This review is for the Nintendo DS game, Purr Pals, develped by Crave Entertainment and published by THQ. Purr Pals is a game where you have to look after your own virtual kitten, buy toys for it, feed it, care for it and watch it grow.
The premise of this game is very simple, select a kitten from a choice of over forty different breeds, and then take care of him or her. You are able to heavily customise your new kitten, so you can choose from different options such as colour, whiskers, the shading of the fur, eye colour, what sex the cat is, and much more, so your cat really does become quite personal to you.
Once you have selected your kitten, you then have to ensure that the needs and desires of your new pet are looked after. You can feed your kitten, spend time grooming the little cat or even patting your kitten if you want! You will soon learn however that whatever you do, your cat always craves attention in some form.
You can also earn points in the game which you can use to buy accessories for your cat, such as clothing and even hats. You can play with toys in the game as well, but these are less impressive, and there are a limited number in the game that you can access. More of these would have been an interesting addition.
The game is controlled primarily via the touch screen and stylus, and this all works very well, and is easy for children to use and be able to play with as well. It's also a great game to get a child who might want a pet cat, and can at least use this game to see what's involved in owning a pet.
There are also a series of four mini games which you come across in the game, and these are reasonably varied and fun, and do add some extra game play to the game as a whole. These mini games, including a Guitar Hero type game, are well thought through, and there is a sense of wanting to beat your own score.
The graphics in the game are good, and they display your kitten in at least a reasonably realistic way. The sound is a bit limited, there are some occasional sound effects throughout the game, but not much in the way of background music to listen to.
The usual problem with games of this genre are that they can become a bit repetitive, in many ways, just in the way that keeping real pets can be repetitive, such as the constant feeding and cleaning of the litter tray. However this game doesn't fall too much into that trap, and the advantages of keeping a kitten are brought to the fore, or at least, as much as a console version of keeping a kitten can realistically do!
There is very little multi player activity in this game, and it's not possible to care for the cats of another player for example. Unfortunately what limited multi player options there are become limited as everyone would need their own copy of the game, something that many developers don't require, and even then it's just a matter of being able to see the look of the kittens on different consoles.
The game retails for 24.99 pounds, but is currently available on Amazon for 9.99 pounds. If you're happy with a second hand copy, then at time of writing these are available for around six pounds on sites such as eBay and Amazon. The game is rated as 3+, so is suitable for children of nearly all ages.
In summary, this is a generally very good condition. There are some limitations, and many players would prefer to own a real cat, but the game is fun to play along to, and you can become quite attached to your new cat. There are some disappointments, such as the limited sound and the limited multi player options, but there's lots of game play to be had in this game, especially if you can pick it up for a cheap price.
We needed a whole book to answer the question "Do Ants Have Arseholes?" but those of us who share our lives with our feline friends know that real cats possess them. Not only are they on display all the time but they also take great delight in shoving them in your face and spend hours grooming them (normally when you have visitors round!). The cats in the game Purr Pals are anatomically correct except for one small detail; they have no puckered little bottom only a flat piece of fur. Despite this impairment they still manage to leave generous deposits in their virtual litter tray for you to clean up.
In Purr Pals you take care of your virtual kitties by feeding, grooming, petting, cleaning and playing with your pet. If you look after your cat properly then you earn money which can buy accessories and mini games. Neglect your virtual pet and you will see your balance drop sharply.
There's a massive range of kitty breeds to choose from, from the boring shorthair to the more exotic hairless breeds. Each cat has its own personality; some will be mischievous and want to play and others will be more laid back and content to sleep. You can use your money to buy accessories for your cat ranging from hats to toys to eyewear. My daughters cat Bonkers currently has blue whiskers, sunglasses and a massive hat. He looks utterly ridiculous and I can imagine a real cat scratching your eyeballs out if you tried to dress them up!
The cats are realistic looking (well they are until you give them wacky whiskers!) and behave much like real cats. They run around, meow and purr when they are hungry, display their bellies to be rubbed, chase string and scratch the sofa. If you notice your kitty being naughty then you can spray them with a water bottle and it is hilarious too see them race to get away from it!
As you progress through the game, you can buy more cats and own up to five at a time. You can enter your cats into cat into shows where you can win prizes based on how well you have cared for your cat.
The cats live in a house and have access to a garden. The house is simply furnished in the beginning and you can buy new furniture and garden accessories to brighten it up. The cats love playing in the garden and it's a good place to release the butterfly toy for them to chase.
As well as caring for your cat there are a number of extras on the game. The mini games range from a musical cats chorus, a mini basketball game called Alley Oop, Copy Cat where you remember a sequence of meows and Cupid Game where you shoot love hearts down.
I bought this game for my 12 year old for Christmas for the bargain price of £6.47 from Amazon and it has been a massive hit. She has played with the game frequently and now owns 3 cats and is an expert at all the mini games.
The game is a similar concept to Nintendogs and I imagine that fans of that game will also like this game but it is very girly and most boys wouldn't want to play dress up with virtual kittens. It doesn't have as many features as Nintendogs but it is still a really well made game with plenty of features to keep girls amused for a long time. I've had a play around on the game myself (mostly because my daughter keeps sticking it under my nose and insisting I look at it!) and I found the mini games fun but there is not enough here to keep the average adult interested for very long.
