System Requirements
Windows 2000/XP/Vista
1.4GHz CPU
64MB 3D DX9 Graphics

As a young girl, you’ve always wanted to work with animals for a living. Doggie Daycare starts off with you getting a letter from your Aunt Miriam who is ill and can no longer run her kennel. The Doggie Daycare needs some repairs and upgrades to allow for Doggie Sports and Puppy nurturing. Your first order of business is to clean the place up and to get some supplies to run it properly. You’ll have a helper named Bill who will run to the store and do the repairs for you. All of the dog maintenance, however, falls on you.

Your character and the dogs have needs that have to be met. The dogs have nutrition, mood, care, obedience, fitness, and energy. The nutritional needs are met by having food and water. The care meter goes up after a dog is bathed, dried, and brushed. Petting the dogs increases their moods and puppies need more petting than older dogs. The Doggie Daycare offers training and doggie sports to increase a dog’s fitness and obedience levels. Lastly, the energy gauge just shows how much spunk a dog has left in them. Obese dogs will have low energy levels.

When it comes to your character, you only have to worry about three meters. The education meter is filled by reading and learning about dog breeds, sports, and puppies. Hunger is remedied by a trip to the fridge. Sleeping on the job (napping on the couch) replenishes the fitness gauge.

When a dog is checked in, you’ll have to take a mental note of what they are in for and how long their stay will be. Doggie Daycare offers standard kennel service, obedience training, sports/fitness, and luxury (sports plus obedience). It would be nice if the kennel had a chart like they did in Happy Tails Animal Shelter. There are a handful of dog breeds that you will encounter, but there were times when I had three beagles and I didn’t know which was in for what service. Once a dog is checked in you’ll have to bathe, dry and brush them. When it comes to obedience and sports training, even if you fill up the meter, you still have to work with the animal everyday or it won’t count at all when the dog is picked up. I learned that the hard way. Also, make sure the dogs have food and water before they are given back; I made the mistake that by only having one of those needs met, I got an upset customer. The time of day is not shown in this game at all, but the customers tend to pick up their dogs within the first couple of minutes of a new day starting. So get those dogs fed and watered first thing!

This game is made by the same makers of Happy Tails Animal Shelter and I can tell that they re-used many of their models and textures. The main character is identical with the exception of being brunette now. There are a few different breeds of dogs, and they sometimes vary in their coloration. Some dogs have long hair and others have short hair; if you use the wrong brush on them, you get nowhere fast. The dog animations look good and the puppies look adorable.

The sound in this game is decent. The main voice actress was the same one used in Happy Tails Animal Shelter. Many of the same phrases are used too. If you buy a radio you have the luxury of changing your background music. There are a few genres to choose from (country, classical, hip-hop, and electronic). I preferred silence.

The controls can be a bit clunky at times, especially when working with the puppies. I think changing the mouse cursor to different objects would make the interface more intuitive. I ran into some game bugs too. Several times my dogs have gotten stuck and I had to end the day prematurely to get everything back to normal.

Content wise this game is pretty clean. One of the radio songs has a bunch of noise and a girl saying ‘Oh my God’ in a ditzy voice. Other than that, I have no complaints.

I found this title more enjoyable than Happy Tales Animal Shelter but I liked the interface in Happy Tails better. It wasn’t bad when watching a couple of dogs at a time but when you have a full kennel and dogs that look alike it gets to be a bit hectic. Little girls are bound to enjoy this game regardless of its flaws.

Game Play 10/20
Graphics 7/10
Sound 7/10
Controls 3/5
Stability 4/5
Appropriateness 45/50
-5 for blaspheming
Final Score 76%

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Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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