A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that kids can learn quite a bit about farm animals and their behaviors from this game, as long as they don't mind performing the occasional distasteful task like cleaning a rabbit's dirty bum, swabbing a pig's crusty sores, or taking an animal's temperature by putting a thermometer into its "rear." Kids might also see small dollops of blood while using the scalpel and other surgical tools.
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What's it about?
FARM VET lets players step into the shoes of a caregiver who's responsible for feeding, playing with, and treating 10 types of barnyard animals, including ducks, chickens, rabbits, pigs, horses, goats, and sheep. Players choose a character by selecting gender, appearance, and clothing and can select one of three difficulty levels.
Each morning your trusty PDA outlines a to-do list that you must complete before the day is over. Some duties are as simple as topping up feed bins or playing mini-games like collecting eggs or milking the cow.
Is it any good?
The most challenging part of the game is treating sick and injured animals. With a variety of medical instruments and tools at your disposal -- including an X-Ray machine, syringes, swabs, a thermometer, and even surgical tools -- you must use powers of deduction and observation to arrive at a diagnosis, then administer the correct treatment.
Farm Vet's graphics could be better, and the game suffers from finicky controls, imprecise "hot spots" to click on the animals, and a wildly swinging camera. Although the game claims 60 different medical problems to treat, they seem to repeat very frequently. That said, Farm Vet does provide a lot of interesting reading material for young budding veterinarians in the family, including a glossary of tools and animals and a database of farm-related careers
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