Oculus Go Game Reviews – Pet Lab

Image Credit: https://www.oculus.com/experiences/go/1107042066064323/?locale=en_GB

Pet Lab for the Oculus Go is one of the more interesting pet sim style games I have played on any VR device. Having a more “fantasy” based theme certainly makes for some very interesting pet designs. This is also a free to play game and while that does have a bit of a “stigma” about it. It does also mean that you have nothing to lose by checking this game out.

The Story

There is not exactly a huge narrative that is running alongside the gameplay that takes place in Pet Lab, but I do feel that what is here is charming enough. Basically, you are working at this magical pet store that is called, Scrufflewicks. This is an over the top pet store that sells magical and exotic kinds of pets to a very fussy clientele.

You are the pet store working need to do what you can to make sure that people are getting the pets that they want and that they along with the pets you are creating are happy.

The Gameplay

I found the gameplay of Pet Lab on the Oculus Go to be fun and easy to get into. The game does have a tutorial, but it, for the most part, has you learning by playing and I am cool with that. You start off by having your pets in egg form and here you can work to make them be a specific kind of pet that you want. You can make all kinds of potions that you can mix and give them in order to give them the right kind of characteristics that are required. This is fun to do and you do get rather attached to these cute little critters.

You can also level up the pets and this is where most of the actual gameplay comes into play. You see, Pet Lab has a series of fun mini-games that range from playing catch to a target game where you throw the pets! It is fun to do and it all helps level up the pets so that they are ready for the battles that take place. The battles are cool to see, but I do wish that they let you have more “input”. As a free to play game, you can get pretty far before you start to feel that you may need to purchase the pass that the game has.

The Presentation

Scrufflewicks looks like a place that could easily exist in the Harry Potter universe or some other kind of fantasy movie. It is very well done and has a lot of charm to it. Even on the less than powerful, Oculus Go I found this to be a very charming and easy on the eye’s kind of game. I love how the different pets have their own personality and being able to give the cute little horns and tails is fun.

There is not exactly a lot going on in terms of the sound design, but what is here goes with those cute visuals very well. It is kind of like a Pixar or DreamWorks movie in that I can see it appealing to both kids and adults in terms of its presentation.

Final Thoughts

I will admit that as a free to play pet sim style game, my expectations were not exactly super high for Pet Lab on the Oculus Go. However, I did spend quite a bit of time with this game and got pretty far without buying their pass. I would say that if you do get really invested in the free to play portion of the game then the pass is not a bad deal at all actually. If you want a fun sim style game, you can do a heck of a lot worse than this.

7/10

Oculus Go Game Reviews – Pet Lab

image credit: https://www.oculus.com/experiences/go/1107042066064323/

At first glance, Pet Lab looks like it is another pet sim style game and one that is aimed at little kids at that. Dig a little deeper and while Pet Lab on Oculus Go has some very cute and stylish visuals. This is one of the deeper and more long-lasting pet sim style games that are out there, especially on the Oculus Go.

Pet Lab starts you off with a tutorial level. To be honest with you this is one area where the game could be a little more in depth, but learning through trial and error is something that you usually have to do when you get a pet so perhaps that is what they were going for here. There is a reset game option so that is always there if you feel you could have started. One thing that I hope gets addressed in a future update is how there is only one save file.

While this sounds like Pet Lap has a rocky start that is not actually the case. You need to make use of these eggs which you can actually manipulate so that the creature inside will have some characteristics that you like. The idea of the game is that you are working in a magic shop that sells exotic creatures. While working in Scrufflewicks you will have to deal with all kinds of requests for creatures and this is where the challenge comes in.

You can make different potions in your magic kitchen. These potions are going to be what you use to give your creature their magic abilities. As well as this you will need to give them food so that they can grow. You pick your food, cook the food and then you can give it to the creatures. One thing that you will have to purchase is lollipops. These are really handy as they can be used to boost the stats of the creatures. While boosting the stats of the creatures is fun, I really liked changing their color and so on and seeing them react when you do this is one of the most amusing aspects of the game.

The actual creatures themselves are awesome. They can have a funny tail, a horn, wings and a number of other fun characteristics. It is actually very easy to get attached to the creatures and that for me is a huge part of the fun and you will not want to sell some of them. The graphics in the game are great and the whole Scrufflewicks Store makes great use of the VR. You really do feel as though you are in this shop and that there are all these little creatures around that you need to take care of. It is a very immersive experience and if you love fantasy, magic and so on you are really going to be in your element here.

One of the most enjoyable parts of the game is training your creatures. There are different mini-games that serve as a way for you to train your creatures so that they are ready for battle. These mini-games are actually a lot of fun and range from you doing things like playing catch with your creature, making them bounce and even throwing them at targets! It is a lot of fun and one of the more addictive aspects of the game.

Why do you need to train your creatures? Well, that is so that they can battle and if they can battle they can take part in the Royal Rumbleshire Tournaments that take place. The battles are rather simple, but they do get more challenging as you progress so you will have to make use of these mini-games.

Now let’s talk about the fact that this is a free to play game. You can actually play for a very long time and have a great time doing so without paying a penny. However, most people (myself included) found that when you do get to around level 10 some of the items that you need you cannot get unless you pay for the Pass that they are offering. You can play the game without buying this, but the creatures you sell will not be 100 percent what the customers want as you do not have access to the items that are required. It is good they let you at least still play the game and do not just cut you off. However, if you get addicted to it you may want to spend the few bucks to get the pass.

In all, Pet Lab is a fantastic game that is full of fun, magic, and whimsy. While this may have the look of a kids game, there is a fair bit of depth here so it is suitable for people of all ages. There is a little trial and error at the start of the game, but eventually, you will feel like you are someone from Hogwarts as you are making potions, cracking eggs and rearing magical creatures. At the very least it is worth playing the game for those first few levels and then you can decide if you want to pay the little bit of money for the pass.

Pros:

Pet Lab has a very nice and charming style to it

Great use of VR

The mini-games are a lot of fun

There are a lot of customization options

Cons:

Can be a little hard to get into

Only one save per game!