Pocket Creatures Hands-On Preview and Video

We’ve updated our preview with hands-on video of Pocket Creatures from GDC. See what goes into growing a garden in this very strange, wonderful virtual pet simulator.

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.

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