Strictly for the kids; the gameplay is very simple and you start the game with only one hamster – of course, that’s the essence of the game – get as many Zhu Zhus as you can pool together by unlocking more of them with as many games as you can win…then on to more items for the hamsters’ home…and on and on. The good thing about these pet hamsters is they have a mind of their own and are quite independent little critters. They have the ability to eat, play and sleep. This is like the evolution of Tamagotchi of the old days, for the most part anyway; except that with the Zhu Zhus, there’s no need for guess work – they will let you know exactly what they want or need in their own way; and how!
Cepia, the game’s creators, do make some real effort at animating the Zhu Zhus. They may even have perfected it because they look so remarkably and realistically cute. The colors of several items may be too dull for some but all items are easily recognizable. The lack of colors may make one think it’s a shame that the characters don’t have the expected colorful appearance, but I would say it’s forgivable.
The music of the game isn’t bad either; in fact it’s not really a big thing in the game as it only serves as background to the goings on to prevent the scenes from getting too uninteresting and boring. However, the voice that has been dubbed to relay the instructions is a huge distraction; it’s much too “sugary” for comfort. The voice is in monotone that kind of gives the perception of talking down to the kids; thus, it hardly encourages the kids to enjoy the things to be done for and with their pets. The voice obviously doesn’t have the expected genuineness.
The game is made so that kids can play it rather than cheat it or not finish it. The challenges of the game are so easy for adults but not so for kids, it lets them think well so that they can decide on what to do for their pets. The game gives a learning experience for the kids that does not get boring.
Although the process of unlocking more Zhu Zhus, rooms and other items are clearly explained with easy-to-understand instructions for the most part, there are challenges that are somewhat hard to follow as it involves hand and eye coordination for the kids, but this is definitely a welcome aspect, which the kids can learn and acquire in the game.
The lack of internet connectivity somewhat limits the game and is one opportunity that the game developers shouldn’t have missed. The DS platform is known for its online compatibility and kids could have played online and shown off the things they have unlocked on the Zhu Zhu Perts website. The game can really promote friendship as kids share their respective pets with one another online.
In conclusion, let me assure you: The game is not just hype; it’s for real. It’s a wholesome game that can give fun and learning to the kids.