Who would’ve thought the simplest game I’ve ever reviewed turned out to be the hardest? By no means was it difficult to play. Pet Pals: New Leash on Life is a fairly simple point-and-click simulation of a veterinarian clinic, and will gladly walk you through any challenge it gives you. The real challenge came in reviewing the game. As a twenty-something hardcore gamer with no dreams of becoming a veterinarian, I had a hard time responding to Pet Pals in any fashion, positive or negative.
When judged as a game in the traditional sense, Pet Pals is lacking. The graphics and presentation are dull, the voice acting is competent but suffers from cheesy writing, and the core gameplay is repetitive. But these deficiencies matter only if you judge Pet Pals as a game alone. The program’s real goal is to help promote the Humane Society and animal care. In that respect, Pet Pals succeeds at appealing to pet owners and non-gamers, which aren’t likely to care about its deficiencies as a game.
As a gamer writing for other gamers, I cannot recommend Pet Pals. While not particularly bad, it lacks qualities that appeal to anyone without major interest in the subject matter. But Pet Pals was clearly never meant for a traditional and younger gaming audience. If you care about animals or know someone who does, it might be worth checking out.