What Would Make the Next Pet Shop Story the Cat's Meow : Discussion
What sets Pet Shop Story apart from your average management game is the sheer amount of variety it offers in terms of exotic pet types. Each animal comes to life with its own unique sound effect too, making the experience as immersive as this type of game can get. In terms of game play, Pet Shop Story's pedigree definitely shows. Though you will have to learn how to be patient while waiting for your Chihuahuas to produce a pup, there are plenty of other things to fiddle around with in the meantime. We appreciate the fact that most of the controls are WYSIWYG too. The familiarity definitely keeps things simple for a wide age range of pet fans.
Release Date: 01/04/2015
Available on: Tablet, Mobile, Android
Make it More Sensible to Spend
While it is possible to enjoy the whole game for free, optional micro transactions serve to fast track your progress in the game. These are well and good -- if the one playing the app is an adult. Otherwise if you let your kid or nephew fiddle around with your iPad, accidental purchases may just be in your future. Actually, given the fact that Pet Shop Story's premium items are cleverly mixed in with the free ones, it is not hard to imagine a mistake or two happening if you're not careful. The game does address this issue a bit, with its Help section placing accidental purchases at the top of its list. What could have improved this approach is if there was a tutorial mission which emphasizes accessing the FAQs at the very start of the game.
Connectivity is Key
Another enjoyable feature of the game is its social aspect. You can visit neighbouring pet shops by picking from a random list in the Community section. From there, you can check out their shop and also play with the pets. You may choose to add your favourites as friends if you happen to know their Storm8 ID, otherwise you will have to send them a message asking them about it. While this system does work, it would be nice to have the option to just skip the Storm8 ID input and go straight to sending a friend request. With gifting being free of charge, there are no negative consequences for adding people randomly, game-wise. It would make more sense to make use of the ID just to search for someone specific, not someone who just visited your pets.
Choices Make it Work
Customization is possible by choosing the kinds of pets and supplies you acquire. Decors add a lot to beautifying your shop and giving it a thematic feel. However, the lack of wallpaper and floor choices still end up making the shops look similar. Integrating a simple colour swatch to choose from would offer another simple way to make your pet shop's look unique.
Speaking of variety, the Shop Owner profile could also benefit from expanding its available options. In future titles, it could help players connect with the game better if there was an option to allow users to alter even small details such as the hair and eye colour for the available templates. Better yet, allowing people to upload an icon of their own expands the customization tenfold.
As for the delivery, we have but one tiny recommendation: a pet album. With the breeds as extensive as they are, having an album with a few facts about each would surely encourage people to save in-game currency, even invest real money to acquire their favourites fast. It would also add some other function for younger players who initially get exposed to exotic breed types through the game itself.
Keep it as Fun as Before
As it is, Pet Shop Story has plenty of relaxing fun to offer. Free to play or pay to play, the only thing that really changes is the pace at which you acquire rarer breeds. Perhaps in a later installment, we will see additional customization options to allow for further personalization, but until then if you happen to be a pet enthusiast looking for a game to pass the time, check Pet Shop Story out.
Pet Shop Story 2 is developed by Team Lava Games.