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Paws and Claws Pet Vet

For: Mobile   Also on: iPhone

Cute puppies, cuddly kittens and massive great big needles to jab them with

Product: Paws and Claws: Pet Vet | Developer: Universomo | Publisher: THQ Wireless | Format: Mobile | Genre: Casual, Party/ mini- games, Simulation | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | File size: 437KB | Reviewed on: K810i other handsets | Version: Europe
 
Paws and Claws: Pet Vet Mobile, thumbnail 1
Ten years or so back, vets were like mini-celebrities. Who could forget Trude Mostue attempting to vaccinate a kitten by poking the needle through one bit of skin, out the other side and firing the vaccine across the room? And Rolf Harris tearfully consoling broken owners whose dogs were just about to be put to sleep. Or rather, to death.

While that particular reality TV boom seems to have come to an end, the popularity of pet games continues. You can ride horses, stroke farm animals, cuddle hamsters, walk dogs. The animal loving line might thankfully be drawn before an appearance on Jerry Springer with your horse bride, but I'm thinking it's only a matter of time.

Paws and Claws Pet Vet goes a bit further than simply letting you look after animals though. Instead it puts you in the white coat of a vet in your first veterinary surgery. Your game days are spent diagnosing the assorted problems of the animals passing through your surgery, then treating them.

And, just for a bit of random variety, at the end of every day you can go out into the field and pick some flowers. Much more wholesome than the pub.

Yes, it's every bit as cute as it sounds. Especially when it comes to the visuals, where one puppy, kitten or parrot after another pops through the door and treating them correctly earns you lots of spewing hearts.

But more importantly, it's a lot of fun to play.

You both diagnose and treat each animal by playing a short mini-game. These mini-games all share something in common in that they're based around moving your piece of equipment over the relevant bits of the animals by stopping a rotating arrow when it's pointing in the direction you want to move it.

But they're all distinctly different too. If you want to check an animal's skin you move a magnifying glass around, or to take a blood sample you move the needle to the right area then stop the arrow again in the right place to draw in the blood.

They do get a bit repetitive after a while, but they're also more challenging since the arrows start to rotate quicker and require sharper reactions to stop in the correct area. As an incentive for doing well, the quicker you treat an animal the more hearts you earn.

What's probably cleverest though is that some detective work is needed to diagnose an animal. So the owner might tell you his pet is off its food and tired, which normally means some sort of deficiency or infection picked up with a blood test.

Itchy skin is normally fleas, found with the magnifying glass. Rabbits though, often present unusual symptoms not as easily diagnosed as in the dogs and cats.

Once you've found the problem, you have a variety of treatments to choose from. So, a wound needs stitching, fleas picking out with tweezers, and infections given antibiotics. Again, you play variations of the diagnosis mini-games to cure your patient.

Padding out this basic game is an option to decorate your veterinary surgery at the end of the day by picking from items such as paintings, sofas and carpets. It's a nice achievement to see your patients enjoying some jukebox music and other comforts in the waiting room.

There's also that flower-picking mini-game, which is much more skill-based than the rest of the game since you have limited moves and the longer you can keep them, the better you do.

The fact the rest of it doesn't require quite so much skill is our biggest criticism of Paws and Claws Pet Vet. More experienced players won't feel they've really earned their expanding vet practice since it's hard to do really badly.

However, for the younger audience this is no doubt aimed at, this game is cute as a collie puppy and almost as much fun to play with.
 
Paws and Claws Pet Vet
Reviewer photo
Kath Brice | 16 December 2008
Diagnose and treat a range of pet problems in your own veterinary practice by playing a range of mini-games. It won't be challenging enough for everyone, but younger, animal-loving gamers will be drawn in like a cat to a clockwork mouse factory
 
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