Having three young kids of my own, I doubted how much fun it would be to play a game that requires you to take care of a baby. I mean, this is my life, so the games I usually enjoy playing are for a temporary escape after the kids go to bed and not living my day-to-day life again inside the digital world.

Well, after booting up Baby Luv, I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun this game is. At first, it just seemed like a unique game – and not another 3-in-a-row puzzle, seek-and-find or some restaurant simulation – but I immediately fell for its charm, accessibility and attractive graphics.

Not unlike its predecessor, Puppy Luv, Baby Luv first has you naming your baby, selecting its gender, eye, skin and hair color, and so forth. I named my daughter Naomi (always liked that name) and gave her cute black hair in teeny pigtails. Babies at first wear a one-piece sleeper: pink for girls and blue for boy.

Within seconds your newly created offspring will be sitting in a playroom and will be following your mouse movements with his or her eyes. Click on them to make them gurgle and giggle. If you like, click the Park button at the bottom of the screen for a different setting.

But along with the Park button are a few other icons you need to keep an eye on. Not unlike Puppy Luv (or The Sims, for that matter), you will see the baby’s levels in hunger, hygiene, sleep, fun and diapers. If a level begins to fall in one area you need to fix it. Therefore, if the baby is hungry, click the icon and you’ll appear in the kitchen, where you can feed the baby a bottle (by using the mouse to keep it in the baby’s mouth) or fruit, which requires you to use the mouse like a spoon to feed it to the baby.

If the baby is getting dirty, click the tab to give him or her a bath by using the mouse like a sponge to rub on their body; the sleep button puts them in their crib and you can rock it back and forth; while the dirty diaper plops them on a change table and you need to, well, you know.

The most fun you’ll have, however, is playing mini-games. In order to entertain the baby (and yourself), you can play with dozens of toys or games at home or in the park, such as bouncing balls, rattles, a moo can, coloring book, memory game and more.

Do well by taking care of all the baby’s needs and you’ll earn points, which can then be used in the Store. If the baby is beginning to stick its nose up at your milk, you might want to try chocolate milk or soy milk. Need new toys? The jigsaw puzzles challenge you to solve them and the xylophone has you repeat notes after the baby (like the game Simon). You’ll also want to buy hygiene products, new items for the nursery and kitchen (such as a mobile and better high chair, respectively) and new clothes to dress them up in. The game offers hundreds of purchasable items.

Baby Luv‘s graphics are colorful and detailed, including attractive 3-D games that will keep you busy. Some odd issues are when you’re clicking a game, the mouse isn’t always as responsive as you like. In one instance, I clicked different paint colors to replicate a scene but it kept choosing the color beside the one I was clicking.

Another, potentially bigger issue is that Baby Luv is a blast for the first, say, hour or so, as you learn the mechanics and begin to unlock better items in the store. After the novelty wears off, however, you could create another baby but you’ll have seen all the game’s tricks already, so to speak. But where this game lacks in replayability and longevity it makes up for in ingenuity and sheer enjoyment.

Who knew changes diapers and feeding a crying baby could be this much fun?