Pups and Purrs Animal Hospital (Switch, PS4)

Become an up and coming veterinarian and take care of cats and dogs in Pups and Purrs Animal Hospital.  It’s kind of a cross between Nintendogs and Cooking Mama in that you play mini-games to take care of pets.  The game is available on Switch and PS4, but reviewed on Switch here.

There are two main modes of play.  In Story Mode you’ll live out the day to day life of a beginner veterinarian.  And when you play mini-games to take care of animals in this mode, you’ll unlock them to play separately to practice in Work Mode.  But you’ll probably spend most of your time in Story Mode.  To start, you’ll design a character and choose their outfit, even though it doesn’t matter much since in most of the game you’ll be wearing a vet uniform.  On each day you’ll have morning and afternoon appointments where you’ll play mini-games to take care of animals.  During lunches, breaks, and days off, you can choose to study, talk with other workers, or go out and shop for new outfits or eat in a café.  Each of these things will increase or decrease stats like “Happy,” “Relaxed,” or “Knowledge.”  Although I don’t know how this affects the main part of the gameplay: the mini-games.

During each appointment, you’ll first set the dog or cat on the table and use a magnifying glass or virtual hands to pinpoint the animals’ problem.  You’ll have some text at the bottom of the screen to give you cues as to where to look.  Then you’ll play simple Cooking Mama style mini-games to give the pet medicine, spray for fleas, clear out ear infections, give eye drops, wash the pet, remove splinters, calm it down, and much more.  You can use button or motion controls, although just using buttons is easier.  If you complete the games fast enough, you’ll earn stamps and when you get enough, you’ll level up and can do harder mini-games.  On some days you’ll earn a paycheck which you can use to buy more outfits for your character.

And that’s pretty much the game.  It’s a fine game for younger players, but I did have a couple of small problems with it.  One, the mini-games can get a bit repetitive, as most of them are very similar.  The other problem is kind of a reverse from the problem most other games have.  When designing your character, you can only be a female.  Sure the hospital you work in looks like Hello Kitty threw up pastel colors everywhere, and the animals you take care of look more like plush toys, but guys can like cute games, too!  But otherwise, it’s a serviceable game for kids who enjoy taking care of animals.

Kid Factor:

Nothing violent or objectionable here.  Even when you treat an animal’s wound in the game, it just shows up as pink scratch marks and such, so no blood or other disgusting stuff like what you see in the Dr. Pol TV show (I can’t watch that show for very long).  Even though the game has spoken voices, it’s all in Japanese so reading skill is still required.  Not sure why they didn’t localize that aspect more when bringing the game to the US, especially since this is a kids’ game, but oh well.  Pups and Purrs Animal Hospital is rated E for Everyone.

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