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New doggy titles for GBA

Nintendo's started something.

Nintendogs has been in European shops for less than a week now but it's already proving just as popular over here as it is in Japan and the US - and deservedly so, as you'll know if you read our review last week.

Well, now it seems that doggy sims have replaced third person action adventures set in gritty urban environments as the next big thing in gaming, with two more titles already on the way for the Game Boy Advance.

First up is Dogz, based on the old PC game of the same name. It gives you a choice of 49 different dogs from 18 different breeds, and then tasks you with naming, training and playing with your new pet.

You'll earn your puppy's love and loyalty by remembering to feed and groom it regularly, and to reward it for good behaviour. Plus you can teach it tricks such as how to lie down, shake paws and fetch sticks.

There are three mini-games - Run Puppy Run!, Puppy Reversi and Puppy Quiz - and a link mode so two GBA owners can play with each others' doggies. And when you complete the game the Always Together Mode comes into effect - this allows you to save up to three puppies' data so you can load 'em up and play with your old chums any time you like.

If Dogz doesn't satisfy your craving for all things canine you might like to try O~3 Entertainment's Pocket Dogs, which is being developed in co-operation with Hana Deka Club - a brand of toys and gifts that features puppies photographed with fisheye lenses. You can see some of the pics on Japanese website Dreamland but be warned, as far as we're concerned they're more likely to give you nightmares.

Pocket Dogs will feature actual photos of dogs and will let you interact with one of eight different puppies, with breeds including pug, chihuahua and shih tzu. "Conversations and interactions vary depending upon the pet selected and player input so interaction is truly individualised," apparently. Oh, and you can play mini-games to win jewels and purchase accessories for your canine chum.

Dogz will be published by Ubisoft in November, with Pocket Dogs to follow before Christmas.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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