The game is made by Playfish frenemy Zynga, the maker of Mafia Wars, Farmville and Yoville. On the day of PetVille's release, a Playfish staff member contacted me and had this to say about the rivalry between the two companies: "I'm biased of course, but even if I didn't work for Playfish I'd gravitate to our games because they look better, have more depth, and are more creative and innovative."
To be fair, I'm sure someone working at Zynga would say the same about their games, and one poll shows that more people actually prefer the look of PetVille over Pet Society. It'll be very interesting to see how PetVille fares in the coming months. Perhaps the competition will be good in helping Pet Society improve its features.
I tested PetVille on three separate occasions. Here's a quick review of the highlights.
Here's my test pet "Ramses" eating. I bought a banana, but it looks like dried dog food in the bowl, and the pet shovels it in with his hands. This is interesting to note, because Playfish COO Sebastien de Halleux once told me that when Pet Society was first released, it featured animal food, but the company found out that players preferred to feed their pets human food.
One cool thing about PetVille's food is the treats that are stored in the chest. Feed your pet a custard, heart or lollipop and it will do tricks like juggle or play a guitar. No need to buy a guitar; it magically appears on its own.
Here's Ramses shopping for clothes. I do like the elevators in the stores. Each floor features different types of merchandise, such as sportswear and holiday costumes. The layout is cleaner and easier to navigate than the Pet Society stores, which have gotten very crowded in the past year.
There's one big downside to PetVille. If you don't check in frequently enough, your pet lands in jail and you'll need to pay a fine. I was charged 827 coins after just one day!
Other than the issue of high fees, Petville seems to have pretty good features. If I weren't already a Pet Societyholic, maybe I would take it up.
How loyal are you to Pet Society?
Do you log in to Pet Society every day? Do you feel all warm and fuzzy when you think about your pet? Would you ever cheat on your pet by going to PetVille?
Soyon Im is the creator of Pet Society Anonymous, a safe place for Pet Societyholics.