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For Christmas, my nephew was suprised by his very own Nintendo Ds. The game he really wanted (well, the game my sister wanted for him because it was educational!) was Junior Brain Training, so he got this from Santa too, however, the console itself came with a free game, and that game was 'Let's Play Pet Hospitals'.
The idea of the game is that you play the role of a vetinary surgeon and have an animal rehoming centre that you work in. When you start your business (you have four different memory banks for up to four different games if you so require), you have little money and get little business; these are things that you must build up by way of building a good reputation and sucessful business, which will be conveyed with the grading system, in which the aim is to eventually be ranked A+.
Every week, you get the choice to take in stray animals. You only have 8 pens and horses and dogs must have their own pens while you can have upto 2 cats in one, 2 ferrets in one and 3 rabbits together and 3 guinea pigs together. You can choose whether you put them in a basic or luxury combo (obviously the latter will take more of your funds) and you can decide whether to feed them basic or up to extra health food, again with varying costs.
When you take in animals, they will be suffering from various conditions. You must treat their medical condition using the various tools and medications on the health screen, identifying the problem with a stethoscope or otoscope if you don't know what the condition is.
When you have succesfully cleared the condition, you need to raise their nutrition and wellbeing levels by feeding them treats and petting them, which works instantly while their health and hygeine levels will raise over a couple of days via the food and care theyr receive.
When they are in a good condition, you can rehome them (don't try to rehome a sick animal else the customer will complain!)
As your ranking goes up, you will get more telephone calls, about twice a day, from various people whho would like to adopt or have lost a specific animal. You have to either tell them that you have that animal, or if you're not sure or you don't have that animal you can tell them you don't have it and put them on your request lists. You will have to go through your requests to keep checking whether you have animals that people have requested or not yet and then phone them to come and collect the animal. There is only so much space on the request list though so you need to delete some else you will just have to tell people you don't have that animal and say goodbye without being able to put them on the list. Beware though, that if you try and give someone a pet that doesn't exactly meet their criteria, they probably won't accept it and will file a complaint which will decrease your ranking! And by specific, I mean people will ask for a 'self red guinea pig' and will by no means accept a 'Agouti red guinea pig'.
Other features of the game mean you can decorate the hospital to increase your income and ratings, change the outfits of the female vet and add furnishings, which will again increase your ranking.
To be honest, I didn't know how much the game would appeal to my 5 year old nephew; it was a bit complex for him at first. But now he's really got the hang of it and really likes it. It can be quite addictive, constantly having to check the health of animals and waiting for calls to see what animals people want to adopt.
My criticism of this game would be that you soon reach your full potential on it. It takes only a couple of days to rake it quite a bit of money, enough to decorate and feed your animals the best quality stuff, and get a grade A + rating, but then that's it, you just carry on. It would be better if you could hire staff, open new stores, etc, and build a proper business. Maybe add more condos, etc, to your existing store. So in this way, it's a bit limited.
Also, it seems to be aimed more at girls, and leaves boys out a bit without the presence of a male vet also.
Finally, it can be irritating to feel the constant need to the check animals in order to keep your rating up and to keep their health levels up before they get back to square one and need alot of work again.
Some of the tasks can be boring and repetetive, such as petting until each animal's wellbeing bar is full.
But it is fun to play, and will keep both children and adults occuppied for a while! I would recommend this for everyone from the ages 5 and up, as my nephew is 5 and enjoys playing it, although he did need help with it initially and still likes assistance from the rest of us. However, I think this is a nice feature of it; it's a good game for mums and dads to play with their children, etc, a good bonding game which can also be quite educational in terms of basic animal health (i.e., that animals need treating for fleas and worms, etc, and wounds need to be disinfected) and importantly teaches respect and care for animals and serves as a good introduction to animal adoption, the issue of unwanted animals, and animal care, especially for families thinking of adopting an animal perhaps.
The game can be purchased for quite a reasonable price now: £7.57 at Amazon.
This game puts you in the shoes of a vet, you have your own vets practice and throughout the game you have the chance to treat 6 different animals: dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, horses and guinea pigs. There are also lots of different breeds of these animals.
You begin by choosing which animals you want to buy and where to put them. There 8 cages for animals to stay at your vet practice, some animals fit more than one per cage.
Then you have to treat the animals using the various different tools controlled by the stylus. You can treat the animals for things including fleas, infections, cuts and bruises.
From time to time you get a phone call from someone wanting a certain pet. If you have this pet you can give it to them or put their name on a list for if this pet comes in.
The character can be moved by using the control pad to walk around or dragging the stylus across the screen to where you would like her to go. The animals are treated by using the stylus to drag and click on items such as needles, hairdryers and brushes.
Overall, this game is fun and enjoyable. You get to treat the animals for many different illnesses. There is also a chance to customise the rooms, you can add furniture and paint the rooms. You can also change your clothes.
Another good feature is that it has a fast forward button so if nothing is happening you can skip forward a few hours.
However, it does get a bit boring as you have to wait for animals to arrive and people to call. It's also quite hard to match the owner with a pet because most of them want a specific pet. One of the other disadvantages that I can see is that you can only play a girl vet, there is no choice. So if
you are a boy you may not want to play as a girl, but not a major problem.
One tip that I would give you is to make sure you read the instructions carefully, they only come up once when you first play, however there is a way you can make them come up again.
I would recommend this game for older children and teenagers. Although I'm 21 and I quite enjoyed it, so it's suitable for most ages. However, you do have to be able to read fairly well to play this game. So I think possibly not one for the younger children because they would find it hard to read the instructions and match the people with the correct pets.
This game is currently priced at £7.45 at amazon. Reduced from £19.99. I think that's a very resonable price for the game and you should by it now before it increases.
Take care and treat up to six different animals (Dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, horses and guinea pigs). Feed and wash the animals back to full health ready to go to their new homes.