Great games for animal lovers part one
With the latest releases from Endling – Extinction is forever and Wander, I thought I’d continue with this theme for this week’s Fresh Look column and dive into other games that animal lovers might enjoy. I’m not going to argue endling Where Wander, as full reviews of these games are imminent. Instead, I’ll talk about a few other games that might catch the eye of animal lovers looking to keep scratching the itch.
Away: The Survival Series
Have you ever wanted to see what it would be like to be one of the animals in a nature documentary? If that is the case, A way is the game for you. Released last September on PC and PlayStation 4 and 5, A way lets you experience the life of a sugar glider. The atmosphere of the game is very similar to endling, as you must hunt for food and avoid predators. Faithful to the nature documentary format, a narrator punctuates the game with comments on animal behavior. While you start as a sugar glider, you can also play with other animals, such as lizards, beetles, and crabs. These additional animals are hidden throughout the game. The graphics and sound are very realistic. However, players have complained that the game is buggy. Although A way has reviews, the game is reasonably priced at $19.99 on Steam and $29.99 on the PlayStation Store. Personally, I like a lot of game reviews turning their noses up, so I wouldn’t be afraid to give A way A try. A way is due out on Xbox later this year.
Cat Quest II
I still don’t know why this game is called cat quest when the story involves both dogs and cats, but I’ve been devoured by this game for the past few weeks. The gameplay is simple and the music is catchy. You play as a cat or a dog whose respective kingdoms are at war with each other. Using the power of friendship (yes, it’s one of those games), you work to defeat the evil kings and restore peace to the land. You can switch between either character at any time, and if your character dies, you automatically switch to the other character. This feature is nice because you can keep playing back and forth reviving the currently down character. This makes the game very easy most of the time.
I found Cat Quest II in the Apple Arcade store when I first purchased my iPad a few months ago. I was stuck on a mission, so I quit the game for about a month. It was a mission where you were isolated from the main area, so you couldn’t level up. After resuming the game and successfully defeating the boss, I could barely stop the game. There are dozens of side missions filled to the brim with “terripurr” puns and blatant insertions of cat and dogs. (If you thought it was bad, I assure you they’re getting worse.) The game is cute and entertaining, so I’m going to loosen it up a bit. Cat Quest II was released in 2017 and now seems to be available on all gaming platforms. Cat Quest II has very good reviews and its price is very low. Both cat quest and Cat Quest II are currently on sale on the PlayStation Store until August 18, but both games are normally under $15 each on different platforms.
Tunic is another adventure game where you play as an adorable animated dog. You’re a fox who wears a tunic, so the game gets points right away for being title-accurate, albeit a bit more original than calling the game “Fox”. Stranded on an island with unintelligible signs, you must fight monsters and discover the secrets of the land. Mysterious pages of a manual-style document are scattered throughout the environment and must be deciphered to understand game mechanics such as upgrading your weapons. From secret passages to hidden chests, Tunic is all about exploration. Players compared Tunic to a mixture of Legend of Zelda and dark souls. The game received very favorable reviews, with some gamers going so far as to suggest it could be the game of the year. Tunic released on PC and Xbox earlier this year and is expected to arrive on PlayStation in late September. At $29.99, Tunic seems well worth the price. I will definitely be picking up this game when the PlayStation release drops.
The Spirit of the North
Game developers must really love foxes because The Spirit of the North is yet another game on this list that features a fox as the protagonist. The Spirit of the North is an exploration/puzzle adventure game. Set in Iceland and full of mythology, the graphics remind me of the Horizon Games. The Spirit of the North was originally released in 2019 and is now available on all gaming platforms. With mixed reviews, gamers are polarized in their opinions on The Spirit of the North. Spirit of the North is priced at $19.99 or $24.99 depending on the platform. The Enhanced Edition for the PlayStation 5 is on sale for $12.49. This is a game that I would try to wait until it goes on sale to buy it due to some of the negative reviews about a boring storyline and buggy gameplay.
When you are looking for animal POV games, Okami makes just about every top rated list for this topic. Released in 2006 for PlayStation 2, Okami has survived the test of time and been re-released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Reviews of the game remain very favorable. While most animal games listed can be completed in less than 10 hours, Okami’s the game can last up to 30+ hours for main quest play and over 50 hours for full completion. The graphics aren’t breathtaking IMO, but are quaint and pleasing in their Japanese Ukiyo-e watercolor style. At $19.99 on all major gaming platforms, Okami HD is definitely a game animal lovers should check out.
There are several other animal-based titles I’d like to discuss, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll end it here. Check back next time for even more games where animals take center stage.
Let me know in the comments if you tried any of these games and also if I missed any of your favorite animal titles. Until next time, stay cool, be you. Goodbye!