Jam Favorites: Rousr’s Virtual Pet Jam

There are a ton of game jams happening online at any point during the year. Many of these jams follow a theme and a timeframe, giving developers the challenge of creating a game within a specific jam’s restrictions. I am able to record loads of these games for each and almost every game jam. As I record them all, I pick out games that stand out to me and games I love from each individual jam. This article contains the games I love from the Rousr’s Virtual Pet Jam.

Developers were challenged to make a digital pet in seventy-two hours. I’ve played through each of the submitted games in my compilation video series and below are a few of my favorites, in a random order.

MartinTelecom’s Pet Simulator 1988 by JaxDrumm

MartinTelecom’s Pet Simulator 1988 is a slightly stressful text-based game where you type in commands to take care of your pet. You start off by picking and naming your pet before bringing it home. Once it is home, you can find out the status of your pet and try to help their needs, as well as work so you have money for food.

When you work, the pet’s needs will drop and it will tell you on the screen what it needs. You will then need to type the right commands to keep the pet well, in hopes of them not dying. There are negative interactions you can have with your pet. It is, of course, your instinct. MartinTelecom’s Pet Simulator 1988 may not have much in way of graphics, but trying to balance work and the price of food, as well as your pet’s social needs, makes for a challenging and slightly dark text-based game.

KittyCare by Meseta & Jambuns

KittyCare is an adorable little game where you take care of cats, hoping to eventually breed the rare blue nyan-cat! You must care for your cats by making sure they have toys, food and a clean litter box. You can scroll over them to see their status, as well as age and genes.

You don’t need to purchase food, and instead can buy new cats, item upgrades and books to help you understand your pets. You do earn money slowly, but you can always sell your cats to a breeder if you have too many or need the cash for an upgrade.

KittyCare has a great graphic style and it’s quite fun to just watch these cats run around and interact in a window on your PC.

My Pocket Hero by Sam, Dorian, & Gartman

My Pocket Hero gives you a little person to look after as your pet! This little human wants to be a great hero of the land, through destroying the monsters that lurk in the world. Starting at their camp, our little hero walks about, waiting for direction. You can take them into the fields, where they can fight monsters.

Fighting monsters will lower your health as you get hit, so you will need to pull your hero back to camp before they end up passing out. Once you leave the fields, you will gain experience and level up. This will eventually unlock additional areas! When it comes to gaining your health back, you will need to sit down to a nice meal.

You can do this by going to the tavern and earning money. You gain money by playing dice with a local and can spend it on meat to increase your health. Though My Pocket Hero is somewhat an idle game, this little creature does need your help along the way to becoming a great hero.

Youjotchi v2 by SquareDev

Youjotchi v2 is a rather challenging game where you need to take care of your young daughter. Your daughter has a bunch of needs as well as tons of options on how to spend her day. She only wants to do some of these options and will say no to anything she doesn’t feel like doing!

Each of the tasks you can do takes a lot of work from your side. Doing homework will have you filling in numbers to math equations correctly. Playing outside will have you guiding your daughter away from rocks and towards stars in a small runner game. Feeding your daughter has you playing a match-three puzzler. These mini-games take a few tries to completely get, but once you get them, you will need to try to complete them well. You earn money each day by keeping your daughter happy, which you can then spend on accessories for her!

I found Youjotchi v2 very challenging because of the control scheme. Maybe it is due to the US keyboard I use when I play games, but I found the keys didn’t quite make sense to my mind. Even with the keys not being perfect, the game itself is good, with a great concept.

My Pet Virus by Jackson Allen

My Pet Virus is a cute Pico-8 game where you must take care of your virus instead of getting rid of it. There are few instructions when it comes to how to raise a virus, as most people tend to get rid of them.

This cute virus looks like a cat! You can open up windows and drag the virus into it to make them interact. One increases its evil side, another its happy side, and some have it gaining money! They are part of a virus, so they do eat the icons on your computer. These icons help the creature level up, changing it into a completely new thing.

You can purchase more icons with the cash they’ve earned, in order to keep your virus fed and happy. This mysterious game is quite fun to explore, figure out, and play as your pet transforms.

Trash Bin Monster by Thirteen, AndrewBGM, & Chris Anselmo

Trash Bin Monster takes Tamagotchi to a whole new level. In this game, you have an entire Tamagotchi-inspired console that contains your trashpet. After putting in its name and the current time, gameplay begins.

You need to take care of your new pet — by petting it to give it some love, scolding it when it doesn’t want to eat and feeding it files from your recycle bin. That’s right, you need to literally drag files from your recycle bin into the game, which the pet will then nom on! These files will help your pet grow up and not starve to death — but you can only feed it a file once.

You’ll need to watch the files you feed it and see what happens to this trash bin. Trash Bin Monster is a full game, with a complete ending for you to discover. Hopefully you have enough files to feed this little thing!

Interested in reading about more game jam highlights? Why not check out our archive?

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