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PlayStation Pets Review

PlayStation Vita certainly has plenty appeal when it comes to the dedicated gamer, but when it comes to the kids, it’s lagging way behind Nintendo’s 3DS. So to counter this Sony is bringing some of its most popular kids franchises over to the Vita, starting with titles such as Invizimals and the brand new PlayStation Pets.

PlayStation Pets does feel like Sony’s attempt at Nintendogs, although it takes things a little further than looking after your pet, instead seeing you go on an adventure. It’s an interesting take on the genre and to be honest my daughter has taken to it quite well, though whether it keeps her hooked for the months to come remains to be seen.

When the game starts out you find yourself in a kennel with the difficult choice of choosing between a load of puppies. While you could probably take them all home if you could, unfortunately you can only take one. Once you’ve made your choice you can then name your puppy and take it home. Having only recently gotten a real puppy ourselves there are a few things that PlayStation Pets seems to omit, for instance while the puppy in PlayStation Pets can talk to you, our real puppy cannot. The real puppy also doesn’t seem to understand that it’s not ok to wee everywhere or chew my brand new shoes, or the sofa. Luckily your talking PlayStation Pet does not present any of these problems, instead it’ll happily talk away to you, telling you when it is hungry, thirsty, wants to go for a walk or needs a wash. 

There are certainly plenty of options to keep your puppy amused. For instance, you can throw a ball, read a book from the shelf or use the training guide to teach it to sit, lie down, crawl and more. There is even a shop where you can buy new goods such as dog bowls, costumes, toys etc.

All of the things you do all have a purpose. Buying a pull toy for example will allow your dog to gain strength, which will allow it to open the back gate. Once through the gate you can then go on an adventure through the woods, search for a kings treasure through pieces of maps you’ll find along this way. This leads to all manner of treasure hunts as you head to the place on the map where ‘X’ marks the spot. Once you reach these areas you are generally met with puzzles which when solved will give you the next piece of the map and set you on your way to the next adventure.

In order to get through these adventures you’ll need to teach your puppy the previously mentioned tricks, allowing you to get through craw spaces, unlock gates, etc. Along the way you’ll come across all manner of interesting landmarks are points of interest. Some of these will have your dog digging for hidden items, with you pointing it in the general direction of where to dig. There are also places where your dog can pose for a photo, all of which will be stored in a diary for you.

When you head back home there is also another gate to head through. This one is all about the Frisbee and has you teaching your dog to catch within certain marked areas for maximum points. It’s a fun little sidetrack from the main adventure, although that’s all it is.

In addition to all of the above, there is also a augmented reality mode, which sees your dog heading through the dog flap and into your home. This mode makes use of the camera and allows you to have the dog walking about your home in whichever room you wish. It seems to work well and certainly amused the kids seeing it walk around places that are familiar to them.

Adding in an adventure certainly seems to give the PlayStation Pets a little more longevity than it may otherwise would have had. The adventure was never going to be brimming with quality and that turns out to be the case. But what’s great about it, is that it’s simple enough for young children to understand the story and solve the puzzles.

PlayStation Pets won’t have children flocking to the PS Vita in the their droves, but when combined with some of Sony’s other franchises it’ll at least give them some options.

Words by Joe Anderson.
Twitter: @_wotta | PSN/XBLA: wotta

(Version Tested: PS Vita)


+ Enjoyable game for children to play
+ Some interesting ideas
+ Adventure offers a reason to keep playing


- Seems to lack charm of competing titles

Edited On 04 Jun, 2014

( 1 )
Kaysar's avatar
Kaysar 2 years ago
Interesting aside, a friend of mine used to date, and is still friends with, someone who works for Spiral House (the makers of this game). Shame I only found out *after* they broke up, as I believe he had offered her free hardware (not a euphemism) and she turned him down.

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