My Universe - Puppies & Kittens
Adopt A Puppy Today In My Universe!
Just when it was safe to play decent Nintendo Switch titles, here comes a budget series that stinks on the original games it's based on. Enter My Universe, based on several occupations. These range from a cafe owner, chef, veterinarian, a parent, and finally a real estate renovator and pet owner. We've looked at the latter two, with this First Take covering the "Puppies & Kittens" experience.
Immediately, my thoughts went to Nintendo's Nintendogs series, native to the Nintendo DS in the mid-2000s. Like most homegrown Nintendo series, while the games are mentioned in other media (i.e Smash), it's all but forgotten elsewhere. Perhaps Microids, the publisher of the My Universe series felt like it would be a good time to fill that void. While I would be inclined to agree, my experience with Puppies & Kitties said otherwise.
Introducing Pikachu The Husky
The game begins with the introduction of a puppy in a kennel, asking the player to call out to the puppy and pet them. The "petting" mechanics are as simple as holding a button and moving the analog stick around the dog's body. It's nothing impressive, reminding me of the camp features in Pokemon Sword and Shield. After the small tutorial, the player can choose which puppy they would like to adopt, with choices ranging from rottweilers and huskies. I chose the husky, yet I came with a bit of a dilemma. I wanted to name him "Poochyena," based on the Pokemon of the same name. Unfortunately, there's a hard 8 character limit, so, I named him "Pikachu" because "why not?"
I may have upset the Poke-gods with that action because I was hard-limited to what I could do with my dear Pikachu. The scene shifted to what I would assume was my house as I began to play with Pikachu the Husky. All was well and fine, until the game, asked me to take out a toy and play 'fetch' with him. Doing the action was simple enough as all I had to do was go into my inventory, select the ball, and throw it. After several times, I realized one glaring issue that did not solve itself immediately if at all.
I Soft-Locked The Game???
After the third ball throw, I realized that every time my Pikachu would return the ball, they would gain experience points. The game would continue to ask me to go into my inventory and throw the ball at my puppy. I've done so for the past 10 minutes, even leveling up after a while hoping it would move forward with the tutorial. Absolutely nothing changed.
I pressed every button I could and the game wouldn't let me do anything but select my inventory. I couldn't even pause the game to quit as even the pause button was greyed out. After a while, I even contemplated rebooting the game, but I was afraid of starting over. After all, it's the game's fault that I was softlocked into an eternal game of fetch. This harkened back to when I was stuck in an endless loop of filling a broken pail of water in Farm For Your Life.
My Universe Is My Disappointment
It's 2021 and there simply shouldn't be a reason for players to reset their games to fix the mess the developers made. Especially when both games have update patches that, I assumed, would fix any preliminary issues. For this reason, I cannot speak much of My Universe: Puppies & Kittens because the game wouldn't allow me past playing fetch.
It's almost embarrassing to realize that this is my smallest First Take yet. Fortunately, I had a much better time with the Interior Designer game, but that's like saying I moved from a heater that didn't work out the box to a heater that blew out cold air. In short, I cant recommend Puppies & Kittens at all. Just play Nintendogs.
My Universe: Puppies & Kittens is available on the Switch.