Nintendogs + Cats Hands-On

The Nintendogs are back, and they're bringing friends. We spend some quality time with both canine and feline.

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Cats and dogs living together under the same roof may have seemed impossible. However, with the launch of the Nintendo 3DS, the impossible is becoming a soft, cuddly reality. Nintendogs + Cats brings a wide array of new features to this popular pet simulation series that show off several of the 3DS's new tricks.

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Who's Making It: Nintendo is once again taking the reins on this wildly successful virtual pet franchise. Since the release of the original Nintendogs on the Nintendo DS back in 2005, this series has grown to capture the hearts of gamers worldwide.

What It Looks Like: Nintendogs + Cats includes some of the most wide-eyed, heart-melting puppies and kittens this side of your local pet shop. With a little 3D flair and an extra layer of detail on these digital pets, Nintendo hopes you'll fall in love with them all over again.

How It Uses 3D: Using the 3DS's facial-recognition technology, your pets will be able to recognize your face when you're playing. They'll be friendlier and more responsive with you and will respond with trepidation when someone unfamiliar is playing. With the augmented-reality functionality, you will be able to view your pet on a physical space. You could transplant it onto your nice clean bed, rug, or lap and not have to worry about cleaning up endless amounts of animal hair. And naturally, when your pet hops up on the front of the screen with its paws, the 3D vision makes it seem like you could reach out and give it a high-five.

What You Do: Chose from 20 different breeds of puppies and kittens and enjoy the rewards of virtual pet ownership. You will be responsible for all the petting, playing, walking, toy-throwing, and general loving of the animal. Also, you can dress your pet up in silly hats.

How It Plays: You interact with your pet in a variety of ways by using the touch screen. Tapping your pet calls it to you, drawing a downward motion will tell it to lie down, and giving its side a little scratch will cause it to roll over in the most adorable way possible. Once it's down, you can then catch your pet off guard by pulling out a bouncing mushroom toy and, with a flick of stylus, tossing it across the room for an impromptu game of fetch. Tapping the animal again after it has caught the toy will have it bring it back to you.

What We Say: With the 3DS's facial-recognition technology, we are fearful of a day when you can import and care for a digital version of your physical pet. For now, however, the pure adorableness of these animals is keeping us hooked. You can look for Nintendogs + Cats in the weeks following the launch of the 3DS.

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