Finally, Sony has a real contender to go up against Nintendogs. This pet simulator aims to bring players all the fun of owning a dog with none of the drool and other assorted mess (you know what we're talking about) that comes with it.
Players start off by picking their canine companion from a selection of breeds (each with their own voice), then head home to get to know them, not to mention getting to know how to earn buddy points and money with different activities.
You can teach your pal tricks, then combine them into trick games. Things like petting, playing fetch or having a go at tug of war will earn points to unlock more items in the store, but certain skills can also be leveled up, giving the game a real sense of progression.
This isn't just a sandbox game, though. There's also a story mode, in which players must uncover what happened to King Rufus and his loyal hound. It comes with a splash of adventure and a fairytale-ish feel, and strengthens your bond with your canine pal. While you're at it, you'll need to explore the woodland so you can find old statues, dig up clues and unlock more of the map.
Even better, the game makes good use of the Vita's functionality for voice and facial recognition that really strengthens the bond.
If you want to give your kids the experience - and responsibility - of having a dog, but don't fancy early morning walks in February to keep i exercised, this is for you!