Zhu Zhu Pets 2
Publisher: Activision
Rating: E - Everyone
Platform(s): DS

  This is the second game to play off those popular furry hamster toys that surface around Holiday. The ones in the game are even cuter and you get to play with lots of them.
You start out with the familiar ones from the first game, Mr.Squiggles, Num Nums, Chuck Patches and Pipsqueak. There is a clearer division between Nurture and Adventure in this version.
The adventure begins with Yo Yo going on a quest to find the lost treasure of Capt.Zu. But a mischievous group of animals made up of a squirrel, raccoon, bunny and a chipmunk called Wild Bunch plan to get there first.
The difference in this game is that this new adventure world is larger, the pets now use skates, skis, vehicles, surfboards to move through this world. The Adventure mode has 30 levels and six different worlds, is filled with mazes, tunnels, accelerator ramps, and transporter pads through which you scoot through collecting gold coins and carrots. In each of the levels there a Zone House where you can zone out and make new friend. To complete each level you have to win a race against the Wild Bunch. Some will find getting to be the top hamster requires a number of tries before you get the hang of the direction on the race tracks.
And Yes - you still have to nurture them and take care of their needs. Talk bubbles appear over their heads asking for food, water, exercise, sleep, loving and going to the toilet and now, taking a bath. I don't know who got the idea of making the Zhu on the toilet read the newspaper and flush when she leaves - kids love it.
To truly appreciate this game - you have to put it into the hands of a kid. It has been designed expressly for ease of play for young kids beginning to make use of the stylus. Thought bubbles use icons. When text appears it is voiced. I would say it's gateway game for future DS gaming.
Kids may not care, but this reviewer would have appreciated a more informative manual to explain the scoring; the difference between star and egg shaped landings and the meaning of stars and smiley faces. It's not perfect but close. It lacks a beginner's mode to make it easy to move on when it becomes too challenging or the ability to trade points to access other areas.
The Special Edition comes boxed with a mechanical baby hamster - $34.99. Game alone is 29.99.
  • To Order: DS http://www.amazon.com/ $29.99
  • To Order: DS with pet http://www.amazon.com/ $34.99