Dogotchi (Switch, Mobile)

Travel back to the late 90s when keychain virtual pets were the big thing with Dogotchi on Switch.  Take care of different breeds of dogs by feeding and cleaning up after them, and playing games to make them happy.  It even features black and white pixel graphics and sounds!  I’ve already reviewed a version of this game that features cats, and this is exactly the same game, but with dogs!

The first thing you’ll do is choose a breed of dog, its gender, and then you can name it.  The first dog I raised in this game was a Husky that I named Rush from the Mega Man games, and the other one I raised I named Bluey from the awesome kids cartoon show.  You can raise multiple doggies at the same time, and when you raise a certain number to adulthood, you’ll unlock even more breeds!

Similar to other key chain virtual pet games, you’ll select what you can do with icons on the bottom screen.  You can feed your dog different kinds of meat, but they all fill up the meter the same.  If you see a poop icon next to your dog, press the water drop icon to clean it up.  If your dog has a skull beside it, it’s sick so you must give it a shot.  Turn off the light to let it sleep to refill energy.  You can even decorate the areas to the left and right of your dogs with buildings and plants and other things.

You can also play mini-games with your dog to increase the ‘fun’ meter.  There are a few different games in all (depending on the breed), and you’ll unlock each one at the different ages: puppy, teen, and adult.  At least the games are different than the cat games were, but they all are so easy I got bored and just stopped when it filled the fun meter, or couldn’t figure out what to do.  There is a dog sled game where you have to avoid obstacles scrolling from above, a flying disc game where you must jump over blocks to catch an endlessly flying disc, and a stick throwing and newspaper fetching game I couldn’t figure out.

And that’s pretty much it.  I guess the game does what it sets out to do.  There’s not much to it and this kind of game works better on a keychain you can pull out at any time.  Even though the Switch is portable, it’s a bit harder to do that with it.  The game could’ve used more standing animations to give it more character, too.

Kid Factor:

Nothing violent or objectionable here.  Your dogs can die if you don’t take care of them, so you must check on them every day otherwise you’ll see a tombstone and must try again with a new dog.  Some more sensitive kids may not like that.  I didn’t see that happen in the cat version of this game, but it did happen in the dog one I played!  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, but not necessary just to play. Dogotchi is rated E for Everyone.

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