This could have been great for younger or less seasoned gamers, but poorly-implemented controls and a lack of direction hold it back
This is the sort of game that’s frustrating to see and play, one that doesn’t feel like it has a firm grasp of its optimum target audience and how best to be accessible to them. There’s no doubt it’s cute, featuring loads of different representations of animal breeds to help you have an easier time visually keeping track of which one is which. That’s important because more often than not time is of the essence as you’ll have to try to keep them fed, stocked with water, clean, and happy while courting potential new owners and keeping up with new drop-offs. Where things go wrong begins with the controls, which you can get the hang of but are far from intuitive when it comes to having to go pick up tools, put them down, pick up a new one, and burn time simply being sure to select the right thing. Similarly, while leashing dogs is quick and easy, getting them to be where they need to or initiate certain activities is clunky. What really hurts the experience the most though, keeping in mind that kids or more casual gamers would likely be a great audience for the game, is that it feels like you’re expected to keep far too many plates spinning at once without much guidance or help on prioritizing or best understanding how to manage your success. With some work I think it could be much more accessible and fun, whether by just tightening things up or simply having more granularity on difficulty or an ability to slow things down so you have a moment to think.
Justin Nation, Score: