Eyepet and Friends by London Studios allows you to build a new relationship with your virtual Eyepet in both a single player and co-op environment. For the first time, two players can now have their Eyepets play together and interact in the same Augmented Reality.
Just like in previous games, your new Eyepet needs to be cared for and your first interaction begins when you need to warm the Eyepet egg up and bring it to life. Your Eyepet needs encouragement to break free from the egg shell, so with some gentle persuasion, you’ll need to tap it from side to side and even warm it up a little. Eventually your Eyepet breaks free from its shell looking warm, adorable and ultra fluffy. Eyepet and Friends is broken up into a variety of sections within the game enabling to interact with your Eyepet on different levels.
In the Creativity Centre, you’ve got four areas in which to start a selection of creative tasks, choosing from papercraft, toy factory, fancy dress and the softplay creation. This is where you can use all different paints, paper, palettes, stickers and stencils to create anything you want and then save them for later on if you wish. Eyepet owners can customize how their Eyepet looks, from changing the colour and style of their fur to dressing the Eyepet up in a nice selection of colourful outfits. There’s a huge amount of different clothes to play around with and you can unlock more if you’ve gathered enough pet tokens.
The Pet Care section is your first port of call to take care of every aspect of your Eyepet. You can perform your Eyepet health check and take care of its general well-being. Using the PlayStation Move controller to carefully guide the x-ray pet scanner over your Eyepet, the image becomes transparent so you can look inside it’s body. The coloured areas show their brain, heart and muscle tone. This detects whether you’re Eyepet is feeling lonely, needs feeding or simply needs some exercise to build up its weak muscles. The game gives you a feedback report and gives suggested activity to make your Eyepet feel better.
Feeding your Eyepet is vitally important or it gets starving hungry. There’s a nice selection of snacks to feed it from chocolate cookies to jammy biscuits. Activating the button, the food bowl and a mid-air dispenser filled with delicious looking cookies appears. The PlayStation Move controller allows you to move the bowl against the dispenser to release the cookies.
Washing your Eyepet prevents it from feeling unhappy and smelling. Time to put some power into that shower by using the PlayStation Move controller, which transforms into an shower head. You can hold down the trigger button to blast some water onto your Eyepet. When it’s eventually soaked, you can select from some nice shampoos that come in a variety of pet dispensers, such as Rubber Duck, which is your basic shampoo, to Flamingo Fruit Shampoo. Afterwards you’ll dry them off with the hairdryer that leaves them soft, shiny and very happy.
Once all of the vital maintenance has been taken care of, it’s time to teach your Eyepet some tricks. Holding down the trigger button, you simply guide the controller around the image on-screen to follow the trick gesture and perform a variety of tricks, such as getting your Eyepet to play dead or jump in the air to perform a star jump. There are tons of tricks to choose from and performing enough tricks will unlock a special achievement.
The Toy Box allows you to unlock simple mini games with the pet tokens you may have accumulated through the game. Such games include coin collector, where you control a submarine collecting coins underwater. Steering the submarine, you’ve have to collect gold coins in the allotted time, while trying to avoid the shock of the electric eeels. Another game was called ‘Digger’, in which you have to take control of a digger and scoop the coloured balls up and shoot them through the designated coloured net in a limited time. This game proved to be a little bit tricky at times, but enjoyable to play.
It’s important to remember that your Eyepet has enough playtime because it’s good exercise for their body and reflects on their general mood. The PlayStation Move controller transforms into a selection of play items. You can use a bouncy trampoline to catapult your Eyepet into the air, or use the fish head tosquirt out water at your Eyepet. All of it is very user friendly and a pleasure to play around with.
Soft Play is where the PlayStation Move allows you to become creative. In the soft play area you can open up the box to make anything from assault courses to a fairy princess castle for your Eyepet. In this area you start on a 6 x 5 grid in which you can begin assembling your building blocks. You simply begin by choosing from a variety of 3D blocks in different shapes from cubes to four way tunnels. You may start off with the plain starter blocks, but before long you will become more adventurous and choose from a selection of themed blocks. All the blocks can be moved with the PlayStation Move controller and rotating is simply done with the circle button. There are a fair amount to choose from and I love the fact that they make the game feel more personal and creative. Once their Augmented Reality play area is finished, the Eyepet will go and play in the area, exploring all of your hard work. Additional themes can be purchased using pet tokens to transform the plain blocks into such themes as a fairy tale castle or a gingerbread and smarties wonderland. The best thing about this is that you can create an environment and save it for later on when you want your Eyepet to play.
My stuff is a collection of information from the Eyepet and Friends game. In here you can see photos you’ve taken, videos you’ve recorded and things you’ve created through crafts and cards. It’s also an ideal place to check how many Pet Tokens you’ve accumulated throughout the game and check on your overall progress. It lists your high scores from the selection of mini games and whether you’ve unlocked some of the trophies, such as for hatching two Eyepets at the same time or styling your Eyepet for the first time.
In Eyepet and Friends, the core gameplay remains the same, but adds a touch more to the creative side of things. The mini games are fun and the new feature of being able to join up with a friend in co-op mode, allowing two Eyepets to be enjoyed at once, is a great addition that will keep young children engaged for longer. Eyepet and Friends is very good, but feels more like an update than an actual sequel and previous Eyepet owners will have trouble justifying an additional purchase.