PUPPY POWER: Pets allows young gamers to own and train a virtual animal.
PUPPY POWER: Pets allows young gamers to own and train a virtual animal.

Thumbs up for pet adventure story

THE washing, the feeding, the daily walks, the chewed shoes, the piles of poo - sheesh, owning a dog can be a real drag.

That's where Pets comes in.

The handheld PlayStation Vita game cuts all the admin out of owning a real pet and delivers virtual shenanigans aimed squarely at gamers with little fingers.

The premise is much like real life.

Once you've chosen your pet, gamers have to teach their virtual puppy basic tricks like sitting and fetching a ball to make progress.

While you're getting the basics down, you'll earn Buddy points that can be spent on customisation options.

Want your dog to rock a pink bowtie and matching sunnies? Done. From there, it's time to head out on an adventure, and it's at that point the game comes into its own.

The smooth animation and colourful graphics that populate the game's story mode are wonderful. The book-reading animations are particularly enjoyable.

And though the voice work - yes, these dogs can talk - gets annoying and tasks repetitive, it doesn't seem to be a problem for younger players.

My son loved every minute of his time with the game especially when he got to choose his pet's name.

What did he call him? Fart.

Pets also takes good advantage of the Vita's touchscreen abilities: to make your dog sit, you'll need to swipe down; to throw a ball, it's sideways. It's great training for future gaming fans.

And just like real life, if you don't look after your pet he'll get up to mischief.