Petz Hamsterz Superstarz (Nintendo DS)

The petz series has covered the main animals that players would like to see – primarily cats and dogs – and I see this as a good sign that they are giving smaller critters some face time. This time around, hamsters are given the star treatment, while Ubisoft has stuffed the title full of all the pet-sim goodness that players have learned to expect from this line of games. At the most basic levels, players are charged with the care of the titular animal. However, caring for the animal does not only have to do with feeding and washing it, but rather through socialization with the pet, along with training and further activities that ensure a good relationship between the owner and the pet.

The title’s graphics are solid enough to provide a number of levels of customization while still having a cartoony feel to them. The aforementioned activities also straddle this line between realism and fantasy, letting hamsters bowl, take a trip down via a parachute, and even participate in a beauty pageant, among other things. The range of animations and hamster-level nuances provide further replay value for Petz Hamsterz Superstarz, as well. The facial animations, for example, will have players drawing parallels to movies like Dr. Doolittle or Stuart Little. The interaction that Petz Hamsterz Superstarz has with other titles in the Petz line adds to this replay value, as well. For those with just-born hamsters, they can bring them out to the Petz Nursery.

While this title is destined for the younger set, those older individuals that had fun with Tamagotchis or realistic baby dolls in an earlier stage of their life will be able to use Petz Hamsterz Superstarz as an excellent casual game. The title is a little misleading in regards to reality though; the goofy nature of the hamsters may be present in some small degree in real life, but it is not nearly as fun as the game may lead players to think. I can thus say that Petz Hamsterz Superstarz may just be the most fun that players can ever have with a small creature such as a hamster.

Rating: 7.2/10

Petz Hamsterz Superstarz (Nintendo DS) / 2009 Ubisoft / http://www.ubisoft.com

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