Developer / Publisher – Fusion Play / IT Sonix custom development GmbH
Price – US $14.99 / EU €14.99 / UK £11.99 / AU $22.95
Release date – February 23rd, 2018
Control Method – 1 x Move controller
Pro Patch – No
Digital only – Yes
Reviewed on – PS4 Pro
First and foremost,I feel the need to mention that this kind of game holds little interest for me to play. I never bought into the whole virtual pet craze that started 20 years ago and to me, this kind of game is more geared toward children. So, with that out of the way, I’m going to look at this as objectively as I can but I can pretty much guarantee that if you had no desire to play this game before you read this, I doubt this review will sway your opinions much.
With one Move controller, you basically interact with a virtual cat. The controller ‘becomes’ the cat and if you are looking for a little extra immersion, there is an in-game guide to get ‘plushy-mode’ going whereupon you strap the move controller to stuffed animal (preferably a cat) with elastics for that extra bit of immersion. Plushy Mode works, but can block the controller from the camera depending on what the game asks of you so be aware. Once you’re all calibrated you just hold the cat or place the cat in a few different scenarios and watch the action unfold.
What Konrad the Kitten has that no other PSVR game has ever had before is a crazy awesome and accurate calibration screen. Before you get into the game a message pops up stating to place the camera at a certain height and angle it to between 20 and 25 degrees. How the heck do you do that you may be asking? Konrad the Kitten uses the camera to detect its own angle of placement and when you adjust it to the right angle, a reticle goes green and you may proceed. Say what you want about the actual game, but this kind of in-depth game specific calibration should be in a lot more titles. Additionally, you can also set and adjust the floor height which is necessary as the game recommends you actually sit on the floor.
The look of this game is on the cartoonish side. Your kitten has some slightly large eyes and stays almost perfectly still in your hand while he’s not performing any action. As you place your kitten into a variety of tasks, it will do kitteny things like eat, purr, go to the bathroom, wreck a sandcastle and a host of other tasks. There a few different settings available such as a kitchen, washroom and beach and all them look…ok. There isn’t really a lot in the way of animation here until the cat is given something to do and each stage lacks detail. Still, given the nature of the game, the graphics were acceptable and played fine considering what you are actually doing here.
So, what are you actually doing here? Taking care of a kitten of course! Every day, Konrad has a full energy bar and it’s up to you to wear him out while earning his love. Konrad lets you know what he wants through speech bubbles using symbols that match the appropriate task. Each task completed earns you coins, which can be spent at the shop to purchase items to dress your kitten in, or hearts which earn Konrad’s love. Every now and then you get to spin a wheel which may give you more coins or hearts but could also let you play 1 of a few mini-games like whack-a-mouse, an odd obstacle course where you need to carry Konrad through a series of rings and a fishing game. These mini-games add a little variety to the gameplay, though hitting the same games back-to-back can get repetitive quickly. I had some issues with the tracking on the obstacle course as some of the rings are placed a little too far to the left and right, which my camera setup did not appreciate.
The main goal here is take care of this virtual pet. As you allow Konrad to perform certain tasks he accrues experience which unlocks more things to do. What is very interesting is that the game basically locks you out after about 20 to 30 minutes of gameplay. Once you exhaust Konrad, he’s done and the game tells you to come back tomorrow. This is an interesting aspect which extends the gameplay by just cutting you off from the game, which works to its advantage as just when you are done with the game, the game is done with you.
There really isn’t too much more to say here. The plushy mode is a humorous little addition that adds to the immersion factor, but it can be a bit of pain if you plan on playing other games requiring the move controller. The mini-games are fairly simple and repeat themselves way to often. The slow drip of new content per day does add to the replay factor as it seems like there is always something new to try out with Konrad, at least for a few days anyways, and the customizations for your cat are vast from changing the fur color to adding hats and clothes.
As I said, you basically know from the trailer if this is for you or not and if you don’t think it is, you’re right! With that said, if you have any interest in a VR pet, this provides enough gameplay and customization to make Konrad feel like your own. The short game time allowed each day really dials back on the wear factor and the mini-games add a little bit of extra flavor. If you have ever wanted a pet, but don’t want the hassle of responsibility, then this may be just for you.
What would I pay? Well, in all honesty, I wouldn’t pay for this, but I fall in the category of just not liking this type of experience, in or out of VR. With that said, objectively I think the $15 price tag seems a bit steep considering just how mundane this can be. I think $10 seems just a little more appropriate here.
Fusion Play provided The VR Grid with a review code for this title and, regardless of this review, we thank them for that!