A Long time ago, I worked in a toy store when the first Tamagotchis came out. (Yep, I’m that old…) and I remember clearly seeing the lines out the door of customers waiting patiently for the shipments to crack open so they could grab their very own digital chicken. People were CRAZY about those things!
Winding forward into 2022, we have Pets VR, by Actum Games. Pets VR for Quest 2 is a virtual pet simulator (kind of like a Tamagotchi, but better, because there is no chicken and it’s in VR of course…) where you play the role of a caretaker in a virtual Pet Resort. The goal is to keep your dog or cat happy, fed, rested, washed, played with, walked and trained. You can also play games to win points to buy snazzy pet accessories.
When I started the game, I walked through the door, into a pleasant waterfall scene (positional waterfall audio was a nice touch) and then picked the dog door. As soon as I entered the door, I was taken to a room and guided around as I trimmed (his/her/its) toenails, fed them, played some games, washed them, pet them, and tried to win stuff. The first accessory that I picked at random was a pink dog bow and outfit.
Overall, the game is very playful. It is great fun for adults and your kids will love it! Lots of things to interact with, buttons to press, food to grab and drop into a bowl. When your pet sleeps, for example, you need to pop their sleep bubbles to wake them. It is a good mix of casual, playful, and some challenges to keep your happy pet scores up and earn points.
On another note, I am not really sure what I was doing wrong, because the dog started whining by the door and I wanted to take it out for a walk, but the door handle didn’t let me go out. Maybe I’m just not capable of figuring out something obvious or I missed a step, (probably the case) but anyways, my dog didn’t get any walks. Poor doggie!
I also threw balls and other objects, but the dog didn’t want to fetch them and I didn’t get any points. Again, I probably missed something really basic here, but again, not a happy doggo.
As I was playing the game, my real dog became very jealous that I was petting the virtual dog and proceeded to lay at my feet, bark at me and when I reached out to pet the VR Dog, my real dog was really there. Or was he??? Regardless, it was pretty realistic!
Anyways, I am off to play with the virtual cat. There are supposed to be some wind-up mice and some grumpy fish. Maybe my real cat will get involved?
Click here to check out more details. It is currently available on Applab in the Oculus shop, Steam and Sidequest.
Sean Earley is the Executive Editor of AR/VR Magazine & co-founder of RobotSpaceship Podcast Network. He is the Director of New Biz Development and Publishing at KEMWEB, a musician, producer & consultant. He loves guitars, VR and coffee.