Started on April 16, 2017, 8:06 AM. Edited on May 11 and May 29, around 11:37 PM (rhyme). Finished on June 1, 2017 (3:47 AM IST). Edited more on June 8, 2017, 7:18 PM.
“What the…?” you may ask. “That’s the cutesy game franchise made by Ubisoft, not P.F. Magic or whatever!” Well, you’re wrong.
Or you might say, “Oh, I remember those! They got bought out by Ubisoft and changed into some generic, cutesy, personality-less games…” Well, you’re right!
What Is Petz?
Petz is a virtual pet simulation game franchise made by P.F. Magic (apparently it stands for Pure F***ING Magic, 😛 ). The games revolve around taking care of your Petz (Catz and Dogz). It’s open-ended and there are no overarching goals, akin to Zoo Tycoon 2 (I have a guide on the whole game, but it’s not finished yet, so…).
You can play with them, give them Toyz, dress them up in Clothez, go to different Playscenez (environments where you Petz can play), (lol many z’s) and even breed them! (You can also paint parts of them individually. Wow.) For most people, breeding is the fun part. For me, it’s part of the fun part. The other part of the fun part is the different Breedz you can have (and painting them, of course 😀 ). By default, there are 32 (15 Catz, 15 Dogz, and Pigz and Bunnyz in Petz 4 who can’t breed without being hexed), but you can have more by hexing. I’ll explain hexing, PetzA, and other stuff below, after the list of games released in the Petz franchise.
List of Games Released
There were 5 Petz games released (the REAL ones 😉 ), and two spinoffs. Here’s the list:
- Dogz 1 and Catz 1 (1995/1996). Dogz 1 was the first game released. It was very basic and didn’t have many of the features of the newer ones. It didn’t have breeding, playscenes, or clothes! You could only adopt one Dogz at a time, and only one Dogz could be out at a time. You’d have to return the Dogz before you could get another one! 😦 Nevertheless, it was very popular (or should I say pupular? 😉 🙂 :O) and soon, Catz 1 was released. Now you could adopt more than one Catz, and mouseholes were introduced (holes for mice to go in and out; only in this game could mice be eaten; in the later ones they were just caught and played with, then released; and they didn’t remove eating the mice because of gore since the mice were just gulped down), but other than that, not much changes. The interesting thing about these two is that the inside of the Adoption Center was shown, and apparently the woman running the Center was a literal cat lady…
- Oddballz (1996). Oddballz is a unique spinoff of Petz. In it, instead of taking care of Catz and Dogz, you take care of Oddballz. There can be only one Oddballz out on the screen at a time, and they can’t breed, dress up or go to different playscenes. Other than that, their personalities are interesting. You can even note down their likes and dislikes! But I’m not sure if it’s the same for every game (rhyme)…
- Petz II (1997). Oddly, this is the only title to have Roman numerals in its name. Anyway, this is the first title where you could have both Catz and Dogz in your game at once, AND have two Petz of any kind on your screen at once! (Although, for all Petz games except the first, you could only have two Petz on your screen at once unless you use PetzA. More info on PetzA later in the article.) Also, this is the first game in which the ‘neglect’ feature was introduced. More on that after this list. Other than those two, nothing much changed, except… well… check out this funny video. (This funny event was removed in later versions, which is too bad. 😦 Oh well, 🙂 at least you could also change the Playpen background in both Petz II and Catz & Dogz 1.)
- Petz 3 (1998). This is the game where everything changed. The UI was renovated, and you could now breed your Petz, take them to new playscenes and put clothes on them! The playscenes were: the Adoption Center (inside not shown), the Playpen from previous versions, the Living Room, the Kitchen, the Backyard, the Toy Closet, the Clothes Closet, and the Beach. You cannot breed Catz and Dogz with each other, but you can breed different breeds with each other to create Mixed Breedz (eg. a Dalmatian with a Sheepdog). The Toy Closet was split into a Carrying Case and a Toy Closet playscene and so was shrunk to only be able to carry 9 items at a time (previously it had 4 SHELVES). O_O This is also the game where hexing became more common… 😉
- Babyz (1999). Babyz is interesting. In this spinoff, you take care of human babies, not Catz or Dogz. You can take care of only 3 cute babyz at a time, but there are 15 total. If you want to abandon one, they can be sent to Grandma’s House. It sounds nice, but I don’t have it, so… I do know from videos that the UI is different, you can’t create new rooms (without hexing them), and you can also hex babies so that they can have different eyelid colors, hair colors, eye colors, skin colors, etc. You can also dress them up, play with them, and give them food and baths. Some of the Petz toys were reused. You can talk with your babyz using a microphone, and teach them English and how to walk, which is cool, but ViaVoice doesn’t really work in newer computers (you might be able to make it work though).
