Virtual pet games have always been popular especially with children. All the fun of your own pet minus any real responsibility. The Petz series of games from Ubisoft was incredibly popular at the time, letting virtual pet owners care for either cats or dogs, or buy and install both games together and care for both types of furry four legged friend. While the virtual pet craze has died down a little in more recent years, these entertaining titles are still a great way to keep children occupied on a rainy day.
There are a few extra steps you need to take when installing either Catz 5 or Dogz 5. Start by inserting either game CD into your computers optical drive. Follow the on-screen prompts to start the installer. If the installer does not start automatically, browse to the CD in Computer/This PC and run the “Launch.exe” file manually.
Now, follow the installer through until the part where you are asked where you want to install the game to. Most users click over this step and install their games and other programs to the default directories, but the Petz games won’t work with the default directories when run on 64 bit machines. Click on the “Browse” button and choose a different directory, “C:\Games\Petz 5” would be ideal, for example.
The rest of the installation will now be automatic. At the end of the installation you will be asked if you want to install DirectX, you should skip this step. You might want to skip the online registration too as it is unlikely that registration is still active for such an old game.
Since there are no official patches to install and no compatibility mode settings to change, you can now simply start the game and play. If you do encounter any problems or want to know about the unofficial patch, read on to the next sections.
We did not encounter any issues running Dogz 5 on our Windows 8.1 PC. If you do have issues getting the game to start, try setting the compatibility mode options to run the game in compatibility mode for Windows XP (Service Pack 2). If you need a tutorial on using compatibility mode settings, see this link.
Some users also reported that it was necessary to reduce the resolution of their Windows desktop, though the game ran just fine here with a huge 2048×1152 desktop resolution.
PetsA – Unofficial patch and expansion
If you’re still encountering issues running or playing Dogz 5 or Catz 5 on your modern PC, or you just want to get more out of your virtual pet simulator, you should check out this fantastic unofficial expansion and patch program from Sherlock Software called PetzA. PetzA fixes bugs and adds a lot of new features and options, some that could be considered cheating and some that may have strange effects on your virtual critters! Of course it’s up to the player which ones he/she uses. Remember you can make a backup copy of your Petz save games at any time simply by copying the .pet files found in the “Adopted Petz” sub-folder in the Petz 5 installation folder.
To find out more about PetzA and to download a copy for free, visit this page. Sherlock Software also have a bunch of other programs for tinkering with the Petz games that allow you to create new breeds of animal and new toys, so be sure to browse around their site.
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