EyePet & Friends

EyePets Aren't Really My Friends

Sure, my kids might enjoy EyePet & Friends, but parents could be in for a nightmare.
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: December 1, 2011
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Obviously a game like EyePet & Friends wasn't meant for the "gaming crowd", but rather for the children of that crowd who (hopefully) aren't going to be allowed to play Saints Row: The Third and probably can't handle the intricacies even of something like ICO. Those same kids don't want to be left out in the cold in a gaming household, so Sony wants to make sure they get hooked early with titles like EyePet.

There isn't a whole lot of "game" in EyePet & Friends, as it is more of a virtual life simulator like those pesky Tamagotchis that plagued elementary schools of the 90's. When you first start the game, you'll be given an egg to hatch (by beating the various sides of it until it cracks) and soon out will come this admittedly adorable sort of monkey-dog creature that'll be your new pet. This new guy is going to be pretty hungry and kinda messy, so the first order of business will be to feed and wash that bundle of fur.

All the action in EyePet takes place right on your living room floor, thanks to the PSEye and your Move wand (these are absolutely required, by the way). It can be a little disconcerting to see this sharp and bright EyePet frolicking on a very dark and grainy background (even with the lights turned on high directly overhead, my brown carpet was just a muddled mess) but that is probably a technical limitation that can't be helped. Your Move wand will magically morph into whatever utensil is needed at the moment, so when you go to feed your pet, it'll become a scoop to let you gather up the cookies (that helpfully appear in a big container floating in the air) and dump them into a bowl. During washing time, the wand will morph from a shower head to a shampoo bottle and then a hair dryer, much to the delight of my kids. While you can certainly spend a lot of time on feeding and grooming (and these guys get hungry and dirty FAST), eventually you'll want to do more with that little pet.

Heading over to the play area, you'll now be able to cycle through a whole new set of toys to change the wand into. A laser pointer will be an endless source of amusement for your pet, who will leap and pounce around the screen trying to grab that elusive dot just like a real pet. A water gun lets you torment the little fuzzball by spraying water all over the place (including the furniture in your house!) and a trampoline provides a minigame of its own as you'll see how many consecutive times you can bounce your pet without letting it touch the ground. Finally, there is a "trick stick" that draws lines of light in the air, and you can train your pet to do tricks when you draw certain shapes. These tricks range from your standard roll over and play dead all the way to the somewhat sublime moonwalking and "star leaping" which look a bit odd to say the least.

That's not all you'll be able to do, no sir. Earn enough tokens (which you get every time you complete any sort of task like feeding or training) and you can unlock a variety of minigames that are fairly simple yet fun, such as a whack-a-mole type of game, a crude form of basketball, a shooting gallery and a half-dozen others. These of course unlock MORE tokens that can buy more games or also a wide range of adorable outfits for your little critters. Yeah, you can dress up as a robot or princess, and better yet your kids can stick stickers and scribble all over those outfits to really make them their own. They can also customize all the UFO's, diggers, boats and other objects that are used in the minigames. There are certainly plenty of avenues for your little tykes to explore their creative side with EyePet & Friends.
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