Even though Fantastic Pets shares more with the Sony Eye Pet game, I can’t shake the feeling that this is how Kinectimals should have worked. My two boys have been having a blast with Fantastic Pets! After the boys got set up, we had two customized dragons at our disposal for playing. Fantastic Pets does a much better job keeping the boys involved without long breaks, which was a problem we had with Kinectimals. Plus the unlimited number of pets you can customize is wonderful, as the boys love to customize things. They could spend days and days just creating pets and changing around existing pets. You can really get attached to your pet, because it is something you dreamt up, rather than something provided for you.
As the first augmented reality game on Kinect for Xbox 360, Fantastic Pets provides an entirely different gaming experience for the family. Players start with four animals – dog, cat, horse and lizard – that can be morphed into imaginative creations from mystical unicorns to ferocious dragons. Once players have created their very own fantasy pet, they enter a world in which they can play with their pets through several mini-games that range from fetching, grooming, and feeding their pets to a series of mini-games that include popping piñatas, partaking in talent shows and many others.
The first thing that my children really loved was the fact that they are part of the action on the screen. You know how kids love being on television? Well, what about being on television with your own favorite dragon? The game also started off with a very cool, “Wow, that is neat,” moment, when we noticed that the dragon that my younger son was playing with was actually sitting on the coach behind him. Color us impressed.
The fact that both boys can actually be involved in the games with the multi-player mode is always a great option. The Mini-Games were actually really fun, but the daily event of the Talent Show–at first I was like, hmm, just one time a day, until I realize that it is pretty genius. You give the player something to look forward to and also teach a little patience at the same time, kudos. Plus the Talent Show itself is super fun to play, and I was a big fan of the game where you have to get your pet to sit after running around the track. My sons loved the Pinatas bash, as well as the games that involved bubbles.
The story of Doctor Menagerie is a good introduction for the game, but it was lost on the boys. They just wanted to jump in to see their flying pets! I can’t say that is a bad thing. Overall the boys LOVE this game, and it is the one they want to play when they get home from school, something that cannot be said about Kinectimals. The boys love their new dragon pets and interacting with them. A great game for the boys and one that really works well with the Kinect. Fantastic Pets wins a gold medal.