Play, Graze and Cavort With the Animals of Africa in This New Sims Game
What It Is
SimAnimals Africa, the sequel to the first SimAnimals, takes gamers to the wilds of Africa where they will get to know the animals while exploring the exotic Serengeti. Like the traditional Sims games, players have an overhead view of the landscape and inhabitants. However, in this game, those inhabitants are all animals. Players will interact with and control animals, such as zebras, elephants and gorillas, as they use the animals to complete challenges and achieve goals.
Why It’s Fun
One way to move around the game’s world is by controlling an animal and walking among the other animals. You can spend the whole game in this animal mode and interacting with the other animals presents many opportunities for hijinks such as using the zebras to playfully kick other animals and getting the elephants to spray everyone in the area. This cartoonish open-ended play is a hit with kids who don’t always want to follow a linear game plot. Before you can control an animal, you have to earn its friendship, which you do by petting, feeding and playing games with them. The animal games introduce a wide variety of mini-games such as the elephant-trunk ring toss in which you use the Wii-Remote to toss a ring onto an elephant’s trunk.
All the animals have their own specific skills and abilities that the player has to utilize to accomplish tasks that will keep the animals happy and progress the player through the game. For example, the elephants can store and spray water so once you have unlocked the elephant region, you will have to befriend and control an elephant as you transport water from a lake to a small dried pond bed that needs to be filled. Whenever you complete one of these challenges, new missions and areas are unlocked, which keeps the game fresh and increases the play time.
Who’s Going To Love It
While most Sims games are intended for older gamers, SimAnimals Africa is definitely a kid’s game. The cartoon-like animation and silly animals will likely be an instant hit with boys and girls ages 5 through 10. Younger kids will probably need help with the reading but they will quickly pick-up the game’s navigation and basic play-pattern.
What To Be Aware Of
SimAnimals Africa emphasis the importance of working with the animals to achieve goals and promotes the importance of treating animals kindly without seeming preachy or pushy about it.
The game is loaded with open-ended play that allows kids to return to this game over and over without getting bored.
You will need a Nunchuk controller to play this game.
A Nintendo DS version of SimAnimals Africa is also available.
2 out of 5
It has to be fun or it wouldn’t be on Time to Play. But some games are more fun than others so here’s our scale: 1 is fun, 2 is a lot of fun, 3 is great, 4 is awesome and 5 is out-of-this-world!
Video Game Information
Genre: Adventure/Virtual Pet
Available: Now, at most major retail and toy stores as well as electronic gaming specialty shops and many online e-commerce sites.
Launch Date: Holiday 2009
Date of Review: January 2010