Kinectimals verses Fantastic Pets

With the Kinect looking to open the Xbox 360 up to the family market one of its release day titles was Kinectimals, a super furry cat pet game, advertised by a kid playing dead on the floor.  Then recently another pet based entered the arena offering more animals at slightly cheaper price.  After spending some time playing on both I’ve decided to review them together and give the verdict on which is the fluffiest and most fun.

Kinectimals starts off which what I can only described as a lemur crossed with a fairy explaining to you that there used to be a crew of sailors but they’ve long gone.  I can only assume that the cubs you’ve just been introduced to have eaten them.  You get to meet the animals, which only consist of wild cats a tiger, lion, panther, cheetah and leopard.  Apparently you can unlock more animals but I haven’t got that far so I just choose a panther that I called Cub.  I then spent the next few minutes stroking and playing with Cub.  Kinectimals is exceptionally well made with beautiful graphics; the best way of describing the graphics is think Pixar.  The activities are basic, throwing stuff at dominoes, driving an RC car etc but the interactions between you and your pet are brilliant.  The animal reacts to what you do realistically and never stops being cute.  I like it best when Cub comes up and licks the screen, then purrs as I stroke his head.  As you play the mini games you gain coins and experience.  Coins you trade for more toys and treats for your pet and experience opens up new challenges on the map.

Fantastic Pets starts off with a computer/house explaining that your uncle has gone on another exploration to find some different species of animals and he wants you to look after the place while he is away.  In Fantastic Pets you start off with one pet and are able to gain more pets as the game goes on.  In total there are 20 different pets you can choose from.  These are separated into 4 categories; cats, dogs, lizards and horses.  Each category has a flying creature or two and the lizard group has a fire breather.  I choose a fire-breathing lizard that they had already named; I was disappointed I couldn’t name him myself.  The mini games consist of washing, feeding and just general playing with your pets.  The mini games are repetitive to say the least, washing my lizard consisted of pretty much waving at the screen for 5 minutes.  The good thing about this game is that part of the area you can play with your pets in is your own room.  The pets get superimposed into the image of your room.  However this comes with some problems, the game is not as responsive as Kinectimals and whenever my pet would go in front of me he would camouflage to the colour of my clothes.  Another problem is that you are limited what games you can play with your pet in your room and trying to stroke your pet is a nightmare.  The main aim is to complete challenges to become a master trainer but after becoming a beginner trainer I was bored and wanted to go back to Cub.  The graphics are good but nowhere near as beautiful as Kinectimals as they are very cartoony and feel like this was a game originally made for the Wii where the graphical power is less.

I found that Fantastic Pets was very wordy and I spent most of my time listening to the computer/house tell me what was going on rather than playing with my pet.  This meant I got bored very quickly and turned it off.  However I found Kinectimals very repetitive with constant throwing games.

Both games offer pretty much the same gaming experience except I feel that Kinectimals has the advantage of being developed by Microsoft and so works much better with the Kinect system.

Overall if I had to choose on to give to a child, I would choose Kinectimals everytime.  Not only because it looks beautiful but the voice interaction in it seems to work a lot better.  My only hope is that Kinectimals will bring out DLC with different animals.

GS Reviewer: Amy

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  1. Teresa Miller /

    I found your review very helpful in choosing which game to buy for my 4 young grandchildren. Thank you.

    Grandmother in Ohio

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