Children love stuffed animals and the idea to transform stuffed animals into a transforming pillow was a capitalistic stroke of genius. Since their humble beginnings Pillow Pets have grown to be a very big deal in the toy market, with them selling in a lot of major retail outlets. Still despite their ever increasing success, I never thought I would see a game based on the stuffed toy pillows but that is exactly where we now stand.
Pillow Pets takes place in the magical world of dreamland where everything is cute and cuddly. Despite the happy aesthetic, things are in a state of panic. It seems that many of the pet pillows have gone missing leaving Miss Lady Bug the task of finding them and bringing them back to the playroom. She will do this by embarking on a platforming adventure throughout the realms of Dreamland.
Anyone who has played a side scrolling platforming game before will be familiar with the basic concepts at play in Pillow Pets. Unfortunately, for players that have played a lot of these types of games, those basic concepts are executed in the most simplistic of ways and there is no sense of potentially failing a level. In addition to the lack of difficulty, the game just is not very long. I finished all the levels and got about 75% of the collectibles in a little over an hour of playtime.
Padding out the game a bit is the ability to dress up the pets in a variety of different accessories. These accessories are gained by finding a variety of collectibles in each of the platforming levels. While there is a definitive cuteness factor to dressing up your pet frog in sunglasses, there is no in game benefit and the customization is all purely aesthetic.
As a longtime fan of platforming titles, I found Pillow Pets to be rather unsatisfying. However, it was obviously not designed for me.
2* out of 5
Like many kids, my eight year old daughter loves her stuffed animals and has a Pillow Pet of her own (the purple Unicorn) and she eagerly jumped at the opportunity to play the Pillow Pets game for this review. Having played New Super Mario Bros. on both the DS and Wii, she easily acclimated herself to the game and by her own admission, she really liked it.
While discussing the game with her she mentioned three things she really enjoyed about the game. The first was the difficulty, what I found overly simplistic she found to be fun. She explicitly mentioned that while it reminded her of Mario, it was not as hard and she enjoyed being able to progress through the game because of that. In addition to her feeling the difficulty was just right for her, she really enjoyed customizing her pets and exploring the levels to hunt down the collectibles to unlock other dress up accessories.
However, while she thought that game was just right in terms of difficulty she did point out that some of the levels could be a bit hard. When pushed on the issue she mentioned that some of the pets she had been tasked to find were hidden in “secret” locations on the level and she had trouble finding them. This issue though did little to setback her overall enjoyment of the title. After explaining the five point scoring system to her she immediately professed it as a “5, its awesome”.
5* out of 5
While some games are broad enough in scope that gamers of all ages can appreciate them, Pillow Pets sadly is not one of them. Outside of the overall cuteness factor, there is very little to engage an adult gamer. However, on the flip side, the game will more than likely put a smile on a child’s face as they attempt to rescue their favorite Pillow Pets. As a budget title for the Nintendo DS, one could do worse than picking this game up for their child.
3* out of 5