Young vets helping pets!
If you’ve stumbled upon this review, you probably fall into one of two categories — you’re either checking to see if My Universe: Pet Clinic Cats and Dogs is a good game for kids, or you’re interested in getting this game for yourself and wonder if it’s kids’ game. If you’re the former, I’ll make it brief: this is indeed a great vet game for kids, clearly made for elementary school age children who have some decent reading skills (if they can play Pokemon, they can play this game). If you’re an adult, just be prepared for very basic and not very challenging gameplay. Which, you know, is fine if that’s your jam — just know what you’re getting into.
Developed by it Matters Games and published by Microids, My Universe: Pet Clinic Cats and Dogs previously released on Steam back in December 2020. Available on PC, Mac, Switch, and PS4 for $29.99, My Universe: Pet Clinic Cats and Dogs asks players to cure animals suffering from any number of ailments. Can you run a successful veterinary clinic that will make your cat and canine clients — and former vet grandfather — proud?
My Universe: Pet Clinic Cats and Dogs starts off with a very basic character customization, allowing players to set things like gender, hair color, hairstyle, skin color, and clothing, with about two to four options for all. Players are then dropped into a veterinary clinic that has clearly seen better days, with some rooms completely closed off and in total disrepair. Luckily, the most necessary rooms are available, including a reception area, an animal-friendly waiting room, and an exam room, so the clinic is open for business. Confused on where to start? No worries — Hannah, the receptionist, is there to keep her veterinarian boss on task with highly organized task list complete with client files. Thanks, Hannah!
The clinic only has a handful of clients every day, and at first, their issues are pretty straightforward. Dogs come in with a hurt paw, cats come in with some ticks or stomach problems. Nothing that can’t be managed easily by you — after all, your grandfather was a vet too, so this stuff pretty much runs in your blood! Each client’s issue is broken up into a series of mini-games, so you’ll need to calm the client before the exam by petting them to gain their trust, then seek out the problem area with a magnifying glass. You’ll then need to take care of individual issues, like swabbing boo-boos, picking off ticks, administering injections, and putting literal band-aids on fur.
The mini-games themselves, while based on skill to an extent, are incredibly simple. Within a given time frame, players are expected to be able to isolate the issue, mix ingredients to make medications, and wash their clients. Completing said tasks often requires players to push specific buttons to the rhythm or hold down buttons/move the joystick. If players exceed the time limit, their grade will go down, but there is otherwise no penalty. After the client’s issue has been addressed, a diagnosis must be given, which really just means choosing from one of three options — whichever one sounds most like what happened. Then it’s time to say goodbye to the client, who usually expresses their gratitude by licking their doctor, which is more adorable than it sounds.
My Universe: Pet Clinic Cats and Dogs also has a clinic builder component, where players can upgrade the clinic to open up new rooms, such as a pharmacy or a grooming station. This opens up new mechanics, all based off the same incredibly simple gameplay previously discussed. I’ll be honest, I knew this was a kid’s game going into the review, which really helped dampen my expectations (in a good way!) but that didn’t stop me from getting sleepy from the wholly unchallenging nature of the game. I think my six year old sister would enjoy this game a lot, but I see it more an iPad or Switch game instead of a PS4 or PC game due to the touchscreen capabilities. As it stands, My Universe: Pet Clinic Cats and Dogs is good for kids, make no mistake, but it’s a bit of a snooze-fest for adults.
If you know a little kid looking for more age-appropriate video game options, My Universe: Pet Clinic Cats and Dogs is definitely a good choice. I’m not entirely sure which adults have stumbled upon this thinking it wouldn’t be a kids’ game, but just in case — this is gonna be a hard sell for anyone past elementary school. The cute, cuddly cats and dogs will surely delight young console gamers, and this might not be a bad game for them to learn their way around a controller. If you have an aspiring young veterinarian in your life, My Universe: Pet Clinic Cats and Dogs is a solid use of their allowance.
Final Verdict: 3.5/5
Available on: PC, Switch, PS4 (reviewed); Publisher: Microids; Developer: it Matters Games; Players: 1; Released: February 9, 2021; MSRP: $29.99
Editor’s note: This review is based on a copy of My Universe: Pet Clinic Cats and Dogs provided by the publisher.