I was never much of a gamer. I never imagined myself wearing some nerdy shirts that talk about gaming and other video game stuff. But I didn’t realize that I will be into gaming the way I am today. I had played PC games like Tetris, SimCity and Civilization, but I was never very good at console video games, especially the very popular first-person shooters, which show the action from the perspective of the character that you are controlling. I get dizzy playing those games, and I actually once fell out of a chair trying to get my character safely out of a room. Like I said, I never was much of a gamer.
Things changed when my kids got a Playstation 2 a few years ago. One of the first games I purchased for my young daughter was The Dog Island. Okay, yes, I know some of the guys who review games fo a living reportedly vomited their way through this game. Those are the same guys that likely would have stolen my controller when I had trouble picking flowers in Red Dead Redemption. I wasn’t buying the game for them, I was buying it for a little girl, and the reviews on Amazon were great.
I started playing The Dog Island with my daughter, and we were hooked from the very beginning. The first thing you get to do is choose what type of dog you are going to play from a selection of dozens of adorable puppies. Every one of them has a big head and humongous eyes, designed to look like the artwork from The Dog photography series by Artist Collection. We were in love. After choosing a puppy and naming her, we were introduced to her family, including a sick little brother who desperately needed a doctor. It was our job to go on a quest and save that puppy!
The folks at IGN described this game as an adventure/RPG, which translated means a role-playing game that takes you on an adventure or quest. Experienced gamers may compare it to The Legend of Zelda, but lots, lots cuter. You could zip through this game in a matter of hours, like my son did, or you can take your time and complete every task, buy every adorable outfit for your puppy, and win every mini-game. There are so many lands to explore, and so many things to do, my daughter and I played for weeks without ever choosing to finish the game.
For the first time, playing The Dog Island, I felt really happy playing video games. The buttons were easy to remember, the tasks were just challenging enough to be fun, and the characters were so sweet I couldn’t wait to see who we’d meet next. I started playing more often with my kids, taking on the Lego titles and some other kid-friendly games. I still can’t do first-person shooters, but I finally found games that I can play and enjoy with the family, so I guess now I am a gamer, too!