Touch Pets: Dogs — Ngmoco Aims to Take Virtual Pets Genre to Next Level

Since the invention of the tamagotchi in the 1990s, a wide range of companies have introduced games where you take care of a virtual pet — with social games on Facebook, like (fluff)friends, recently inspiring strong followings. Ngmoco has one of their own planned for the iPhone and iPod Touch, that is visually stunning and promises a range of features new to the genre. Called Touch Pets: Dogs, it’s due out “soon,” so here’s a closer look at what the game promises, based on what we know.

The game is multi-faceted: Do a good job of taking care of your pet, and it can go on to do things like pursue “adventures” in the form of careers, such as “scientist.” Pet your dog — with your finger, using the device’s touch screen — and it will become happier, and earn you more “Puppy Points.” Spend these points on virtual outfits, grooming tools, or toys to entertain it with. Train your dog with toys, and you’ll be able to get them jobs, and if they do well, you’ll earn access to additional items.

You can choose from five different types of dogs. Each one has a career specialty. The labrador, for example, is a “rescue specialist.”

In terms of social features, there’s a global “dog feed” where you can see what other players are doing. You can also do “play dates,” where dogs can travel from device to device. As opposed to other types of virtual pets games, where your pets suffer when you’re not taking care of them, these dogs can develop new relationships and continue improving even when you’re offline.

And, according to a preview by Kotaku, there’s integration with Facebook Connect. You’ll be able to take care of your Facebook friend’s pets , and publish your activities from the game back to your Facebook profile page.

Here’s a couple videos from Ngmoco showing various components of the game. While we haven’t had a chance to play it ourselves, it looks like a strong follow-up to other hits, like Rolando, that the company has been making.

Here’s more about the basic petting and caring parts of the game: