Oct 17, 2007
It’s definitely a rare skill to be able to craft a puzzle game that’s actually easy enough for preteens. Unfortunately, someone at developer Shin’en has that exact gift. Pet Alien would be a legitimately decent puzzler if it weren’t for the fact that anyone with a double-digit age will smoke through its 80 levels in two, maybe three, hours flat.
Attempting to save your human “owner” from space kidnappers, you’re given a cast of five aliens, each of whom has a different ability. The big pink ape can smash ice cubes and cracked walls, the purple dog thing can squeeze through narrow gaps and grab things with its frog-like tongue, the purple bird can fly over mines, the green guy can run up conveyor belts, and the bug-headed blue guy is the only one smart enough to push a crate – remember, we said each had an “ability”, not a “super power”.
By switching between these characters multiple times in each level and using their unique skills, you puzzle your way through 80 rooms full of green gems (which you collect to open the portal to the next level), conveyor belts, floor switches, laser walls, teleporters, colored doors and keycards, roving patrol bots who must be led into mines, and so on. There are also five boss fights, which usually use one alien’s power to hit floor switches that shoot laser beams at a giant robotic bug (or turtle).
It’s actually similar to a top-down version of The Lost Vikings, but as we’ve said, if you’re old enough to get that reference, you’ll destroy this game in no time. It’s just too basic and simplistic for big kids. There’s also no multiplayer of any kind and the five mini-games, which range from a shell game to a take on Simon Says that uses burp and fart sounds, won’t add much life. Unless you’re a die-hard fan of the animated TV series, rent or ignore this one.