I'm not sure how this one slipped under my
radar but with Microsoft's Project Natal just around the corner,
have upped the ante with their new camera and motion control game
called EyePet which creates a virtual pet in your living room.
virtual pet craze is still quite popular, especially on the Nintendo DS
(Nintendogs), Studio London have created their own virtual creature for
the PlayStation 3 that is a cross between a Gremlin and a cat.
Thankfully if you do feed it after midnight, it does not turn into a
crazed bloodthirsty killer.
The game comes with the PlayStation Eye
Camera which films part of your lounge room (or wherever your PS3 is
setup) in order to create an environment for your virtual EyePet and for the person
or persons to
interact with it.
There are also a number of activities that assist
the gamer in acquiring new items for their pet via challenges to help
with the interactivity. Compared to a dog or a cat, EyePet almost acts like
a real pet which is ideal for the younger the gamer as they feed, pat
and play with it.
Before jumping straight into the game or virtual pet management, the
game takes the player through the tutorial which includes setting up
the PlayStation Eye Camera and the basics of caring for your new pet.
Using high quality videos, the game will show you how to setup the
camera which needs to be facing onto the floor which will be your area
for the EyePet.
Once you have setup your camera, you need to put the EyePet card on the floor which is used to interact with your pet
later on. Once the camera has been setup, it's time to help your EyePet
hatch and by gently rocking the egg back and forth (the camera detects
movement to mimic the egg moving), this will help your new pet come to
life. Of course you need to "name" your new pet and ours was "Coyote".
By using the card which comes with the game, it "magically transformers
into a hairdryer
which is used on the egg to help with the final moments of incubation.
Once hatched, the game helps you become familiar with your pet by playing
with it, feeding it and even dressing it up.
Even though it takes a little
getting use to the card system, this card can become virtually anything
from a feeding bowl to a toy and even an x-ray machine which makes the
interaction process with EyePet quite a realistic experience.
or virtual pet simulator contains daily challenges and activities for your EyePet
with the player being awarded medals by
completing these challenges. As you do complete challenges, you can
purchase new items for your EyePet such as clothes and yes, they do look
A really fun aspect of EyePet is you can teach it to sing songs and
even draw pictures which is very cool. The various challenges or
mini-games in EyePet work quite well such as feeding your pet or playing
games such as ten pin bowling or balloon popping. I must admit that the
drawing capabilities of the EyePet was quite outstanding and it does a
great job at replicating what you draw.
In relation to the camera,
I must admit that the PlayStation Eye Camera is a rather accurate piece
of equipment and it detects the player or players quite well, whether your patting
your EyePet to sleep, tickling it or playing games with it, the accuracy
is quite outstanding.
The only recommendation that I would make is that
the game needs to played in a rather well lite room which helps for
accuracy. The bigger your lounge room floor (as seen in the screenshots)
also helps with the interactivity.
Once setup, the first time you
run your fingers along its head and see its hair move is quite a surreal
experience. The way it interacts with your environment is quite cool as
well and my partner was moving her foot in front of the camera and when
the EyePet saw this, it tried to jump and grab it. It's quite a
realistic virtual pet and of course children and some adults will simply
adore this creature.
Graphically, EyePet is quite a realistic looking creature that has some
great fur movement and as it runs or if the player pets it, it moves
like it would in real-life. The objects in the game are rather basic and
cartoony but it actually suits the presentation perfectly.
system of EyePet is oozing with family friendly goodness and ensures
that gamers of all ages can use this title without any issues, except
maybe a few installation hiccups. Add in some great sounds from the
EyePet itself from purrs to growls and an ambient yet pleasant
soundtrack and this is one very well made title.
EyePet is a fun game that kids will simply adore and even some adults
will get a kick out of it. The replay factor for parents and older
children will probably start to ween quite early, however for the
younger gamer and family market, EyePet is definitely a must have toy, game,
virtual pet for Christmas. I would say the game is clever but that
doesn't do this title justice. This the Tamagotchi of the 21st century.