Animal Shelter Simulator
Developed by: Games Incubator
Published by: Ultimate Games
Available on: PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Windows
Release date: November 25, 2022
Number of players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Thank you Ultimate Games for sending us a review code!
Our family has adopted multiple cats and dogs through animal rescues and shelters. There are lots of animals out there needing homes and it’s a shame that many people still opt to purchase their pets from places that have shady breeding practices. While I appreciate animal shelters, I’ve never dreamed of operating one. Animal Shelter Simulator lets you do just that!
Upon launching the game, you will have the option to name your shelter and select your initial focus of dogs or cats. After you successfully place a few animals, you’ll be able to expand your facilities to accommodate the other animal type.
You’ll be spending a lot of your time in the main office using the computer. From the computer, you’ll get to order supplies, read e-mails, select animals to rescue, and create ads for ones to adopt. Any items you order will be delivered to your facility within minutes via a drone. Animals are dropped off and picked up in a timely fashion once they have been requested. I love how the animals will lift up their paw as a way of saying “Thank you and good bye”.
Strong Points: You get to place animals in their forever homes
Weak Points: Look sensitivity is set to zero by default, increase this ASAP
Moral Warnings: You’ll have to draw blood and clean up poop
Before selecting your first rescue, you’ll need to purchase some supplies like water, food, bowls, and toys to meet their basic needs. You’ll also need a camera, so you can place adoption ads for them. Everyone wants to see the animal before inquiring on it!
Each animal that you take in will have various personality traits like shy, mischievous, loud, quiet, or intelligent. As you care for the animal by taking care of its basic needs and earn its trust, you’ll figure out their personality traits, which will come in handy for finding their forever home.
Naturally, as you feed and give an animal water, they’ll need to relieve themselves sooner or later and it will be your job to clean up that mess to keep your facility sanitary. You’ll be given five-minute warnings of upcoming inspections, so be sure to keep your shelter tidy. When you pass an inspection, you’ll earn some cash and reputation points.
Reputation points are how you rank up your facility and earn expansion points to purchase nearly land to make room for more buildings. Along with a dog kennel and a cat house, you’ll need to get a bathing building and a clinic for medical treatment. Naturally, once these buildings are in place, you’ll have opportunities to rescue animals that will need to be bathed or given medical treatment.
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)
Game Score - 70%
Morality Score - 96%
Sexual Content: 10/10
Each animal has a clipboard that will show their trust/adoptability level and their status on essential needs like food, water, bathroom breaks, cleanliness, and health. To earn its trust you’ll have to pet and play with them a bit. Once the adoptability bar is at least three quarters full and you’re aware of a couple of their traits, it’s time to place an adoption ad. The first step is to take their picture and scan it into the computer. The ad’s text will automatically be generated. Once that ad is live, it won’t take long to receive inquiries. If a person has potential, you can send a case worker over to inspect their house (for a fee). After the inspection, you’ll find out details like how much free time the potential owner will have, if there are other animals in the house, and what kind of traits they are seeking and hoping to avoid. If it’s a good fit, you can select them and a shuttle will arrive to collect the animal. I love how they wave good-bye to you before they leave. You’ll get a thank you e-mail and a donation from the new owner and the reputation and donation amount are determined by how well of a fit they are together.
As you increase your shelter’s reputation, you’ll climb up the rankings and eventually be the top rated animal shelter. Another perk is unlocking higher quality equipment to use for your critters. While you can take in multiple animals at once, I preferred to care for them one at a time.
Visually, this game is a little dated, but gets the job done. The animal model variety is limited and I got several brown dogs in a row that looked similar. Eventually, I got a Dalmatian that added some variety. The animals are nicely animated and have the same mannerisms as their real-life counterparts.
The background music is generic and forgettable. The dog barks and cat noises are realistic and believable. The sound effects are decent.By default, the camera panning is on the lowest setting and is excruciatingly painful to use. When you launch the game, be sure to increase the look sensitivity right away. The rest of the controls take a little getting used to, but are functional. I imagine the PC mouse and keyboard controls are much more natural.
From an appropriateness standpoint, there is little to complain about. You will be required to clean up poop and mop up pee. Even when the pee is in the grass, you’ll still have to mop it up, which makes no sense to me. Sick animals will need to have their blood drawn and you’ll have to purchase a syringe and when it makes contact with the animal, it will change into a vial of blood, which you’ll have to drop off into the deposit box outside and wait to hear back from the vet via e-mail.
Overall, Animal Shelter Simulator has a lot of charm and it’s rewarding to help an animal trust humans again and to place them in a loving home. There are many mundane tasks that have to get done in the meantime. The controls are serviceable, but not great. If you don’t mind bathing animals and cleaning up their poop, Animal Shelter Simulator is worth looking into.