64MB 3D graphics
750MB HDD Space
Every girl wants to be a veterinarian, right? Pet Vet 3D: Animal Hospital Down Under is the third release in this series. Instead of healing your common pets, you get to care for wild Australian animals. Did I mention that you can hire a cute guy to be your helper? With all of the girly stuff aside, this game is pretty fun and reminds me a lot of The Sims.
If you play through the scenarios, the basic storyline is that you’re given a great opportunity to work in Australia. You have a limited amount of start up money, so I recommend buying instruments with it to aid in diagnosing problems. Your patients will include kangaroos, fur seals, platypuses, wombats and koalas. You’ll start getting different animals after you build enclosures for them. You can upgrade and accessorize animal pens, your hospital, and your house. You can read books with details about each species you plan on treating. Once you have read all five per species, you’ll be awarded a certificate.
This game is similar to The Sims in many ways (though not nearly as detailed). Not only are you caring for animals, but you also have to take care of your needs as well. Eating maintains your energy level and your fitness level increases with resting or sleeping. Exercise is now required to stay happy and healthy. Another new addition is the ability to have a (non-stop) talking cockatoo in your waiting area. He has needs that have to be cared for, so you can’t neglect him! One nice new feature in this game is that you can choose what species you want to start treating.
Before you can take in animals, you’ll have to purchase instruments and animal feed. You are also provided with a handy cell phone/PDA device that lets you know if animals are really hungry, if you’re low on food, if an animal is being picked up, or if one 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. Your instruments and diagnoses’ are pre-selected. It’s just a process of elimination. Although it may seem pretty easy, there are some challenging ones that you need a specific instrument for to diagnose properly. There are three levels of difficulty (easy, medium, and hard) as well as two game modes. You can either play Scenario or Free Play mode.
You can hire a cute guy named John to be your assistant for $100 a day. He’s not to helpful until you train him. You can assign him a specific chore to do (cleaning, petting, playing, or feeding) or assign him to a particular animal pen. You have to baby-sit him quite a bit, because most of the time he’ll either eat, workout, or sleep.
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, but it repeats often. The voice acting in this title is the best in this series. All the voices seem to fit with the characters nicely.
Unlike the previous titles, Down Under seems rushed. There are some bugs like the ability to have your character get stuck under water. One of my scenarios doesn’t seem to end and the intro repeats itself. Restarting the scenario did not resolve the issues. Unfortunately there isn’t much of a community for this game and technical support is limited since this game was developed in a non-English speaking country.
This game is pretty clean and I recommend it for girls of all ages. I didn’t notice any graphic pictures in the books this time. The only thing that struck me was in one of the scenarios you are invited to a gala and have nothing to wear (I warned you that this game is girly). You have to spend $10,000 on a dress which I think is a bit much.
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 but it is still enjoyable.
Game Play 16/20