Fantastic Pets

Game review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
Fantastic Pets Game Poster Image
Kinect-enabled sim brings pets into the living room.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Players work for a kind of animal sanctuary where exotic pets from around the world are collected and cared for. Animals choose to come and live in the sanctuary as opposed to being caught and brought back. The game's motion-based interface encourages physical activity.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players are encouraged to play with and train their pets by a life-like computerized guide. The animals themselves are playful and non-aggressive.

Ease of Play

Controls are completely gesture-based and for the most part easy to execute. Kids can make different poses in front of the camera, which the pets will imitate, and can communicate with the pet by speaking simple voice commands like "Jump!" and "Sit!" Controls are less responsive during certain mini-games.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fantastic Pets is a pet simulation that uses gesture-based controls and voice commands and requires the Xbox 360's Kinect motion capture camera to play. There's no coarse language or offensive material whatsoever, but players should be aware of their real-world surroundings while playing some of the more physical mini-games.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Kid, 8 years old February 12, 2018

It's fun but.........

I really enjoy this game. I have been playing since I was two. There are lots of good things about this game. One thing I don't enjoy very much is that aft... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byWriterGirl1233 May 22, 2011

Good for younger kids

A younger kid who loves animals or something like that would really like this game.

What's it about?

FANTASTIC PETS puts players in charge of caring for a variety of exotic dogs, cats, lizards, and ponies who have unique characteristics like the ability to breathe fire or fly. Kids engage with their pets through mini-games and activities such as washing and brushing the pet (yes, even the lizards), playing fetch, chasing bubbles, teaching them voice- and gesture-based commands, and entering talent show competitions to earn gems, which unlock new ways to customize the pet's appearance. Eventually the player can adopt more pets for a total of four.

Is it any good?

Thanks to the Kinect camera peripheral, it looks like the pet is right there in the player's own living room (or wherever the entertainment center is set up), which adds new layers of fun and interactivity to the pet sim model. Kids are also encouraged to get active through a variety of mini-games that will have them running on the spot, crouching, jumping, waving their arms, and making different poses for their pet to imitate. A second player can join the game at any time bringing his or her pet along, too.

The only downside is that gestures don't always register as crisply as in other Kinect games, which can lead to frustration when, for example, it takes a few tries before you're able to grab the ball out of your pet's mouth. This is an occasional rather than a chronic problem, however, and is by no means a deal-breaker for this family-friendly sim.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it felt like to be able to see yourself and your pet together on the TV screen. Was it a good enough substitute for having a real pet? Did you enjoy being able to get active with your pet?

  • What are some of the differences involved with caring for a real pet rather than a virtual one? What are some of the things your virtual pet can do that a real one couldn't, and vice versa?

Game details

  • Platforms: Xbox 360
  • Price: $39.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: THQ
  • Release date: April 12, 2011
  • Genre: Simulation
  • ESRB rating: E for (No descriptors)
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love being active

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