New video game lets your kids create their own live-in furry friends

If your children had their way, there would be six puppies, six kittens, and a pony hanging out harmoniously in your living room, playing fetch from the coffee table to the fireplace, then falling asleep in a cute pile on the couch. There’s actually an upholstery-friendly way to make this scenario a reality for your kids: Fantastic Pets, a new video game for Xbox 360 Kinect ($49.99).

Using augmented reality technology, your child can throw a ball to furry friends that she’s created on screen. The new furbuddies will fetch with gusto – and leave your valuables intact. These digital friends, who actually appear in your room on the video game screen, won’t bump into the plants next to your sofa, but thanks to detection technology, they’ll walk around your home much like real animals would.

For added cuteness, each customized pet created through the game has a unique personality, exhibits lifelike reactions and is guaranteed to make your child laugh by responding to commands or performing tricks (the object of the game is to complete challenges to reach the ranks of Pet Trainer).

Beyond being able to create pets with horns, extra tails or wings, your kids may find these pets utterly fantastic for other reasons: feeding them, taking them for walks, or giving them baths isn’t required. It’s like owning a pet with none of the chores!