Top 10 iPad Pets
We group test the very best pets on your iPad.
Published on Jul 28, 2011
Touch Pets Dogs 2
iPhone+ | Free | ngmoco Inc. | v1.1 | 60.0Mb | iOS 3.0 | 4+
This is a great app, dare we say it, for people of all ages. Touch Pets Dogs 2 has a whole host of things you’ll need to do to keep your dog happy. You’ve got to care for him, socialise with him, and play with him in a variety of environments, and you can even dress him up and buy him a whole host of other things. The one drawback? In-app purchases. Be careful, because one slip of the hand, and you might end up accidentally buying a whole load of bones. Surprisingly good.
iPhone+ | £0.59/$0.99 | Derek Arndt | v1.1 | 23.8Mb | iOS 3.0 | 4+
Pet Puppy let’s you wander around a park in 3D, interacting with your dog by feeding him, throwing balls and accessorising him. While it’s fairly unique for an iPad app to let the user move around with their pet, the game quickly becomes tiresome and boring. The novelty of the small, enclosed park with it’s Nineties-style graphics will soon wear off once you’ve thrown a ball with your dog a couple of times.
Sure, there’s some incentive to look after your pet to keep his couple of stats high, but really after a few minutes you’ll be pretty bored of looking after him. Allowing you to move in first-person is a nice gameplay feature, but it gets boring quickly.
iPhone+ | Free | NimbleBit | v126.96.36.199 | 29.0Mb | iOS 3.0 | 4+
In Pocket Frogs you follow your multiple pet frogs from tadpole to adult as they grow older, building up your ‘Froggydex’ (nothing to do with a Pokédex, we’re sure) until you’ve ‘caught them all’. They aren’t incredibly interactive, and apart from tapping the screen to make them jump there isn’t that much to do other than purchase bits of scenery and visit your friends’ frogs.
Still, it’s free (except for in-app purchases), and it certainly kept us amused for a few minutes. Just don’t expect a huge amount of depth. Completionists might be tempted by the ‘Froggydex’, but otherwise there’s not much longevity.
Tap Reef HD
iPad | Free | Jirbo Inc. | v1.3 | 21.2Mb | iOS 3.2 | 4+
There are quite a few fish games available in the App Store, but Tap Reef HD was one of the few tailored specifically for the iPad that makes use of its larger screen. It’s quite good fun looking after and breeding your fish inside the nicely rendered tank, but there isn’t much to do without, you guessed it, spending real money to buy new things.
These aren’t just any in-app purchases though. There’s the option of buying 1200 pearls for $99.99, and we seriously wonder how many parents will find that their kids have racked up a huge bill by mistake. Looks good, but it’s ridiculously overpriced to actually do anything with your fish.
iPhone | Free | Webworks and Applications | v1.45 | 6.2Mb | iOS2.1 | 4+
iPet Pets differs from the rest of the apps in our group test in that it’s largely text-based, with no 3D animal to play with. The appeal of virtual creatures is that kids can play with and stroke their pets, so we can’t quite see exactly who this game is targeted at. It’s too kiddy for adults, but also too boring for children.
Adding to that, there’s very little you can actually do within the restricted text environment other than repeatedly press the ‘feed’ button. This is a very poor attempt at a virtual pet, and one that we couldn’t justifiably recommend to anyone of any age. It’s overly text-based, and there’s very little to do. Take our word for it, don’t bother.
iPad | £1.19/$1.99 | 3Lynx LLC | v1.3.6 | 7.6Mb | iOS3.0 | 4+ Kimimon is so very nearly the virtual pet app we’ve been crying out for, but it falls just short of the mark. It’s cute and very reminiscent of a tamagotchi, and there’s plenty of environments and ways to accessorise your Kimimon, which is essentially just a blob of goo.
You play games with your creature to progress, and while it does support in-app purchases, the in-built features are almost enough to keep you occupied without having to buy more. However, you will eventually tire of what’s on offer as your Kimimon grows. It’s a shame, as it’s otherwise quite good. So very nearly great, but the in-built options eventually become limited.
iPet Rock HD
iPad | £1.19/$1.99 | Sftwrfactory LLC | v1.6 | 52.1Mb | iOS 3.2 | 4+
Sure, you could have a virtual pet that’s based on a living creature, but isn’t there more fun to be had with an inanimate object? The answer is no, unfortunately, and the fact that you have to pay for this ‘game’ is simply ridiculous.
It’s even stranger that there are several pet rock apps available to download, and if we’re honest we really can’t see the appeal. You have a rock which you can move, and you can change the background. That’s literally it. Other than buying it for the amusement of owning a pet rock, there’s really no actual fun to be had here. It all seems a bit pointless. Proves to be about as fun as owning a pet rock in real life probably is.
iPad | £0.59/$0.99 | Arthur Ham | v1.05 | 7.2Mb | iOS 3.0 | 12+
It might sport some old, cheaply designed 2D graphics, but Pet Playpen is still a very good game. There’s several different animals to choose from, with the little critter of your choice making demands in return for a reward such as what he wants for his next meal. As standard, you have to fulfil his needs to keep him happy, and there’s quite a lot to do, including six games to play.
In case you’re wondering, it’s rated for ages 12+ because of the presence of a tacky slot machine you can play on, which is odd to include as it might put some parents off getting this for their kids. It’s certainly a good idea in theory, but could do with a lot more features in practice.
My Dog My Room HD
iPad | £0.59/$0.99 | Pascal Inc | v1.02 | 10.2Mb | iOS 3.2 | 4+
In My Dog My Room HD, you play with your pet in a variety of disproportionately sized 3D rooms, throwing a ball and doing what you would expect with a virtual pet. However, there’s very little on offer, and the price doesn’t really justify the few minutes enjoyment you’ll get out of the game.
After you’ve brushed and fed your puppy, you’ll probably run out of things to do. One nice feature is that your dog can run around an image from your photo gallery, but it’s a shame that there still isn’t much to do once there. No hidden purchases and plenty to do. Should be a benchmark for similar games.
IPAD AND IPHONE PETS APP WINNER
iPhone+ | £2.99/$4.99 | Tactile Entertainment | v1.5.1 | 98.5Mb | iOS 3.0 | 4+
Pocket creatures is the best virtual pet app on the iPad. It boasts some gorgeous graphics and wonderfully intuitive gameplay, including making your creature’s mood affect the environment around you. Best of all, there’s no hidden charges. Really, nothing even comes close to pocket creatures in terms of fun and variety, and it’s one of the only apps where you’ll actually want to turn it back on to check how your critter is doing. Leagues ahead in terms of value, gameplay and fun.