Decide Whether Rover Lives or Dies in the Surprisingly Clever “Animal Inspector”
The signs were clear; everyone tried to warn us. Whether it was our friendly game show host Bob Barker telling us to neuter our pets, or Mickey Rourke telling us to “have the cojones” to fix our dog. Overpopulation of pets has been a problem in the U.S., but in the world of Animal Inspector it is a problem that is easily fixed with a stamp.
Welcome to your first day as an animal inspector! The institution was started for the surveillance of domestic pets in homes because it is much easier to remove animals in an isolated environment. Many of us love pets though, and we would hate to see them taken away. That’s where the new jobs comes into play. As the main character, you have a dog who has been with you through thick and thin, and the only way to make sure your pal isn’t taken away is to slip into the system. So, it becomes your job to rummage through inspection cards and determine if the pets are worthy to continue their loyal lives or if they would be better off in “the cages.”
The way that players handle each card is where the fun of the game comes into play. I promise, this game about sovereignty over animal lives is actually really fun. Working at the Animal Inspection Agency means that there are co-workers to interact with. Life does not revolve around stamping cards the entire time. There are dialogue options that players have between three characters: Martha, Alan and your boss. While they are mostly innocent, the friendship between these characters can change depending on what commitments you make. During the first time I played the game I decided to be a real quack, so I told Martha I would never reject a cat. I lied, though. I made sure that every cat that came through I sent to the cages. Each time I did it she was not very pleased, and by the end we could not be considered friends.
Each card must also be marked. To my surprise this is something that is actually checked pretty carefully throughout the game. There are many times where my boss would bring me aside and mention something that I did, that I had not even noticed. For instance, in my second time playing I made sure that every cat was accepted and I just left in the comments:”Is a cat.” My boss was not pleased.
It is rare for a game to actually produce audible laughter from the player, and I don’t mean the breathing harder through your nostrils kind of way. Despite Animal Inspector’s dark topic, it will leave you delightfully surprised after each work day. It only runs at about 30 minutes and the developer released it as PWYW on their itch.io page.
So sign up to be an Animal Inspector, and don’t let Bob Barker down.