Kinectimals by Microsoft Corporation icon

Kinectimals ($2.99) by Microsoft Corporation is Microsoft’s popular Xbox 360 game, ported to iOS. This game really reminds me of a more advanced, version of the Petz (Catz and Dogz) games — the games where you would take care of and play with your very own virtual pet, on your computer’s desktop. Touch Pets actually brought this to iOS initially.

Kinectimals by Microsoft Corporation screenshot

My first impression of Kinectimals was that it was a Microsoft game; my expectations were low. My second impression was of the crisp graphics, and almost real, in a too cute cartoony sort of way.

First things first, choose your pet. Once you’ve picked out an adorable cub to love and take care of, you’ll want to give it a name.

You want to ensure that your pet stays healthy, fed, clean, and happy. There are many ways to ensure you’re taking care of it properly.

You’ll need to pet your cub, play games with it, and even teach it some tricks. This will ensure that your pet stays happy. Unfortunately, this was my big problem with the game. When teaching your pet tricks and running the trick gauntlets, you must swipe different shapes on the screen. A lot of the time, the game wouldn’t recognize my swipe. Apparently, if I wasn’t perfectly precise, it would be wrong. Even when I took the time to make sure I was doing it perfectly right, it would say it was wrong. This got pretty frustrating.

As you play, your pet will get dirty. You’ll need to use a sponge to clean it up. And, of course, the more they play, the hungrier and thirstier it will get: so make sure to feed and water your pet regularly.

Your pet will level up, and you will level up as a pet trainer/handler. Soon you’ll both be able to travel to different places on the map; feel free to explore the island of Lemuria with your pet. As you level up, you will also earn money. There’s a store where you can use your in game money to purchase food, drink, toys, and even collars and other personal care items for your new pet.

At times, the game seemed slow to load, and I really wish it had Game Center support. It would be fun to get achievements in Game Center, and get points for them, instead of only getting them in game while leveling up. Besides this, the main problem is the gestures for tricks not working 100 percent of the time.

Kinectimals by Microsoft Corporation screenshot

Kinectimals is a universal app and is available in the App Store for $2.99. It’s great for children or any animal lover. I’m in my mid-20s and I certainly couldn’t keep myself from saying “aww” every few minutes. But I’m a sucker for cats. I bet you can’t wait to see me in 20 years (read: crazy cat lady).

However, the bugs really frustrated me; I hope they’ll fix the gestures soon.