Remember Animal Shelter Simulator from Games Incubator and thought how cute it was and that you’d like to manage cute lil’ puppies and kittens, then realised it isn’t on console? Remove those curses on the PC gamers – it’s now available for the PS4 and PS5 (and heading to the Switch).
We (I) reviewed it before on the PC, but if clicking another link sets off your issues with modern life, I’ll summarise once more.
You haven’t inherited an animal shelter, nor do we go down Waffle Path about how your grandpa always wanted to run one and how you’ve taken on the dream. The animals need rehoming, and it’s your job to pimp them out and make them aesthetically pleasing for potential owners.
Animal Shelter Simulator Review
The structure in Animal Shelter Simulator is quite dated – a.k.a. follows the conventions of just about every other simulator where you control everything from a laptop. Those new to the game can pick up the controls in a few minutes; learning the mechanics is a doddle, thus making it the type of simulator that works: repetitive, indulgent, and mostly fun.
To ‘stock up’ on your products, you head to your office and order some animals, renaming them if desired. In two shakes of a tail, a minivan turns up with your four-legged tenant; you pick them up and then take them to their new digs – a big ‘ol cage. Animals have needs (you didn’t know?), so once they arrive, you have to monitor what they require. Food and water are a given, but they need to be exercised and played with, plus someone will have to pick up the poo.
Whether you want the reality uppercut now or not, I’m giving it to you. People aren’t interested in a high-maintenance pet, which is probably why you have them in the first place. To ensure customers ‘bid’ for them, you have to raise the animal’s levels, accommodate all those basic needs, and fix them up if they’re a little bit poorly. Besides these basic requirements, each animal has several traits which must be acknowledged if you’re to pair them with a prospective owner correctly. You will be judged on your performance – both the game and society.
Not Just For Christmas
The review code I received for Animal Shelter Simulator was for the PS4 version, which played on the PS5. First impressions weren’t great, and the character modelling looked sketchy, but the animations were worse. Throwing a ball for a dog didn’t feel right, and while I’m not going to claim I know anything about physics, I do understand gravity. It’s bothered me for years. In short, a lot of the animation (there isn’t really much) is janky. And the interior designer for your office? Ew!
Once you learn the signs on how to deal with each pet, you’ll soon get a knack for it and, before long, will be stacking up the storage space to house more animals. This certainly adds to the challenge, so while Animal Shelter Simulator is mostly relaxing, try to detach yourself from the animals as there may be some casualties in the mix. At least while you’re learning the ropes. Putting a pet through the pet wash doesn’t count as a valid distraction.
With plenty of upgrades along the way and some good ol’ fun interacting with the playful pets, Animal Shelter Simulator can be an enjoyable experience if you don’t mind the repetition. If you have a choice and have not picked it up yet, I’d say the PC version is better visually, plus it has all the DLC. That said, my little girl loves playing this on the big telly with a controller.