In my time at MyGamer, I’ve been one of the lucky ones…I’ve never had to come into contact with one of these pet simulation-type games. But my time ran out, and I was lined up to review Zoo Vet: Endangered Species. And what you have with Zoo Vet is an impressively lazy game that, truly, all thought and care was removed from.
So what is Zoo Vet? It is, basically, an animal-themed point-and-click adventure. You play as a vet…who works at a zoo…which has endangered species! You sit around at the zoo’s headquarters, wait for animals to have some sort of ailment, from being hungry (because Vets actually feed animals, right?) to actual illnesses, and remedy the situation through simple point-and-click exploits. Hungry penguin? Drag and drop food from the bottom of the touch screen into their bowl. Sick elephant? Click the tools you want to use and touch where you want to use them. The entire game progresses like that. The entire thing is simple, on-demand touch screen poking. I mean…they have hints! If you hold X when you’re doing the procedures, it tells you what to do and where on the animal to do it. It’s really, really, REALLY easy. The thing is, though, that the “missions” are so ill-described that the hints are the only way you’ll know what to do. For example, there’s an elephant that seems sick. You click around, and eventually find out it has some disease. How do you solve this? Well, there are four different ways to medicate, and there are six different places to apply the prescription. Do you put pills in its food? Do you inject it in the right hind leg? Left front leg? I don’t know. And neither will you, unless you use the hints.
The game has a very strange, yet impressively lazy graphical style. Rather than nice, angular-yet-well-textured renders of animals, the Zoo Vet uses screen upon screen of still-photos of…well…computerized pictures of the animals. The other staff of the zoo is done in style, but the pictures of the staff are done at angles, that would suggest all levels of intensity where there, apparently, is none. In all seriousness, you will see an angled-off profile of somebody looking at a computer, and rather than telling you that satellite photos showed the terrorist (who was actually hired by oil companies or something) taking over the submarine in Fort Whatever, they tell you to drag and drop three fish into the panda’s bowl. But if there’s one thing that needs to be said about just HOW LAZY the graphics are in this game, it’s this: THE AVATAR FOR THE MAIN CHARACTER IN THE GAME IS TAKEN OFF OF YAHOO.COM’S PROFILE CREATION SYSTEM. THEY USED YAHOO.COM TO CREATE GRAPHICS FOR THE GAME. I dropped the graphics rating from a five to a three just for that. Sound is silly little midis.
All that said, the game isn’t truly horrible (that is, it isn’t filled with glitches). It’s a bare-bones adventure game, for lack of a better term. The reading is a bit too complex for children, however, just because they don’t completely abandon the fact that medicine isn’t something simple or child-friendly. When the game says to break out the forceps and collect a stool sample from the alligator (seriously), the hilarity of the request won’t register, and only the savvier children will actually know what they’re supposed to be doing. At $30, this isn’t an impulse buy and it’s not a budget title. I really can’t see anybody wanting to buy this game, and I certainly won’t suggest otherwise. The game isn’t terrible, but it’s definitely bad. Avoid.