Kinectimals: The Safest Way to Own a Leopard

Since the beginning of time, man has sought to dominate the creatures of the wild, while children have tried their hardest to squish out their fuzziness. Owning a real animal requires time, patience and frequent carpet cleanings; while for the low price of $2.99 on Google Play and iOS and little heavy lifting, Microsoft Studios brings you an adorable (virtual) wild animal of your very own.

There are no ads or in-app purchases, but in order to feed your pretend pet you do have to earn coins. These coins are not a micro-purchase, just a payment for being an awesome animal trainer.

Gameplay is basic and adorable. The player has the option of five baby animal friends to play with and a sixth unlockable after sufficiently training the others. You select a name for your cub and then it is up to you to pet it, love it, and teach it how to jump rope. There are achievements to meet and the cub gets awards for being well behaved, but for the most part, the game exists purely for the sake of being adorable.

The graphics in the game are just beautiful, especially for an iOS game that is compatible with iOS 4 and the music is soothing and lovely. The animations can be a bit glitchy, especially on older devices, but run smoothly on newer systems. The game is also available on Xbox 360 and in game progress can be swapped back and forth between the two.

Looking for an animal care simulation on any mobile marketplace these days can be a sketchy and costly venture. Most apps of this sort end up being a gauntlet of avoiding the "purchase more money if you want your lion to eat today" trap, while simultaneously trying not to accidentally navigate to The App Store page for some candy-themed Tetris game. The in game currency is sparse when you start out, so although the game is great for letting the little ones safely pet a man-eating beast, the money system may be a little complex for them. Overall, if you find yourself in the market for a virtual pet, pick this one. You won't be disappointed.
4.5 / 5.0
review by CheerfulStar | Feb 20th 2015

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