Paws & Claws: Pet Resort
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a game for children who are interested in animals. It allows players to take care of guinea pigs, birds, horses, dogs, and cats and provides information regarding these animals' needs needs and behaviors. Kids can interact with the creatures under their care by using the motion sensitive Wii remote to make stroke and brush motions that will effectively groom the pets. What's more, the game forces kids to learn the basics of managing a pet resort. Players use the money they earn for looking after customers' animals to make improvements to habitats, buy more food, and attract more clients.
What's it about?
PAWS & CLAWS: PET RESORT is a companion game to the recently released Paws & Claws: Pampered Pets for the Nintendo DS. However, while the two titles have the same basic concept -- namely, running a kennel that provides pampering services and exceptional abodes for its four-legged guests – the Wii game is by far the more robust of the two.
Pet Resort offers more animal types to care for, additional options for pet interaction, a city that players can visit to buy supplies and receive specific tasks, and even features a simple horse-riding mini-game. That said, its business management component feels a bit more game-ish, thanks to a story that involves the main character -- the player's choice of either a boy or a girl -- trying to prove him- or herself to the town mayor, who comes up with special objectives to complete and awards character stars (essentially ranks) for finishing major jobs.
Is it any good?
Kids who like animals will almost certainly enjoy Pet Resort's agreeable mixture of depth and accessibility. A long and comprehensive tutorial walks players through pretty much every aspect of the game, from running the main office and looking after customers to dealing with the specific needs of various pets. What's more, kids get to interact with their pets in all sorts of imaginative ways, from stroking and cleaning their fur to playing little games with them (turns out rabbits and guinea pigs are fascinated by the classic shell game). You can even teach pets tricks by making hand gestures -- that is, holding down the A-button and moving the Wii remote in a particular pattern.
Keeping your animals happy and healthy is pretty simple when you have just a couple of creatures to look after each day, but things begin to get a bit tougher as the game progresses and more clients show up. Because the animals stay for several days, it's not just a matter of feeding, cleaning, and playing with a pet once and then sending it home, but rather working out a routine that allows you to serve all of the animals every day while making time to head into town to pick up supplies and get new assignments. It can take a while to develop a steady groove, but kids with patience will be rewarded for their persistence. Claws & Paws: Pet Resort is one of the better pet simulation games available for the Wii, and its bargain price makes it even more attractive.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about pet care. Animals require many of the same things that people do, including food, shelter, cleaning, companionship, and time to play. If you have a pet, how many of these things are you responsible for providing? If you don't have a pet, do you think you'd want to take on the responsibility? Having seen the treatment received by pets in the game, do you think that they are too pampered? Is it possible for an animal to become spoiled? Do you think owners of real-world pets are right to spend hundreds of dollars to provide this sort of comfort for their animals?