My Pet Shop should be the next big thing for kids to harass their parents about until they receive. This is because the game surrounds a cutely-rendered character and a number of animals. The animals are all crafted in a cute but realistic type of style, allowing players to rapidly differentiate between the different breeds and types of animals present. The fact that this title is for the DS ensures a high amount of hands-on interaction with the title, and Taito / Square-Enix have ensured the players will have countless activities to do with their animals.
The stylus ensures that players can scrub their pets, race them against each other, and feed them. For my money though, I found myself gravitating towards the different contests. This is because, that at least for the older set, that the gamer only becomes challenging when their pets are pitted against the AIâ€™s. The number of pets that one can befriend (40) and the different quirks associated with each of these animals ensure that players will not put down the title for a length longer than other similar titles. The game even has a 2-player component that pits the efforts for two players against each other to determine which is the better pet store owner. With the high amount of customizability present in My Pet Shop, the replay value of the title is amazing.
Whether individuals play the title in school, in their car, or countless other places, they will not likely be able to bring their character (and the characters pets) to a level that they deem appropriate. I would like to see Taito continue with games geared to the younger set: it just feels as if, compared to the other companies releasing titles in this style, that they have really pulled out all the stoops in regard to the game play and sheer amount of options. There may be a lack of cutting-edge (at least for the DS graphics), but any weaknesses associated with that are more than made up for with how fun my Pet Shop is.
My Pet Shop (Nintendo DS) / 2009 Taito / http://www.taito.com / http://www.square-enix.com