- Petz 4 (1999). My favorite version, and the only one I have installed right now! 😉 Not much change, except for a few new playscenes based on exotic locations: Arabia, Gypsy Circus (oh dear… 😉 I mean they didn’t know, but), Snow Scene, South Seas Island (my fav, due to the cute bulldog host), and Wild West; and a Travel Diary to go along with them; the new playscenes have hosts, who are Petz who can be interacted with with your Petz and who appear randomly, who cannot be adopted, and there are Catz and Dogz hosts depending on your version; if you have both, it’s random whether you get a dog host or a cat host. Also, some new clothes and toys, you can talk with your petz now and train them easier (although you can still use treats if you have no microphone or yours doesn’t work or ViaVoice doesn’t work [most likely the latter]), a Playscene Creator which acts odd in newer versions of Windows unless you change the resolution to 1024×768, and a new error introduced after you play with your Petz for too long to prevent addiction… 😉 That’s all! (Notice how most of this section was about the hosts. 😉 ).
- Petz 5 (2000). The last version. Not bad, but not good either. It’s the one people remember most since it’s the newest (of the REAL games 😉 ). Here’s why it evens out to an okay rating: while it does feature cool stuff like changing the skin of your Carrying Case, litters (more than one baby, good for breeders; I bet they weren’t put in older games due to memory troubles of computers at the time), weather (snow, rain, sun, thunder), day and night (in real-time, and you can set one when you want it?), restoring original colors of all Petz at once, you can get partly coloured tails in some of your Petz, a fancy fade transition, better graphics (24-bit graphics), 5 new Dogz and 5 new Catz (explained below), a new playscene called the Salon where you can bath your pet and put clothes (yes, the Clothes Closet was moved to the Salon), some new playscenes (Haunted Mansion, Fantasy Castle, Asian Temple), a Nursery playscene, and some new Toyz and Clothes (including a cute unicorn toy which is also available for Petz 4 from fansites), it has problems like the Petz not reacting to the weather, when you go to a different playscene the weather goes away, the Salon is just for fun (not a big problem though, especially since you can restore the original colors of all Petz at once there), only mothers with their litters can go into the Nursery playscene and once the babies grow up the Nursery playscene is locked until another mother gives birth, some of the new Petz act weird or look weird (like the Papillion), you can change the skin of your Carrying Case in Petz 4 using some hacking or something at Carolyn’s site (a fan’s site) (which is great), hexing new Toyz and stuff is a bit more tricky due to Petz 5 being more perfectionist with graphics, the sample names (the default names that come when you adopt a pet, like Homebody and Jester for some Catz breeds) for the new breedz are not as creative as the originals (Pappy the Papillion?! Really?!) and the worst problem is… the Toy Closet has been removed. Now all your stuff is in the Carrying Case! This means you have to scroll through to get stuff… Another major problem is that the Playpen has been removed! (I use the Playpen a LOT in Petz 4). They (Ubisoft… 😉 😉 or Studio Mythos) DID intend to put it in, judging by the fact that Studio Mythos’s logo is a wallpaper in a folder in the Petz 5 directory. O_O This means that when your Petz don’t eat well when they are picky (like in Petz 4), where will you keep them?! (You CAN create one using the Playscene Creator though, and/or use the Desktop scene (explained below), so… [rhyme]) Yet another major problem is that there are minigames in each playscene. While not a problem by themselves (some are actually cool, some aren’t; one involves training with a monkey statue watching you, which is cool), they are the only way you can get Toyz! (Like the Love Potion and Heart Pillow!) O_O So the one I recommend you play often is the Scarab minigame since it’s easy and fast, since you get Toyz randomly each time you win. O_O < sarcasm > Cool, huh? < / sarcasm > (spaces because WordPress removed the ones without spaces) (You can also use Tinker, a utility made by Sherlock Software, to get all the toyz you want). I got most of this info from another review, here. It’s also less used than Petz 4 for hexing, but for breeders, the litters and different colour inheritations (like the partly colored tail) are boons. Phew! That was huge! 😉
Stuff about Petz:
Can they die?
