PAX East 2019: Little Friends Dogs & Cats – First Impressions

Here’s the thing: If you really miss Nintendogs, you’re probably going to be hype for Little Friends Dogs & Cats. And that’s cool, you know? Sim games are immensely popular and have a wide audience.

Players of this game get to choose between six different dog breeds and three different cat breeds, with the aim of raising, training, and developing a relationship with your new furry friend. The mechanic of spoiling your pet versus giving them just what they need, training tricks for “competition” and correcting negative behaviors is fairly standard, and more or less what you’d expect from a pet sim.

In this game, however, there’s theoretically a depth to the simulation element that is a little too challenging to showcase in a demo, so we heard about rather than experienced this: Each animal has its own unique personality, with randomized characteristics that will play a role in determining how the pet responds to things like discipline, habit-forming (good or bad), and even food preferences.

We’re told that players will see habits change or develop based on the player’s follow-up to training, and this sounds like a really interesting mechanic if it actually works. Unfortunately, the demo only showcased the most basic features: choosing your animal, naming it, feeding and offering pets.

This type of game isn’t for everyone, but the booth demo team was enthusiastic about a realistic title like this offering up pet ownership for kids (and adults!) who can’t care for an animal in real life due to allergies or other circumstances. For this reason alone, it’s nice to see a game that can fill the niche.

Ultimately the game is meant for enjoyment and relaxation—there’s over 600 accessories, so go nuts—and it sounds like it’ll do just that.


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Author: Faith View all posts by
Faith likes games and books and cake and writing and Lara Croft, not necessarily in that order. She also thinks a Skylanders cartoon show is a really, REALLY good idea...

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