Review: The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets (PSVR)

VR has brought about some really cool gaming possibilities, and aside from the obvious advances in horror titles, puzzle-based games have been on the rise thanks to the new planes available from a fully 3D environment. The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets takes full advantage of this new freedom, giving a series of staggeringly beautiful miniature floating levels that can be spun, tweaked, poked and generally interacted with in order to help find some hidden animals. It’s pretty, it’s cute, and it’s pretty straightforward on the whole, but overall this is one of those games that every PSVR owner should be picking up.

The idea behind the game is to manipulate various parts of each level to uncover a series of lost pets that are hiding in bushes, frozen in ice, and generally tucked away in some awkward spot. To do so you’ll need to take stock of what’s in front of you and figure out how to find and free up these slippery little guys. Using a pair of Move controllers is a wonderful experience, as you grab the level and spin it round, brush snow off treetops, and use a range of tools to try and reveal the animals you’re after. A really cool early example is using a hair dryer to melt snow and uncover what’s underneath, or boiling a kettle to let you make a hot drink. It feels really good, and apart from a couple of moments when I accidentally punched the floor trying to catch something I’d dropped (worth noting, stuff that plummets into the distance below respawn in their original place, so no need to beat up the carpet like I did) everything is nicely accessible and easy enough to reach without too much effort.

Despite having to think every now and then, this is a wonderfully relaxing experience. You can just stop for a few moments and watch what’s going on, tiny people and creatures pottering round the levels, and toy trains working their way round and through tunnels. You can throw things around, mess with the trees, just generally play around without even trying to find something. All the while you’re accompanied with soothing sounds and gentle music, sinking you that little bit deeper into the relaxing game that this quickly becomes.

The only disappointment is that it’s over a little bit too soon, but as the developer told me, this is an experience of quality not quantity. In that respect, The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets does a stellar job. With some Christmas content coming soon as well, this is one of those games that’s so full of charm you’d have to be a stone-hearted kind of person to not get any enjoyment out of it. A really, really good VR title.

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