. Pets can now be picked by coat color or pattern and interacted with up close, and allows the player to get a better impression on what kind of pet they desire.
- Main article: Accessory Store
The Accessory Store, or known as Coletta is a brand new addition to the video game. As the name suggests, it sells various accessories for pets like collars, hats, glasses and additional accessories like 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
This place makes a comeback from Nintendogs, now known as the Pet Hotel, or Altesse. It allows the player to drop off their pets for care, and simultaneously swap out their pet. Though, the player can only now own up to six pets.
- Main article: Café Petrov
Café Petrov is a brand new place that can only be visited during Walks. It serves as a place for the dog to buy treats from the cafe, and allows them 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. She can be interacted with from the owner, or from the dog and serves merely as a purpose for decoration.
|Official Nintendo Magazine UK||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.
Nintendo 3DS Bundle
A bundle with the Coral Pink Nintendo 3DS was released on November 18, 2011, and comes with a screen cleaner, and a copy of French Bulldog & New Friends.
This game received a budget re-release under the Nintendo Selects line in Europe on October 16, 2015, August 26, 2016 in America and March 17, 2016 in Japan.
- 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.