The only think I don't like about the game is the fact it is sponsored by Purina, you feed your cat Purina food and they sponsor the cat shows too. I think product placement in a game aimed at kids is wrong.
This is a nice game for cat lovers to play. It's available from all of the usual places. Current prices range from £11.99 on Amazon to £24.99 in Game so shop around to get the best price.
Nintendogs is the well known pet simulator for the Nintendo DS, but for Christmas this year, we bought our daughter "Purr Pals" as she was becoming bored of her labrador "Scruff" and was starting to neglect him.
Once you load the game up, you choose from 40 different breeds of kittens, and like real live kittens, they all have unique personality traits. Our daughter chose a lovely cute black and white kitten, decided she wanted a female and called her "Magpie". As her enthusiasm for caring for a virtual pet was reignited she soon got down to the important business of starting to look after and get to know her kitten. There are 4 main areas of care which are Hunger, Love, Play and Cleanliness. You judge how content your kitten is by checking the needs meter which reflects your kittens satisfaction at any given time.
She quickly managed to get Magpie recognising her voice, but she then very quickly realised that Magpie was not going to lie down and behave. I am sure I saw a glint in her eye at one point. The frustration in my daughter's voice was really amusing, but she learned a valuable lesson that not all people or creatures conform to her way of thinking all of the time.
Not one to be put off, she worked hard with her new charge, and earned enough credits to purchase a lovely pink collar for Magpie. The better you are at taking care of your kitten the more money you get on top of your basic daily allowance. All of the care elements of the game are easy to navigate, but the play games are a lot harder, and would say anyone younger than 8 would struggle with them and get easily frustrated as this is where the most money can be made.
The ultimate goal of the game is to care and train your kitten to such a standard that they can participate and win a mini games tournament. You are not confined to a single room as in Nintendogs, but these naughty kittens climb on the furniture. We are a long way from that, but I will update the review should we ever get there.
To be honest, it falls short of Nintendogs in a lot of areas. My daughter has found it hard to get as enthusiastic about training a kitten as she did with her labrador. In fact, she went back to her Nintendogs last week, so Purr Pals may never be seen or heard of again. On this basis, I would say buy it 2nd hand, there are sure to be loads on Ebay in the coming months as they are discarded by bored owners after the Christmas excitement.
Purr Pals is one of the many games designed for the Nintendo DS. It is of a similar style to Nintendogs and other games of such. To me... it brings back memories of tamagotchi's from when I was younger!
The idea of the game is that you have your own kitten and you have to look after it by ensuring its needs are met. These include Feeding, Love & Comfort, Litter Cleanliness, Play Time, Hygiene. There are certain things you need to do in order to keep these levels high. An example of these are below:
Litter Tray - You need to ensure the litter tray is cleaned out often. You will notice there is quite a mess if you haven't done it in a while or haven't had the game on in a few days! In fact, ALOT of mess! To clean the litter tray, you simply rub your stylus over the mess until it disappears. You will also have to ensure you keep your litter supplies in check so that you can put clean litter in now and again.
Feeding - There are five different types of food you can purchase for your kitten, from food that will make them more playful to ordinary food. Your cat will need fed quite often and to do this you need to shake your food in to the bowl. But be careful as you don't want to shake it and miss the bowl... it will be a waste!
Love & Comfort - Your kitten will need love and comfort often. To do this, simply rub the stylus over your kitten and little hearts will appear. You can also make your kitten follow you by moving your stylus around the room.
Play Time - You need to play with your cat a lot. You have one toy to begin with but can earn money to go shopping and buy more toys. There are roughly 6 toys available for you to buy, all of which you need to operate yourself. An example of these toys include a Truck which you can either drive about with your kitten in tow or you can chase your kitten with!
Hygiene - You need to groom your cat regularly. This is done in a similar way to giving your Kitten love. You simple rub the stylus over the kitten until a lady comes on to say your kitten is clean. If you leave it too long, your kitten will end up getting flea's!
There are four different mini games you can play to help you earn money. The money you are awarded depends on the game you are playing and the difficulty level. These games include a game where you need to copy the cat sequence, a music game where you need to hit the right notes, a cupid game where you need to hit hearts with your bone and arrow and lastly a basket ball game.
Once you have earnt money, you can go shopping. You will need to go shopping to ensure your cat always has food and litter. You can buy necessities such as food, litter. You can also buy luxuries such as designed food bowls, collars, beds etc. And finally, you can buy wallpaper etc to customise the house to your style.
You can submit your cat in to shows. For each show that you come in 1st, 2nd or 3rd place, you will be awarded with money. The show length depends on how well you have done with your kitten in previous shows.
When you begin the game, you can select what kitten you wish to look after. There are loads to choose from, in fact, there are 60 different kittens you can pick from! You can also name your kitten.
I think this game will be especially popular with young girls or those who haven't got a pet animal. It is very similar to other games out there such as Nintendogs and was actually developed when Nintendo wouldn't make Nintencats... even though it was high in demand.
I think the game could get a bit repetitive but it is simple to use. The mini games do add a little variety to Purr Pals.
The game can be bought in shops such as Game, Game Station, HMV, Virgin etc but is cheapest on Amazon. The game costs between £18.00 - £28.00.