Nope! But they can be abandoned if you open the game up every day and not feed or play with them. If you don’t open the game up every day, they won’t get abandoned. You can also make the Neglect bar 0 each time you open Petz using PetzA, to prevent it rising and your petz running away. In Petz 5, there’s a chance 😉 that your pet will show up on a notice board near the Adoption Center, and if you click on that your pet will return. But it’s only a chance. There are ways to get abandoned petz back but they require hexing (either by you or someone else), so just check the Neglect bar every time you open Petz (not necessarily every day).
What the foobar is hexing? And PetzA?
Hexing is where you take a breedfile from the Resource/Catz or Resource/Dogz directory in your Petz directory, and edit it using either a hex editor (as in the old days of hexing) or Hex Workshop (a visual editor to edit your breedfile; can’t be used for everything though) and LNZ Pro (a hex editor made specifically for Petz), which are made by Sherlock Software. There are many guides around the ‘net to make hexing easier to learn, but the ones I recommend are at Carolyn’s site, Carolyn’s Creations. She also has downloads for Petz other than just Catz and Dogz (like Horsez and Rodentz). Cool!
PetzA is a utility to make Petz easier. You can download it from Sherlock Software, and it works on all Petz games (other than Catz 1, Dogz 1, and Oddballz). It has many cool features like changing the speed, making babies born instantly, mating two Petz without the need for toyz, and more!
Hexies are Petz made by hexing, and hexers are the ones who create those creatures.
What are the uses of hexing?
Hexing is useful for creating new breeds, toyz, clothing, and playscenes (yes, it can be used for playscenes). (You can also hex your pet, but that’s less commonly done.) You can also swap personalities by hexing, and breed a cat with a dog by hexing (more below).
Can it do everything?
You can’t hex a new personality though. While your Petz can like and dislike particular toyz and clothing (or even not want to play dress up altogether, like most Catz), there’s a base personality for each breed (poodles hold their head high, tabbies sleep a lot, dalmatians are energetic). Petz can get along with and dislike other Petz though, and you can swap personalities by hexing and breed a Dalmatian with a Poodle to get a snobby, energetic Mixed Breed. 😀 (In fact, I’ll do that in my game! 🙂 This is part of Pet’s charm and fun.)
Are mice in all the games?
Yep, you can dangle them in front of your petz, you can feed them cheese, and you can even paint them! Cool! 😀 (You can even adopt mice as Petz by downloading them and putting ’em in your game! 😉 )
There are also roaches in Petz 3, 4, and 5 (although I haven’t seen ’em yet). They come in the kitchen and eat the leftovers. You can spray them using bug spray, but they’re pretty cool so… 😉
You can also, by hexing, change the look of both, and change the sounds for both by finding the right files and replacing them (like you do with breed sounds). The guide to do that is here.
I wanna breed a cat with a dog! Pleease!
You can’t without hexing, but Carolyn’s site has dog breedfiles which look like catz but have dog personalities, and there are catz breedfiles that look like dogz but with catz personalities, so, go wacky and wild with those! 😉
What do you think of the new Petz games?
They’re weird, interesting, and okay. Much worse than even Petz 5 for sure (although not bad). Many of them are wildly different from each other, so it’s hard to tell which is which. In some of them, you have to earn money to even buy food and toys for your pets. In some, the primary focus is training. There also Petz Vet and Petz Vet 2; apparently it can have interesting red 😉 imagery as a user on the RKC (Ratqueen’s Kennel and Cattery) Petz Forum points out. The only almost good ones are Horsez and Horsez 2, but that’s because they were just some French games (Ubisoft is based in France) repackaged into Petz. Petz Fantasy is also interesting; it even has a flash demo online where you choose two modes: one where you should paint your egg according to the picture and add stickers, and one where you can paint the egg any way you want, and it hatches into an alicorn 😉 or some other creature from the official game in both modes. Also, while Catz 2 and Dogz 2 (for the Wii and PS2; the ones for the DS and PC… well, there’s a review for the DS version below) are cool because they’re RPGs, the problem is they overshadow the real, old ones in Google searches pretty often! None of them deserve the Petz title for sure, even if they’re good. If they had a different title for each (eg. the RPGs were based off another game called The Dog Island, so maybe they could be called something similar (Pet Island: Dogs? ;P); and the others could be called Pretty Pets or something since they’re so girly and simple but good for what they are), that’d be great; anything to not make them overshadow the ones from our childhoods.
