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Littlest Pet Shop: Beach Friends review: Littlest Pet Shop: Beach Friends

A very light game of interest only to Littlest Pet Shop fanatics, but they'll most likely love it to bits.

Alex Kidman
Alex Kidman is a freelance word writing machine masquerading as a person, a disguise he's managed for over fifteen years now, including a three year stint at ZDNet/CNET Australia. He likes cats, retro gaming and terrible puns.
Alex Kidman
2 min read

Littlest Pet Shop: Beach Friends is a game based around the big-eyed, über-cute plastic toy series. It's a series with plenty of cute animals but not a whole lot of defined characters in it, if you ignore the mid '90s cartoon show. Instead, kids can name and decide on their own stories for their pets, which makes a rather challenging proposition for any video game adaptation. Beach Friends doesn't use much in the way of character, beyond the brief assumption that very cute animals will be best friends with each other, and everyone will stay happy along the way. Cake may well be served, in blatant violation of well known gaming memes. And if the title didn't clue you in, a lot of the game action takes place around a beach.

7.3

Littlest Pet Shop: Beach Friends

The Good

Grabs the essence of Littlest Pet Shop well. Variety of mini-games. Some quality music in a kid's game — how novel!.

The Bad

Story mode is rather short. Only of interest to Littlest Pet Shop fans.

The Bottom Line

A very light game of interest only to Littlest Pet Shop fanatics, but they'll most likely love it to bits.

Arguably, Beach Friends doesn't use much of a plot to string itself together either. Kids will need a modicum of reading ability, unless you're prepared to sit by them and read out the character interactions. None of them are all that complex — and some of the in-game puns are groan-worthy affairs — and most of the mini-games that break up the loose narrative are very simple point-and-flick stylus affairs. Character movement is simple, and every action in the game is prefaced by a pop-up bubble explaining which button to press or which Littlest Pet to choose.

Beach Friend's animation conveys the basic design principles of Littlest Pet Shop pretty well, as all the characters have huge eyes and cute expressions, just like the toys they represent. You can add accessories to your pets — frankly, no Great Dane is complete without a set of sunglasses — further enhancing the "cute" factor. Beach Friend's music does have a light repetitive factor, similar to many child-centric games, but it's of a generally better quality than most, with at least a little variety. You can also opt to switch it off in the pause menu if it's driving you particularly insane. Beach friends does offer multiplayer over local Wi-Fi, but you'll need two copies of the game to make that happen, something we were unable to test.

The critical test for any kids game involves giving it to a kid to test. We did this on a recent long car journey with a seven-year-old well versed in Littlest Pet Shop lore. She loved it — for several hours — and despite finishing it, wanted to go back and play through again. This does point to a rather short overall game time, so if your little ones are impatient gamers who don't want repeated game experiences it might not be the best buy, but Little Pet Shop devotees should still get good value from it. Which brings up a rather obvious but pertinent point for any game based off a licensed property. Those who love the Littlest Pet Shop will more than likely enjoy this light but not terrible kid's game. Those who don't will be left wondering what the point is.