Pocket Creatures


Currently Unavailable

Pocket Creatures Hands-On Preview and Video

Let us walk you through a common scenario in the upcoming pet simulator Pocket Creatures. You want to plant a tree to grow some special fruit for your creature, a hairy little beast that looks like a combination of Gizmo from the Gremlin movies and Pikachu from Pokemon. You first need to dig a hole in the ground, and lacking any proper gardening tools, you pick up a nearby platypus and use his shovel-shaped bill to start digging.

With your hole dug, a ceramic vase pops out of the ground. To break it open, you have to use a woodpecker, who can be lured out of his hole in a tree with a tasty bee. Pot shattered, you have access to a special glowing seed, which you place in the ground. And here’s where things get really weird.

You need to both water and fertilize your seedling, before your critter becomes too hungry and cranky. So you use an anteater making vacuum-like slurping sounds to draw water from a nearby pond. But you keep him sucking up water too long, so he explodes. Time for Plan B: Annoy your creature by poking or slapping him until he’s sad, and then harness the raincloud over his head to water your plant.

Now for the fun part: fertilizer. Sure, you can use rotting fruit, but where’s the fun in that? Instead, you can feed any of the nearby smaller animals a snack, and harness their droppings. With all the steps completed, your plant will grow and become heavy with fruit, which can have a range of effects on your creature. Some of these special abilities include making love connections, so you can make the platypus and woodpecker fall in love.

If this all sounds incredibly complex and insane, that’s because it is. We loved the sense of humor that’s prevalent throughout this bizarre pet simulator, and we can already tell that it’s going places Touch Pets Dogs won’t dare. For example, you can feed your creature animal poop, and reinforce it as good behavior by rubbing its tummy afterwards. You can also teach it to have fun by hurting small animals, zapping them with an electrified tail while grinning maniacally.

The potential for mischief and operant conditioning seems very deep, and the developers told us that you’ll be able to either lay on the saccharine sweetness or make a deranged little devil. Either way, we can’t wait to spend a lot more time with this adorable monster. Pocket Creatures will be available in the next few months.

Advertising
More stories on Pocket Creatures

Pocket Creatures Review

Making a great virtual pet simulator is no easy task. Finding just the right mixture of depth, micro-managing, possible outcomes, and player freedom all while keeping the fun factor in check is tougher than it sounds. Tactile Entertainment did a good job with the delicate balance in Pocket Creatures for the most part, making for an enjoyable pet sim experience.

Your creature starts off its life as an egg inside a small cavern. After cracking out of its shell, you pick its color and name and then lead it out onto an island. From here you go through a tutorial that teaches you the reins of caring for your new-found friend.

Unnatural love.

Some of the things to do in the game include feeding your creature, using the bird, anteater, and platypus to complete tasks such as growing plants, and uncovering buried treasure. Pocket Creatures uses OpenFeint for achievements, which when unlocked often lead to new accessories to dress up your creature. You can mix, match, and stack these however you see fit.

Our favorite aspect of the game, however, is the innovative mood mechanic. Your pet’s mood, depicted in a bubble above its head, changes depending on how you treat your pet. You can glide your finger from the pet’s mood bubble to other objects and see what happens. For example, a happy creature will spread joy, while a moody creature will strike others with lightning. Eating certain kinds of food also gives your critter a special trait for a short period of time, such as a shrink ray or invisibility.

The onset of an ice age.

Even though this is great, your creature’s personality is never truly established as unique from other players. Your creature’s mood can be changed in a split second by a couple of taps or swipes on the screen. Having some sort of baseline personality would have made the connection between player and virtual pet even more solid.

Pocket Creatures is a universal app, meaning it can be played with native graphics on either the iPhone or iPad. Unfortunately, there’s no way to sync your pet between devices, so if you want to play on both, you’ll have to create two separate pets. The game looks, feels, and plays much better on the iPad, but if you only own an iPhone it is still a fun, albeit fairly cramped, experience.

Overall, pet lovers are going to find themselves adoring their creature obsessively. Get past the few drawbacks, and there is plenty of fun to be had in Pocket Creatures.

discussion by