The New Review: Critics: Radio & Games: GAMES: It's a virtual dog's life: PlayStation Vita Pets (Vita, Sony, cert: 3, out now)
(Observer (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Taking the Nintendogs formula in an adventurous direction, PlayStation Vita Pets intriguingly combines both pet care and role play, wherein visually impressive and fully voiced canines are encouraged to explore caves, mazes and castles by tapping the screen, using voice commands or, on occasion, the built-in camera.
What starts as a novelty develops into an engaging relationship for youngsters, with each dog recognising their face and voice. There's a companion tablet app, Vita Pets Puppy Parlour, that offers further dress-up options and a free way to try before you buy. But at its heart are the mini games that present challenges to develop each pet's skills and equipment to allow them to progress further in the adventure.
It's a mechanism that lets Vita Pets deliver a much more involving experience than first appears to be the case.
So while children will love it, adults too will be keen to pry the Vita from their sticky-fingered hands.
(c) 2014 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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