Animal Shelter Simulator (Xbox One) Review
Michael P Cleworth
Variety in mini-games
Adorable drawings and art
Movement needs addressing
Animal Shelter Simulator is the latest in a long line of simulation games coming to Xbox this year. With a whole magnitude of sims arriving on Xbox Game Pass recently, this cutesy simulator has landed among some fierce competition in the recently hackneyed genre.
With some genuinely brilliant simulation titles having found their way to the console platforms (here’s looking at you, Gas Station Simulator and Power Wash Simulator), Animal Shelter Simulator needed to pull out all of the stops to stand out and shine; to bring something different to the near-threadbare genre.
Run an Animal Shelter
Just in case you haven’t yet guessed, Animal Shelter Simulator is all about running an animal shelter. Taking in waifs and strays, you care for them and tend to their needs until they are ready to move on to their loving “forever homes”.
The duties involved are just what you would expect in such a game; cleaning, feeding, mucking out, healthcare, and administrative duties are all par for the course to create a flourishing, prosperous, and well-reputed shelter.
Unless you want the ASPCA kicking down your door (disclaimer: it’s likely that this won’t be a part of the game), the health and well-being of your furry charges is first and foremost. To keep the animals happy and healthy you need to meet their needs (love, food, water and vetinary access).
Mini Games Throw Variety into Animal Shelter Simulator
Of course, with all of the hard work involved in running an animal shelter, comes your just reward: playing with the animals and showering them with love (and, indeed, water). The general upkeep and care for your temporary pets leads to a number of mini games.
Just as in real life, to keep your animals happy and energised, you need to play with them. Animal Shelter Simulator offers you a variety of ways to play with the animals. Starting with the essentials of a laserpen, and a scratching post for a cat, or a ball for a “gud boi/girl” dog, you unlock more ways to stimulate the animals as you progress through the game.
No Dirty Dogs, Filthy Felines or Rancis Rabbits Allowed
Animal Shelter Simulator turns bath time into play time. On unlocking the washing station, you are able to pamper your pooches and clean your cats in a cute mini-game. Starting with soaping your animal up, you then have to scrub, hose down and dry the fuzzy fella (or fella-ette) using a hair dryer. This leaves the animal happy and whiff-free and offers a level of satisfaction for you, the gamer.
It’s not all Fun and Games in Animal Shelter Simulator
Well, seeing as though it’s a game, it actually is, but bear with me. Running an animal shelter requires a lot of work in the office. From here, you can use your computer to adopt new charges, find forever homes for your companions, order supplies and build. This is the hub of Animal Shelter Simulator and where you can do all of these things, as well as viewing stats and the useful ‘how to play’ tab, should you need it.
Moving Around in Animal Shelter Simulator
Despite the shear cuteness of Animal Shelter Simulator, the sluggish movement can’t be ignored. It felt as though we were walking through a thick gloop (yes, the floors were clean). Even after turning the ‘look sensitivity’ (the only sensitivity option) up to its maximum, very little changed. We can only hope this is an oversight and is fixed before the game launches on November 25.
Animal Shelter Simulator – Summary
If the movement speed issue were to be addressed, Animal Shelter Simulator would be a delightful way to pass the time. Adopting, naming and rehoming animals is always going to be a rewarding feat, even if they are digital animals. The mini-games are fun and it’s always heart-warming to see the animals reacting to your affection, hard work and love; it’s just a crying shame that it feels like controlling a concrete refrigerator.
Fix this, Games Incubator, and you have a sure-fire winner in Animal Shelter Simulator.