Petz: Nursery Game Poster Image

Petz: Nursery

(i)

 

Simple baby animals pet sim promotes other Petz games.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The primary objective in this pet simulator is to play parent to a variety of pets. You need to be attentive and respond to their demands. Given their tender age, these animals are even more dependent on you than what you find in other pet sims.

Positive role models

Players take on the role of a dog owner who looks after young animals, including kittens, puppies, and baby pandas, among many others. As their caregivers, your goal is to nurse them to adulthood by doing things like feeding them from a bottle and playing peek-a-boo with them. You cannot be cruel or mistreat your virtual animals; the only means to progress is to engage in activities that make your pets grow and thrive.

Ease of play

All controls are based around the touch screen and very simple to learn. Kids with a first or second grade reading level shouldn’t have any trouble figuring things out.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

This game is part of Ubisoft’s growing line of Petz products, and can interface with other Petz games and services, including Petz: Dogz Talent Show and Petz.com, allowing players to download new baby pets not available on the cartridge. This could lead children to pine for more Petz-branded items.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Petz: Nursery is designed to interface with other Petz games, beginning with Petz: Dogz Talent Show. It can be played without any other games, but part of its appeal is that baby animals from other games can be sent to Petz: Nursery to be cared for. This could result in children requesting that parents purchase additional Petz games. This one decidedly commercial element aside, it’s a wholesome game that teaches players to be good animal owners and how to “parent” a variety of baby animals. It’s not particularly complex and most goals are immediate; children with a first or second grade reading level should be able to figure out how to play and what to do next.

Parents say

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What's it about?

Part of a deluge of Petz-branded games released by Ubisoft this fall, PETZ: NURSERY lets players play parent to a wide variety of baby mammals, from traditional pets such as Jack Russell terriers, Siamese cats, and golden hamsters to more exotic animals, including pandas, leopards, and polar bears. Animals begin life being fed by a bottle, which players must tip at just the right angle via the touch screen and stylus, and taking rides in a cart, which players pull and maneuver, trying not to spill their young and vulnerable passengers. Other activities include grooming, which involves picking bits of mucous and wax out of your animals’ fur coats, bouncing a balloon back and forth, and trying to get your pet to react to your movements by tapping an on-screen button. Players can also take photos and upload them to Petz.com, as well as receive newborn animals from other Petz games, including Petz: Dogz Talent Show.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

What’s here is fine. Kids will likely enjoy feeding and grooming their pets and watching them grow. The problem is, there’s not much to it, and much of it is very similar to what can be found in other Petz games. In fact, the cart riding minigame here is virtually identical in feel and control to the skateboarding minigame in Petz: Dogz Talent Show. Ditto for the food stirring game.

What’s more, the game’s shtick—that players can download newborn animals from certain other Petz games—seems almost to be proof that the primary reason for this game to exist is simply to make parents buy more Petz products so that they can interface with one another. There’s no reason the few bits of original play and functionality in this game couldn’t have been included in other Petz games to make them slightly deeper experiences. As is, Nursery comes off as a product designed to lure unsuspecting players and parents into buying yet another Petz product.

Online interaction: This game allows children to upload pictures of their animals to Petz.com, where they can be shared with friends. Kids will neither see nor interact with any other players during this process.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the difference between human and animal babies. How are their requirements the same? How are they different? Animals tend to mature much faster than people. Why do you think that is?

  • Families can also discuss whether this game should have been a separate release in the Petz series, or if its functionality ought to have been included in other Petz games. Does it seem complete? Does it feel as though there is enough here to keep players interested?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:UbiSoft
Release date:November 10, 2009
Genre:Simulation
ESRB rating:E for Comic Mischief

This review of Petz: Nursery was written by

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Kid, 7 years old February 25, 2010
Kid, 12 years old March 30, 2010

good for everyone, not any innapropriate behavior or anything

This is a fun and EASY game. I play it, I'm a sixth grader, my sister plays it and she's in second grade. In general, it is fun and exciting but young kids may not be able to handle the responsibility aspect of the game.
Kid, 9 years old January 23, 2010