Speaking of that, how did you hear about Petz?
Actually, when I was 8 or 9, I just heard about it from a Garfield fansite, and didn’t know and didn’t care what it was about, and again when I was 10 (rhyme) or 11, searched for virtual pet games for fun, on Wikipedia, and there I was intrigued but I couldn’t install it since I had no admin permissions then, and then recently (late 2016?) I decided, to heck with it, I’ll install it now from Wine in my Arch Linux 64-bit, and over a few days, I tried to find installers; finally I found one, but after installing it, I clicked on Petz 4.exe and got a million tabs getting opened in Firefox instead. takes a deep breath 😉 After cleaning up the mess (no virus), I deleted that, and finally found a portable download at this cool site. It had PetzA installed already too! That’s the one I have now, and I play it sometimes.
One final thing…
Petz: Dogz 2 (DS) Review
Petz: Dogz 2 for the DS is interesting. It’s obviously a virtual pet game for kids and bored adults, like Nintendogs but more cutesy, made by Ubisoft.
When we start the game, we find out it has a story! You are a kid apparently, and you do the usual routine of getting up, having breakfast, going to school, coming home, eating again and sleeping, and it gets boring. What if you had a puppy (like I do IRL as you can see from this site)? That’s basically it, you imagine you have a puppy. Not much of a story, but in virtual pet games, story’s not the main part. You get taken to a breed selection screen, with dreamy music. 😛 You get Chihuahua, Yorkie, Dalmatian, Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Poodle, Dachshund, Beagle (Cartoon Odie’s breed (actually he’s mixed, but he’s sometimes referred to as a Beagle, so…) and Snoopy’s breed), German Shepherd, Boxer, and Shih Tzu. I picked Shih Tzu since it’s the closet to Odie and Pinkie’s breeds.
Now, the proof for my claim above that every Ubisoft Petz game is different (both confusing and adds diversity)… In Petz: Dogz 2, you add items to your house to unlock a coloring minigame, and that’s basically the goal; to add items. But in Petz: Catz 2 for the DS, you gain your cat’s trust, which sounds more like a pet game. O_O These are two versions of the same game, people! Make up your minds! What’s more, the Wii and PS2 versions are completely different, and more popular than these! If you ask anybody about Petz, chances are, they’ll respond with “Are you talking about that cool RPG, or the kiddy games for girls?” No mention of PF. Magic here, folks! There may be the occasional recognition, but, well…
Anyway, you get items by playing (I guess) fun minigames. Here’s why the “I guess”: the first one I had to play (randomized! to get the Tatami Mat), Crazy Eights, is the same as Hearts (a Windows game that I played a lot). I’ve always lost Hearts! (I lost this one too.) I’m sportive about losing, but not a good start. Oh well, I got a Jigsaw Puzzle the next time, and I won that (the time limit was 240 seconds (3 minutes), so that’s good enough for me). It was the Gingham Plaid Rug. 🙂 (Also, I’ve found that the Tatami Mat gives harder games which I keep losing, so… But I unlocked it.)
Another claim of mine to prove: I said the Petz are personality-less, and it’s true! They’re all the same!
At least it’s not generic, but it’s cutesy. It would’ve been cool as a party game, though! 😉
Final Thoughts: Fun, but since the pets aren’t the main focus, it’s not really Petz, and the petz are personality-less, I’ll give it 3/4 out of 5. At least the Dogz are cute. 😀 (Like IRL).
The version I recommend is Petz 4. It has more hexies available for it, is more stable (it even works on my Arch Linux 64-bit!), etc. See you later, alligators! 😉