I wasn’t planning on spending several hours over the past month performing simplistic mini-games in order to level up my imaginary vet office, but there’s something about the mindless repetition of Pet Clinic Cats & Dogs that I find so soothing.
The latest in the kid-focus My Universe series from Microids Life, Pet Clinic Cats & Dogs for the Switch, PS4, and PC is a video game that lets small people who don’t know any better experience the rewarding career of a veterinarian in an almost completely inaccurate way. Here’s what happens every day in Pet Clinic Cats & Dogs:
- The clinic opens. The receptionist appears at her desk in a puff of smoke. A series of pets and owners file into the waiting room.
- The vet pets each patient to calm them, then takes them back to various exam and treatment rooms to give them shots, poke at them, mix medicine, bathe them, et cetera.
- Once a pet is treated they leave the clinic, depositing a gift of gold coins or decorative objects on the gift table, a staple of all vet offices.
- As the last patient leaves, the receptionist disappears in a puff of smoke.
That’s how it goes, day in and day out. As the game progresses your vet office gains levels, giving you the ability to unlock new facilities or upgrade existing ones, unlocking more mini-games. It’s simple. Predictable. Soothing. I know that whatever this game throws at me, it’s throwing gently, likely underhand.
Is the game pretty? No. Is there a large variety of pets? Not really. Do the pets behave like real animals? Haha, real animals do not behave and I have the scratches to prove it. The animals in Pet Clinic Cats & Dogs calmly walk into the exam room and hop up on the table. They weather tick-plucking, medicine injecting, and all sorts of poking and prodding, barely moving. You can give a cat a bath in this game.
Maybe that’s why I like it. My real-life pets are monsters. They like to sit on my paralyzed legs, just out of petting reach. When I am in my wheelchair they climb said legs like trees, only these trees bleed. I am typing this with a massive scratch on my right pointer finger. The cat robots in Pet Clinic Cats & Dogs would never hurt me. It’s against the laws of robotics.
Whatever the reason, Pet Clinic Cats & Dogs is in regular rotation on my Switch. It’s my current turn-my-brain-off game. I’m sure real-life veterinarians will find that fact completely fun and charming.