The virtual augmented bundle of monkey fluff from SCEE London Studio makes a return on the smaller screen with EyePet Adventures for the PSP, but how does it fare to its bigger brother?
This version of EyePet attempts to add some story to the proceedings, with you stumbling across another EyePet owner who happens to be an archaeologist, aided by her keen but not very clever EyePet, she asks you to join her and create the Explorer Club, where you guide your EyePet through an underground maze looking for rare items.
The idea is to place your card on a flat surface, where your EyePet will then emerge from the ground in their Explorer and run around following your marker that is controlled with the thumb nub. Here you can gleefully run around and take pictures of your pet, however that gets boring very quickly so you can then control you EyePet to go back into the Explorer and dig into the earth, where the real adventure begins.
Underground is a world ripe for adventure. Be aware this is aimed at a very young audience so it is extremely easy and childish, even feeling a little patronizing at times. Your EyePet’s Explorer is able to float around the huge truncated maze, collecting Pet Tokens for later use and generally digging deeper and unearthing secret passageways. There is no final goal or even a noted storyline as such, you will come across other EyePet’s belongings and also mini-games that you need to collect all the parts for so you can use them in the augmented world.
The initial area you appear in is quite small but with lots of blocked paths and the sense of adventure is rife, with a dizzying amount of markers warning of spiders, snails and octopus. To get to these areas upgrading your Explorer is essential, with a drill that can break certain blocks, a sonar radar that not only shows locations of treasures but affects vines and plants that may block the way, a bubble blower that lets you go underwater , a light to see clearly in the lower depths and a turbo boost. You can purchase all of these items from inside the Explorer at any time and they are acquired very quickly obtained, leaving the once enjoyable world very open and boring once you have found all of the treasures.
Though it does sound and look fun, it fails in some vital areas; sadly the augmented reality is a huge let down and very different to what the PS3 offers with only a very small portion of the game requiring the camera. The PSP is a portable device for starters, but here you are expected to carry a card everywhere with you and even then the augmented world seems a little wasted, the cleaning and playing of the PS3 version are now just boring little snippets where you press a button and watch your little pet eat, sleep or have a shower; the actual augmented items are also very weak, relegated to a very small group of mini-games that involve sheep herding and chasing away mice.
The main issue is longevity; I completed the game 100% in the same time it took to watch Open Season this weekend; which turned out more enjoyable than this. You do have the ability to go places and take photos with your EyePet, but with no real benefit and a fiddly camera system that is so difficult to use, it’s a wasted opportunity.
I must admit I had to go over the game a few times as surely this wasn’t it? But yes, this blink and you miss it game should just be missed.
Rating: Below AverageReview Policy
You can order EyePet Adventures from ShopTo here.