It's difficult to talk about Dogz without remembering that Dogz was originally released for the Game Boy Advance right around when Nintendogs made its debut for the newer DS system. Seeing as how the classic GBA platform is still catered to even today, Dogz did well enough. Now Gameloft is bringing Ubisoft's Dogz to wireless phones, no doubt to capitalize on the large amount of women gamers.
In Dogz, you're allowed to adopt a dog from its puppy stage and groom, train and spoil the dog as you see fit. Like The Sims, Dogz is more a pseudo life simulator than a linear game with any goals. Sure there are things you can achieve but most of it revolves around keeping your dog alive and appreciated. If your dog falls ill or you want to take it for a check up, that's possible by sending the dog to the vet's office who will give you some advice on how to take care of your pet.
Dogz starts you off easy by showing you the ropes on how to feed and clean after your pet. Then it gradually introduces toys, which you can use to play with your pet. Playing, of course, increases affection. You can also take your pet outside of the house and travel to different locations, like a beach. Occasionally, you'll be asked to participate in contests and in some instances, you'll have direct control over your dog (instead of simply gesturing it to do things). Each of the tasks or contests becomes a sort of mini game you can play. Cleaning your pet, for example, involves moving your direction buttons left and right to create lather.
Perhaps one of the most disappointing things is how your dog is animated on screen. It's too small and not until you are up close in the petting mode can you really tell what kind of dog you adopted. In spite of this simplicity, the load times for game border on excessive. I imagine a lot of people will want to start up the game just to check on their dog, feed or clean them for a minute or two. The near ten second load times can get in the way of that.
Dogz does have some cute sound effects and a light hearted soundtrack that is played throughout the game. It features ten locations, which in a few hours of playing should open up to you and your furry friend. Supposedly the outdoor environments use the phone's clock to change with the seasons. I'm playing this during autumn but I'm not sure if I'm supposed to see autumn leaves yet or not.
I originally saw a female game journalist promote Nintendogs at E3 and she seemed genuinely interested in taking care of her virtual pet. For people who enjoy games like The Sims, Dogz is barking right up your alley.