My Universe – Pet Clinic Cats & Dogs
Developed By: It Matters Games
Published By: Microids
Release Date: 02.09.21
My Universe – Pet Clinic Cats & Dogs for the Nintendo Switch is not the type of game I usually play. I like games with immersive strategic elements and deep, engrossing, mature narratives. So while I do believe that video games are for everyone, this particular game is clearly not for 36-year-olds. It’s definitely aimed at younger players who have a big interest in animals. Nonetheless, I found Pet Clinic Cats & Dogs to be a testament to the power of cohesive presentation. The graphics aren’t cutting edge and the gameplay doesn’t break a whole lot of ground, but this game is put together with a basic level of competence and consistent quality that, even though the subject matter didn’t appeal to me personally, was hard not to appreciate as a gamer, and its core audience will doubtless love it.
A Family Business
The game’s story mode sees players take the role of a young veterinarian who has just inherited their grandfather’s practice. Together with your upbeat secretary Hannah, players will see patients for checkups, injuries, and illnesses. You’re rewarded with coins and stars for each patient you see, and the amount of money and stars you get depends on how well you carry out the procedure. Money is used to unlock new facilities in your veterinary clinic. The facilities you can buy are gated by your clinic’s overall level, which rises the more stars you collect.
Every pet that comes into your clinic will either be in for a checkup or have some sort of affliction in need of attention. Your job is to examine and diagnose each animal, and then carry out the treatment. Every step of the way has its own minigame action that is simple enough for younger players to understand, but active enough to be engaging. For example, giving a pet a vaccination starts with disinfecting the injection site by rubbing it with cotton swabs. You then hold certain button combinations for the required amount of time to complete the steps of uncorking the needle, injecting it, pressing the plunger, and removing the needle. Finally, you place a bandage over the injection site by moving the thumbstick from side to side.
A Job Well Done
Your performance during these procedures determines the satisfaction level of your patients. Getting everything right on the first try and within the listed time limit will net you three stars. The more mistakes you make, the unhappier your patients will be. If they get too mad, you’ll lose stars and money. The game is pretty generous with how it hands out stars, though, so younger gamers shouldn’t get too discouraged if they don’t do everything perfectly. Additionally, clients will leave gifts every time you get three stars, including more money and cosmetic items you can use to decorate the clinic.
Too Cute For Words
If we’re being honest with ourselves, the number one reason for playing this game is to see all the adorable puppies. And I guess some cats, too, if that’s your thing. Whatever your preference, Pet Clinic delivers. While the graphics aren’t hyper-realistic, the game features bright colors and an inviting, gentle aesthetic that remind me just a little of my nephews’ favorite show, Paw Patrol. Most importantly, the animals are just adorable. There are a bunch of different breeds of both cats and dogs and they’re all just so cute and the whole dang game just looks so sweet it’ll give you cavities.
You Can Pet The Dogs
My Universe – Pet Clinic Cats & Dogs is a great game for younger players, especially any that love animals. The gameplay is simple enough to be satisfying for casual or younger players. The game progresses at a nice pace, introducing new treatments as new facilities open up. And if you don’t want the hassle of running the simple economic side of the game, there is a Petting Zoo mode that just lets you pet the animals or try the different procedures whenever you’d like. Bottom line, it’s just an adorable good time.
My Universe – Pet Clinic Cats & Dogs
Digital – $29.99
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The Switch Effect was graciously supplied a code for review purposes.