Pet Vet 3D: Wild Animal Hospital is an easy vet simulation game, which makes it a good fit for children ages 7 to 14 who are interested in animals. You play this simulation by controlling the movements of the veterinarian.
Gamekeepers or others bring injured or sick animals to the clinic. You help the vet decide what is wrong with each animal by selecting which of the various medical instruments the veterinarian should use. After using an instrument, the vet shares her findings with you and then asks for you to make a diagnosis. Sometimes it is necessary to use many instruments before you can arrive at the correct diagnosis.
By playing through the game's progressively harder scenarios, you will cure meerkats, leopards, zebras, lions, elephants, aardvarks, and many other creatures with more than 100 illnesses.
Depending on the illness, the animal may need to stay at the clinic for a few days. As a consequence, you help the vet to build enclosures and fill them with appropriate rocks, trees, sandpits, or watering holes. You also nurture the animals while they are there by feeding, playing, petting, cleaning out their pens, and checking their health.
You also control when the vet eats, relaxes, researches, and sleeps. At times, it can get so busy that you will need to hire help.
In addition to being a vet simulation, this game is also a simple business simulation. Upkeep and expansion require cash. While it isn't difficult to make money by successfully treating the animals, it's a factor you need to pay attention to, and the amount of cash you have affects how quickly you can play through a scenario.
What the simulation does well is provide a fun environment to learn about the animals of Africa. For children, this glimpse into an adult world of caring for animals can be quite engaging. Because players read books about each animal along with the vet, kids will learn about the habits and common illnesses of African animals. By practicing veterinary medicine along side the virtual vet, you will learn to apply your knowledge to real life situations. So, when an aardvark arrives with a swollen belly, you can correctly diagnose hook worms and administer a medicine that will rid the aardvark of the nasty parasite.
But this simulation isn't perfect. In the early scenarios, there's a lot of waiting for animals to arrive at your clinic, something that most children don't do well. And while the animals are depicted in lifelike 3D, with the nifty ability to zoom up close to them, there are many times when the graphics are ill suited to the situation. For example, whenever the veterinarian is supposed to examine an animal, she looks like she is examining air instead of looking closely at the animal. Or when she is supposed to place a bridle on a zebra, instead of slipping it over its head, she pokes it into its stomach.
For kids who have never played a simulation game, this is a good one to start with. It is easier to play than the excellent Zoo Tycoon series from Microsoft, but its simplicity also means that older kids may get bored. And while it contains a lot of good information about animals, some of its components are unrealistic, particularly the playing with wild animals. Only in this game will you find aardvarks willing to play a game of catch with a soccer ball.
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