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EyePet (Eye Pet) PS3 Review - -

Gameplay 8.5
Graphics 8.0
Sound 8.0
Value 8.7
Distributor: Sony
Review Date:
October 2009
James Wright



I'm not sure how this one slipped under my radar but with Microsoft's Project Natal    just around the corner, Sony have upped the ante with their new camera and motion control game called EyePet which creates a virtual pet in your living room.

As the 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.

The game 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 cute.

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.

The menu 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.
Final Thoughts?

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.


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