The Average Gamer

PS Vita Pets Review (Vita)

PS Vita Pets - Labrador cowboy
PS Vita Pets is immediately misleading, both in good ways and bad. It’s not your standard pet simulation game, but nor is it anything that special.

The first thing you’ll likely notice is that your limited to a choice of four pets, which are all just different breeds of dogs. Instantly your mind screams that the game is just Nintendogs on the Vita; simply because there’s no other choice of animal other than dogsxxx. But it’s got a lot more depth than Nintendogs. The whole game revolves around more than just raising your dog, it’s also about a quest, to follow clues left by a king leading to treasure.

The quest starts when your dog reads to you from a story book – because that’s how things work in this backwards land. But this isn’t the only time the dog talks to you, in fact he talks to you throughout the game, telling you if something is wrong or casually reminding you that he wishes you were a king. The only real issue with that is your dog has a horribly cringe worthy voice. The actual dialogue can make you smile from time to time.

The game really gets going when you’ve levelled up your dog’s fetch skill to the max, by doing this you unlock tricks, and the ability to walk your dog.

The game has you train your dog in a variety of ways, starting with shouting his name down the microphone, but luckily it’s optional, so you’re not screaming at your Vita. All the tricks can be performed through the touch screen, as can playing with your dog. There’s plenty of ways to play with your pooch, and you can unlock new toys via a shop with coins you’ve earned from selling dug-up loot. Some dig spots also have customization items, or you can buy them from the shop.

PS Vita Pets - Dalmation MinecartThe other major part of gameplay is walking. Unlike Nintendogs you don’t just pick a route, you have to follow the king’s clues and solve puzzles on a large map to uncover special items, progressing slowly to his castle. The development team were smart enough to put in fast travel tunnels, which is great. But they also forgot to give you the ability to step backwards, so you have to spin all the way around to go back if you’ve missed something.

PS Vita Pets is fairly fun to play. It’s got a lot more depth that I had originally thought but doesn’t really push any boundaries. The game blends interesting puzzles with the joy of a puppy, meaning that it can be enjoyed by pretty much anyone, but kids are going to enjoy this a lot more than hardcore gamers. The gameplay is simply not that engaging. That’s not to say it won’t put a smile on your face though. It’s a pretty solid buy if you’re a fan of puzzles and dogs.

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