System Requirements Windows 98/Me/2000/XP 800MHz CPU 256MB RAM 64MB 3D graphics 300MB HDD Space Every girl wants to be a vet right? After all you’ll be healing cute little bunnies, dogs, cats, pigs and horses too. Did I mention that you can hire a cute guy to be your helper? Seriously this is the girliest game I’ve been asked to review yet. The box is Barbie pink and the main character looks Barbie like with blonde hair and big blue eyes. The game menus are pink and you’ll never guess what color the waiting hourglass is. This game is heavily targeted for girls I don’t recommend it for guys unless they don’t mind pink stuff. With all the girly stuff aside this game is pretty fun but it’s definitely rough around the edges when it comes to polish.
If you play through the scenarios the basic storyline is that you inherit a run down house on a farm. It’s been your dream to become a vet so you re-vamp the place and convert it to an animal hospital. You’ll start off healing rabbits then cats and dogs, later you’ll work your way up to pigs and later horses (if you upgrade your facilities). You’ll start getting animals after you build enclosures for them. You can upgrade and accessorize animal pens, your hospital, and house. You can read about each species you plan on treating, and once you read all five of the books on them, you’ll be awarded a certificate.
This game reminds me of the Sims in many ways (Though not nearly as detailed). Not only are you caring for animals, but you have to take care of your needs as well. Eating maintains your energy level and your fitness level increases with resting or sleeping. You have to purchase instruments and animal feed. You’ll have a handy cell phone/pda device that lets you know if animals are really hungry, if you’re low on food, or if an animal is being picked up or needs a follow up examination that day. When animals come in for a check up you can look them over using your various instruments. As you collect clues, you can make a better diagnosis. The process is pretty easy but there are some challenging ones that you need a specific instrument to diagnose it properly. There are three levels of difficulty (easy, medium, hard) and two game modes. You can either play scenario or free play mode. Once you have a horse facility built you can buy a mother mare to care for baby foals. You can also ride the mother mare to take a break from the hassles of being a popular vet.
You can hire a cute guy named Jeff to be your assistant for $100 a day. He can be helpful but he’s mostly useless. You can assign him a specific chore to do (cleaning, petting, playing, feeding) or assign him a particular animal pen. You can also spend money to train him so he’ll be more comfortable with the more exotic animals. You have to baby-sit him quite a bit because most of the time he’ll either eat or sleep. If you play through the scenarios the game hints at a romance after you beat the game.
The graphics are decent in this game. The animal models look good and the interface is really easy to use. You can add more detail to your home/hospital by buying accessories to make your “world” prettier.
The background music is peppy in this game but it repeats often. There were some volume issues in this game as the music drowns out the voices by default. You can adjust the volume settings but the game forgets the changes you make until you go back into game settings the next time you launch the game. Perhaps this volume glitch is covering up the pitiful voice acting. They have a guy doing some of the voice acting but for other guys it’s clearly a girl masking her voice trying to sound like a boy. It’s bad.
This game is pretty clean and I recommend it for girls of all ages. When you’re reading about animals they have real pictures and one of the pictures has a baby foal being born. This may prompt a discussion of birds and the bees for some younger kids. There is romance in this game but it’s completely innocent.
This is a fun game but it’s a lot of babysitting. I think anyone who likes the Sims would enjoy this title too. I’m sure many girls will love it. It does have some rough edges and it did crash on me a couple times.