Well thought out games blog Lost Garden has a design analysis of Nintendogs
. In his estimation, gamers who are shrugging this off as "another Nintendo toy" are doing themselves a disservice. From the article: "There is nothing on that market that compares to Nintendogs. If you dig into the game mechanics at an abstract level, it has surprisingly more in common with a RPG than most virtual pet games. Yet hardcore gamers make a snap judgement and instantly assume it must be a Tamagotchi-style game. This is an unfortunate mistake that limits our understanding of the game design."