Looking at the new layout on Pet Society, I am simultaneously interested and afraid. Why? I am a creature of habit like many gamers. While I may harp on and on about wanting change, the truth is, I would rather stay with the tried, true, familiar method than have Playfish, or any other designer, change and possibly remove features I have become comfortable with. It is all well and good for you to change the things that do not work, but do not dare change something that does. So I opened up my game to look at what this new Pet Society layout had to offer. The designers definitely moved some things around, but for the most part, everything is still there. Read on for a quick run through in navigating the new Pet Society layout.
Right-side of the Screen
The first thing I noticed, the three bars on the right-hand side of the screen were gone. In the previous layout, Health (heart), Cleanliness (showerhead), and Happiness (smiley face) were all on the right-hand side of the screen. Now your health bar has moved to the top of the screen, but where did cleanliness and happiness go? They are just gone.
Then how do I tell if my pet needs a wash, you ask. The flies animation is still there. So you will still be able to tell when it is time to run the soap over your pet. Once your pet is all clean, a message will appear on your screen that says: All Clean!
Happiness, it appears, still affects your pet but does not have the same significance attached to it. Your pet will happily wave its arms about when it is completely happy, there is no message for it.
What is now on the right hand side of the screen is your save button, a bright red disk. Below that is a blue square with a cog on it. This is your settings button. This is where you turn your background music, sound, and full screen on or off. You can also control the visual quality of the game from here. I have no idea why anyone would want to make it any lower, but they give you the option. I am sure someone uses it. Finally, you have your language option under settings. There are a number of different languages available. As an English speaker, I stick with English, but it might actually make a decent language learning tool for those who are interested. The old layout was easy enough to find, but in Pet Society’s new layout, the colors are better, the buttons are bigger, and that makes for a better experience.
Your House navigation, to go from room to room, has gone from the top of the right hand of the screen to the bottom in this new layout. It takes a little bit of getting used to. I still automatically gravitate toward the top of the screen when I am trying to get from my garden to another room in my house. You just have to get used to it, I suppose.
Money and Playfish dollars are still across the top of the screen, though now the buttons to add more are bigger. The Experience bar is also still on the top of the screen, though now it shares its space with the Health bar.
Left-side of the Screen
Looking to the left of the screen, you will realize that the Tutorial/Trophy book is gone along with the postage stamp ‘Invite Friends’. Each of these has been moved to the bottom of the screen but in different places.
Bottom of the Screen
At the bottom of the screen, your friends bar is still there with all the pretty pictures of your friends’ pets and their personal avatars. All the way to the right of your friends bar is your ‘Invite Friends’ button. Even more fun, in the new layout, the button suggests a friend to add. The suggestion changes every few minutes. Clicking on the button takes you to the normal ‘Invite’ page.
Now if you look directly above your friends bar, you will notice you have a new tab that looks like a stack of books. Click on that tab to see your Sticker album, Cookbook, and Tutorial/Trophy book. I think Playfish did a good job of consolidating those for us.
The Primary Toolbar
Finally, what did they do to our primary toolbar at the bottom left of the screen? Playfish did us a favor and made the icons both bigger and more colorful. Granted, the old layout had functional icons, but the new Pet Society layout offers funkier icons and that makes for a whole lot more fun. Isn’t that the whole point of game, fun?