Developed by It Matters Games and published by Microids Life, My Universe – Puppies and Kittens is a virtual pet game that lets you adopt a variety of dog and cat breeds. The basic gameplay simulates spending time with and caring for your furry friend.
When you first begin the game, you are only able to choose dogs. But after some play time with your pooch, you will be able to return to the kennel and adopt a cat as well. A pop-up will tell you what breed has been unlocked. With your starting pet, you will go through some brief tutorials on how to play, although sometimes the game is not too descriptive on how to complete a task. For example, you are prompted to take your dog for a walk, and for a while I was unsure of how to satisfy the objective. As I let my pup dig things up and roll in a puddle, I admit it was quite amusing. Eventually I figured out that you need to return to your own doorstep to complete the walk circuit, otherwise you will just keep looping around the same street forever.
The game will autosave, so you don’t need to worry about having to manually save, which is always very handy. There are various things to unlock, such as walking circuits and new toys for your pets. These will automatically unlock when you have the right amount of points, so keep your pet happy, clean and fed to earn them.
Your pet has various emojis that will display over their head so that you can tell if they are happy with the pats you give them, or if they hate the cheap food you’ve just put out! There are also various metres which you can bring up to monitor what your pet needs. While some things are obvious, such as dirty fur on a dog, it’s slightly less obvious when the litter tray needs cleaning for a cat, so make sure to check each pets stats.
While the puppies and kittens in this game are very cute, the animations can be a little bit off. Pets may teleport into places to perform an action instead of smoothly moving there, which can be a little bit jarring. When drinking water from bowls, the pets head will not line up and will drink from thin air outside the bowl. The camera can also be a little bit jerky and you will notice this while petting your furry friends, that the camera zooms in just a bit too far or with your pet somewhat outside of the frame.
My Universe – Puppies and Kittens would be a good game to teach kids about the responsibilities of caring for a pet. Coupled with its simplicity of gameplay, it’s easy to grasp for those who are quite young. But as a fairly laid-back game with no main objectives, it may not hold an older player’s attention. As a cat owner in real life, scooping virtual poop doesn’t feel like something I should be doing when I’ve got real-life cleaning to do. While some adults who are unable to have a pet may enjoy this game, the target audience is more so for young children.
My Universe – Puppies and Kittens is available now on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PC and Mac.
A copy of the game was provided on Nintendo Switch for review purposes.