No! No! Bad digital creature on the TV!
Once, I wondered why parents would refuse to get their children a puppy. My family has had two dogs and there were never any serious issues. Then, in high school, I puppy-sat for some friends. The first thing it did was pee on the floor.
[image1]The EyePet is aimed directly at families hoping to avoid that experience. Invoking Nintendogs to offer a fuzzy little companion and using the Move controller, the EyePet means no need for paper towels. Other than that, there's little else that makes this more than a Tamagotchi with an off button.
That's not to say that the EyePet is not an ideal toy; it's just not much of a game. When you first start up the software, you are instructed to point the Playstation Eye towards the ground. Children will easily fall in love with twiddling their fingers on the ground to make the EyePet pounce or twiddling their fingers in the air to make it jump. They'll also love turning the Move controller into various toys on screen, like a hoop that the little animal will jump through. The level of interaction between player and EyePet is almost exactly like a toy, but a lot of the fun rests on imagination.
Sometimes these imaginary actions, though, are executed too clumsily. In the first series of challenges, you're tasked with putting cookies in the EyePet's bowl. This is about as natural and intuitive as cutting your own hair in the mirror for the firs time. After that, it tasks you with pouring a cookie from the Move-wand-bucket directly into the EyePet's mouth. This is followed by tossing the cookies up in the air precisely so the EyePet can catch them.
[image2]But the controls make these tasks cumbersome and sometimes infuriating. It's hard to see a young child getting through this without frustration and anger. A tantrum isn't far behind either.
All this frustration ends in repeated swipes at the little creature, trying to take out all your anger and angst on an imaginary, digital concoction that deserves all the rage coming to it. Despite this, I couldn't help but think of how much my little cousin would love to play around with the odd, monkey-dog EyePet creature. And that's whom this game is made for.
Ultimately, the EyePet is interesting as a toy, but as a piece of software on the PS3, it's lacking. Challenges are minimal and menial, though sometimes inventive, and there's only one pet to play with. Frankly, it's boring, but in the hands of a child there are easily hours of entertainment through all the interaction they can have. The EyePet might successfully replace that puppy they've been talking about since last Christmas, but don't expect them to pick up the mess.