A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a good way to introduce kids to simulation games because this one is particularly easy to play. It's a good fit for ages 7 to 14, but there is a lot of waiting around for animals to arrive in the early scenarios. Encourage your kids to hang in there -- their animal hospital will get more popular and busier the longer they play.
What's it about?
Viva-Media's PET VET 3D: WILD ANIMAL HOSPITAL is an easy vet simulation game where you play as a veterinarian, helping the vet to decide what is wrong with each animal brought in by the gamekeepers. You help build enclosures and fill them with appropriate rocks, trees, sandpits, or watering holes for animals who stay at the clinic, and nurture the animals. The vet has needs, too, and you have to make sure she eats, relaxes, researches, and sleeps. This game is also a simple business simulation: While it isn't difficult to make money for upkeep and expansion by successfully treating the animals, it's a factor you need to pay attention to, and the amount of cash you have affects how quickly you can play through a scenario.
Is it any good?
For kids, this glimpse into an adult world of caring for animals can be quite engaging. Because players read books about each animal along with the vet, kids will learn about the habits and common illnesses of African animals. By practicing veterinary medicine alongside the virtual vet, you will learn to apply your knowledge to real-life situations.
But in the early scenarios, there's a lot of waiting for animals to arrive at your clinic, something that most kids don't do well. And while the animals are depicted in lifelike 3D, with the nifty ability to zoom close to them, there are many times when the graphics are ill-suited to the situation. This is a good first simulation game for kids who have never played one, but its simplicity means that older kids may get bored. And while it contains a lot of good information about animals, some of its components are unrealistic, particularly the playing with wild animals.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the problems facing veterinarians of wild animals versus the problems encountered when dealing with pets. Who brings these wild animals to the hospital and what is their role in the National Game Reserves in Africa? Do you think this simulation game is realistic? Should you try to pet wild animals? How about playing games with them?
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.