What good's a pet lizard if it doesn't morph into a dragon? THQ and Blitz Games will perhaps endanger the welfare of real, ordinary chameleons (color-changing? pfft), tempting children to turn away from their terrariums and step into the world of Fantastic Pets,
the so-called "first augmented reality game" for Kinect
, coming March 2011.
While Fantastic Pets
might start off as an utterly domestic pet sim -- kids pick out a dog, cat, horse or lizard -- dedicated pretend care will eventually expand the game's genus well beyond the apparently tame Kinectimals
kingdom. The lines between reality and fantasy will blur as players are transported into the gameworld through commonplace camera technology, barking orders as they command their beasts through mini-games and talents shows. Can your kid suspend disbelief long enough to reach the "professional ranks" of the vaunted Pet Trainer?
"As you discover your pet's personality and become enmeshed within the world, Fantastic Pets
becomes more like a personalized adventure and less like a game," says THQ ringmaster Martin Good. But at what point do you break it to the young man? No honey, unicorns ... They've -- they've never been real.