Thanks to iOS, I’ve gotten really into farming games in a way I never thought I would. I don’t usually pay for the in-game upgrades, I just patiently wait for buildings to build and characters to complete their tasks, usually over several hours. You can just check in every few hours and see what you’ve built, and assign your characters new tasks. Games like Simpsons Tapped Out, Gnome Village and Tiny Tower give you plenty of entertainment without buying extras, because there are a ton of things you can build and jobs you can assign people. The latest farming game to be released for iOS isn’t quite as exciting.
To be fair, I’m so not the target audience for Littlest Pet Shop, though that’s not to say there haven’t been plenty of awesome kids games based on kids shows. Based on the Hub show and Hasbro toy line, Littlest Pet Shop lets you build a community for cute animated animals. Build some houses to hold your pets, add some toys for them to play with, and earn credits to buy more items by taking care of your pets. Mostly you earn kibble in the game, but bling is worth more and it’s harder to come by, so you can purchase bling with real money. The game will encourage you to use bling to speed up wait times, or upgrade items to their higher grade counterparts.
I’m not one to purchase bling, so if I build a house and it takes half an hour, or I choose a pet and it takes five minutes to be ready, I just wait. There’s plenty to occupy your time in the meantime. In fact there’s almost too much. Every pet you have needs constant attention, kind of like a real pet. There are different tasks you can perform with the fake cartoon animals, but they hardly constitute as mini-games.
The first thing you always have to do is wash your pet, and you do this by rubbing your finger over the screen to scrub the animal. You can play fetch, feed them treats or help them find matching pets. These are little time wasters but the Littlest Pet Shop calls them mini-games, and that’s overstepping the definition of “game”. The only one that’s a game of any sort is fetch, because you throw a ball to the pet and then tap it every time the pet hits it back to you. Scrubbing is not a game, and swiping your finger over bowl of food to feed the animal is not a game.
Littlest Pet Shop will keep you busy if you’re into that though. There’s no downtime. You can always tap on a pet and do something with it. It becomes more annoying that you have to play these stupid “mini-games” all the time, but for really little kids it should be easy. The more upgrades you add, the more money you can collect, but you could really just sit there and tap on fake cartoon pets if that’s what you want. Of course, there are higher grade houses, pets and toys available if you save up your bling, or just buy some, but it wouldn’t change the game. It would only show off how much you’ve purchased.
The graphics are good, because the animals and houses look just like the cartoon. Sound effects are playful. It’s not real pet noises but it would make you feel like you’re playing with the animated pets from the show. If you’re social you can visit other pet towns and invite people to visit yours.
I like animals and I like farming games, but I just wasn’t that into Littlest Pet Shop. Maybe there are just so many farming games now, one needs to stand out if you want to invest your time in them. Littlest Pet Shop doesn’t do anything that different. Maybe if I watched the show I’d be more attached to it, or maybe I’d be equally disappointed that my favorite animated characters didn’t do more in a game.