Virtual pets is a once-hot Facebook genre that’s cooled down without entirely going away. Occasionally you still see new virtual pet games like Booleez, though you rarely see them offered with such basic gameplay attached. Booleez wants to pull inplayers by offering a dazzling array of customization options for your monster. You have to pay for each new virtual pet design element and, as always, the cooler elements tend to be more expensive. While you can design an interesting and personal pet in Booleez, though, you can’t really do much with it once you have it.
Beginning a game of Booleez is as simple as designing your pet, which is a bit more like designing one of Nintendo’s Mii avatars than is typical in a virtual pet game. Booleez aren’t especially animal-like, even though you have to keep them clean, play games with them, and show them off like typical virtual pets. There’s an enormous variety of different facial features, outfits, and tattoo patterns available for your Booleez. Most of these are also available in an equally wide variety of colors. Once your pet is created, you can continue to customize it by buying accessories.
The actual gameplay in Booleez consists mostly of cleaning your pet and playing games with it. There doesn’t seem to have any sort feeding mechanic. The mini-games have more variety than usual, because it’s nothing typical like battling your pet or making it exercise. Instead you basically play arcade games like a side-scrolling shooter or traditional games like Memory against your pet. If you win, you gain coins and if your pet wins, it gains experience. It’s a little weird in that if you want to level your pet up quickly, the game actually rewards you for losing on purpose. There’s no real reason to power-level your pet, though.
Similar to games like Pet Society, your Booleez lives in a room that you’re encouraged to decorate. Decorations cost money, which you earn mainly by leveling up and logging in every day. If you get really good at the mini-games you can earn money that way, but sluggish controls make beating your pet at anything relatively difficult. You can also participate in a few other activities, like sending virtual gifts to friends and voting on which spotlighted Booleez designs you like the best. You can earn coins by taking so many of certain actions per day, like playing games or voting.
It’s hard to figure out why anybody would play Booleez when it offers so little gameplay and the virtual pet genre is already so saturated. The game runs well but the localization is extremely sloppy. Some of the in-game text is genuinely confusing and some of the notifications still contain untranslated French. There might be some fun to be had with Booleez if you really get into the customization aspect of online games, but most players will probably just find it unengaging.
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