Way back in the early days of video gaming, the only animals you would find in games were of the scary variety. One of the early arcade favourites was Sega’s Altered Beast. The quality of the gameplay was so limited compared to today’s standards that it was virtually impossible for the player to know if they were in control or if the game was just self-fulfilling.
However, it was not long before the quality of home gaming started to rapidly improve with the introduction of 16 and then 32-bit consoles. While these still seem like tiny numbers compared to current processing power, they allowed unpixellated graphics and glitch-free gameplay. Nintendo and Sega were the big names before Microsoft entered the fray. Fast forward, and smartphones came along, giving us all access to a mobile gaming device.
Sonic The Hedgehog
While Sega had several animal-themed hits, the one that has lasted the course is none other than Sonic the Hedgehog. The anthropomorphic blue hedgehog battles the evil Doctor Eggman. He is accompanied by his best friend Tails, a two-tailed fox and Knuckles, an echidna, amongst other animals. The original game might have been produced for the Sega Megadrive, but the storytelling and gameplay have stood the test of time. More than thirty years on, the little blue fella is still popping up on our mobile phones, and the games are also available on Nintendo’s Switch.
The first game that focussed on caring for puppies was Nintendo’s Nintendogs. At the time, the game was revolutionary. It was only available for the handheld console and attracted a whole new audience to the world of gaming. While the game may no longer be a staple in our libraries, it spawned a whole genre of titles that has us caring for virtual pets. One of the best of these is Dog Town, which has a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on the App Store.
Suitable for young and older players alike, there is a storyline of the cutest pets to collect and train. Each individual dog has its own unique character and behaviour, and there is an extensive choice of breeds from Basset Hound to Schnauzer to German Shepherd and Cocker Spaniel.
Fluffy Favourites slot sites have the added thrill of letting you play a game for real money. It has a cutesy animal theme and cartoon-style graphics. The animals include pink elephants, rhinos, giraffes, ducks and goldfish. It also has a toybox picker feature which is reminiscent of a trip to the fair or arcade, where you use the grabber to try and nab a cuddly toy.
Farmville is another game that has stood the test of time and shows no sign of falling down the popularity stakes. The latest incarnation is Farmville 3, but the earlier games are also available on the App Store and the Google Play Store. The premise of the game is simply to help out on the farm and look after the animals. It originally started as a social network game on Facebook but is now a series of stand-alone titles. For anyone who has dreamed of escaping the rat race and retreating to a farm or smallholding, this is a game to keep your fantasies alive.
If you are more interested in wild animals than farmed or domesticated ones, WildCraft might be the game for you. This one is an RPG simulation in which you explore nature as a wild animal and raise a family. You get to play as your favourite wild animal and explore a 3D world.
To start with, you get to choose whether you want to be a wolf, a fox or a lynx. You will need to protect your brood from dangerous enemies. You can play also play along with friends in the multiplayer mode. As you progress through the game, you can unlock new animal breeds. If you choose to purchase the optional Wild Club membership, you will have access to unique content and additional bonuses.