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Children's Software Review:

Petz:  Dogz 5 & Catz 5

PC Software: Petz: Dogz 5 & Catz 5
Children's Computer Game

By: Ubisoft

Released: June 2005

Our Recommended Age: Ages 5-9

Our Rating: A-



about our reviews:
All reviews at Edutaining Kids are independent and impartial. Our children's software reviews are designed to help parents and caregivers find the right computer games for their kids. Evaluations and ratings are based on educational and entertainment value, age appropriate content, and innovativeness.

 Dogz and Catz

The software, Petz, includes two highly entertaining games in one package: Dogz 5 and Catz 5 --the latest versions of the popular virtual pets series.

Although it's not very educational, and in some ways, not particularly deep, this program is delightful for young children. Kids adopt pets--cats and dogs--and place them in different playscenes. They play with them and care for them in a variety of ways, and although that's pretty much the gist of the whole game, it's not as tiresome as it may sound. In fact, our kid testers return to the game often.

Note that unlike many software bundles, Petz actually combines the two games instead of offering two separate games in one package. In other words, kids can adopt cats and dogs in the same game.

New to this latest edition of the series are day-night cycles, unique "kittenz" and "puppyz" (dogz and catz can have 1 to 4 babies), as well as five new mini-games.

Kids pick up and "drop" pets with their mouse, placing them into playscenes, which are unique environments. After naming their pets, they take care of them by petting and feeding them. Players can also breed their petz. Players can have as many pets as they want, but they are limited to adding a maximum of two pets at one time in a play area. 

Petz are small when they are first adopted, and then grow up to be adult petz. There are 15 breeds of cats, and 15 breeds of dogs to choose from. Different breeds of animals have different personalities, and each pet has individual, unique personalities as well. Adopted petz have personal profiles, and kids can take photos of their petz in action.

Petz can be overfed (they become chubby), can become ill (medicine in their water bowls will solve the problem!), and they certainly need affection, attention, and discipline! Toys are available in the different play areas, and they're portable. Children earn more toys by playing mini-games. Pets can be dressed up in stylish (or not-so-stylish) outfits.

Dogz - Chihuahua

As far as breeding goes, kids need to place a male and a female dog or cat together and either wait for them to fall in love, or speed the process along by offering them such things as heart pillows and love potions. In the screenshot directly above, a new mother Chihuahua watches over her litter of puppies in the nursery playscene.

Kids can create their own playscenes using photos and images as backgrounds. One of our testers created a background using a simple paint program. The software asks kids to define the horizon and ledges (on which catz and dogz can jump) of the scene.

The graphics are kind of funky, but cute nevertheless. Kids find some humor an whimsy in the game as well. For example, a pig who is making his way through the backyard walks over a paintbrush and his head is subsequently painted blue. In various playscenes, different animals arrive from time to time, such as a pig and a bunny in the backyard, a circus dog in the circus playscene, and a Chihuahua with a tiny mustache in the Wild West play area.

We love the fact that dogz and catz never get old or die. Perhaps it's unrealistic, but young children can become very attached to their adopted petz, so we are happy with this feature.

 

Our Rating:

A-

more information:

For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Petz: Dogz 5 and Catz 5 Compilation

Reviewed: June 2005

Comments? Email us

Other Guides, Reviews, & Articles at Edutaining Kids:


see also:

Gift Guides for Kids Ages 5-8

Learn to Read

Fun & Learning with Digital Cameras

 



Petz: Dogz 5 and Catz 5 Compilation


Amazon's Holiday Toy List


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