Namco-Bandai announces the best DS game ever: National Geographic Panda!

I’d love to tell you I think pet simulators are below my maturity level, but as I said in last week’s edition of RetroforceGo!, Nintendogs is a bit of a guilty pleasure — and I’m not the only one who confessed to such horrors! Most of the generic ones do pass under my radar, but being a Japanophile means that I also have a sweet spot for many of Asia’s famous animals, especially pandas.

Namco-Bandai officially announced National Geographic Panda DS at their recent Namco-Bandai Editors’ Day event, which is meant to be their answer to Nintendogs, but with a slightly educational twist. From the press release:

In National Geographic Panda, help nurture and play with a cuddly panda bear in the serene Panda Park. How you interact with them will determine their behaviors. Mistreatment will have pandas running away from you so nurturing fun is the best way to keep them happy. As you play, new pandas will join in on the fun and an assortment of playground toys will become available to keep them entertained including balls, slides and tire swings. Use a daily allowance to purchase food and new toys immediately for your virtual pet or order through mail via Panda Delivery.

Yeah, I know what you’re saying — who cares? I do. It’s girly and kind of childish, and I can count three men who I know that will play it without having to think very hard. I’m all about National Geographic Panda DS! I’m not ashamed! Anyway, it’ll be out this fall, and the press release can be found post-jump.

[Via GoNintendo — Thanks, Adam]

Santa Clara, Calif., (April 16, 2008) – Leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that they have partnered with National Geographic to bring National Geographic Panda exclusively to the Nintendo DS™ this fall. Nurture and play with your own cuddly panda bear using intuitive touch screen controls in this virtual pet simulation game. Learn more information about pandas with the game’s library of recent and past National Geographic articles, each accompanied by gorgeous visuals. Players are sure to fall in love with their panda’s lighthearted nature and humorous reactions.

“We are excited to partner with National Geographic to take the virtual pet genre to a greater level of immersion,” said Todd Thorson, Director of Marketing and Public Relations of NAMCO BANDAI Games America. “National Geographic Panda is a unique opportunity for two highly regarded companies to produce such an entertaining product. The amount of interaction and fun to be had with your panda beats everything else on the market.”

“Our first partnership with Namco Bandai is right in the National Geographic wheel house,” said Paul Levine, senior vice president, National Geographic Corporate Strategy, Development and Extended Platform. “We’ve covered pandas for much of our 120-year history in all our media, and we’re thrilled to extend that into the world of gaming.”

In National Geographic Panda, help nurture and play with a cuddly panda bear in the serene Panda Park. How you interact with them will determine their behaviors. Mistreatment will have pandas running away from you so nurturing fun is the best way to keep them happy. As you play, new pandas will join in on the fun and an assortment of playground toys will become available to keep them entertained including balls, slides and tire swings. Use a daily allowance to purchase food and new toys immediately for your virtual pet or order through mail via Panda Delivery.

Players can step inside the Panda House to learn about all aspects of panda life with daily National Geographic articles. New editorial content will become available to read each day with corresponding pictures from recent and past National Geographic magazines. National Geographic Panda will offer countless hours of fun for panda lovers everywhere when it is released this fall.

Colette Bennett