Thank you Treva Entertainment for sending us this game to review!
Treva Entertainment has published many pet games for Nintendo's 3DS. Sadly, most of them are not that good. My Pet School 3D not only continues that trend, it sets a new low! It seriously makes me wonder if it was play tested at all. As an adult I was frustrated with it and cannot imagine a child giving it a fair shake. I have never disliked a game so much before even completing the tutorial for it.
The graphics are so low detail that I didn't know if the main character was male or female. Once I read her name (Chloe), I figured out the gender. There's a gender button to play as a male if you wish. By changing Cloe's clothing color and hair style, I made her look more feminine. The shirt, pants, and shoes can be slightly customized too. One the character is set up, it's time to pick your starting animals to train. I chose cats over the options of dogs, rodents, or baby animals. The ticked off cat noise made it worth it.
The other sound effects are decent, but the music is so out of place and obscure that it makes me wonder why it was chosen. It sounds roughly like new age space music with what I assume to be German lyrics spoken by a male. Even though the game text and manual mostly made sense, I could tell that English was not the developer's native language. While it is possible to advertise your pet school to bring more customers, according to the manual it improves competence as well. If that's the case, I can think of some people who can use some advertising.
There were plenty of customers without having to advertise. The text driven tutorial will explain how to receive a client, clean their quarters, and feed them. What the tutorial did not teach me was that I had to take animal to the gated pasture (the park in town can work too) to train it. Thankfully the digital manual clarified the training process for me.
The manual also explains that to successfully train an animal you have to give them a command and reward or punish based on their response or lack of one. To reward an animal you can praise it or give it a treat. If the animal does not obey, scolding or beating it is permissible. Of course, to have any chance of the animals learning anything, it has to have all of its needs met. It must be well fed, loved, and cleaned. Every time a command is given, their food meter will drop so you have a limited amount of time before they run out of energy.
Some of the commands that you can teach the animals include recognizing their name, coming when called, jumping, fetching, and playing dead. To train a command you simply just issue the order and wait for the desired response. The upper screen with the 3D model of the animal will display text if the command was successful (or not) and you have to re-enforce it accordingly. Once the desired commands are learned, their owners magically appear, pay you, and leave. All of the money in this game is in Euros.
Money earned can go towards buying expansions, food, supplies, or training. If you find yourself short on funds, you can convert play coins into in-game currency or take out a loan from the bank in town. Going to town was an adventure for me since the navigation and level design is very poor in this title. There are no roads, just hard to read street signs. I got lost trying to get myself home from the town. If an adult like myself easily gets lost in this game, I can't imagine how much more difficult and frustrating it would be for a child to figure out. It begs the question as to what the target age range is.
Another question I would like answered is who thought it would be fun to play game about training animals? That's the un-fun part of owning a puppy or a kitten. Yet here's a game that focuses on that aspect and makes it easy for a person to get lost. Another unpleasant experience! All of these adventures can be yours to experience for $19.99 on Nintendo's eShop. If you think that's a bargain, I have some advertising to sell you!