Animals in video games don’t have to be a low-tier enemy or an easy source of food. Some games are all about preserving animals, being animals, or are full of anthropomorphized versions of animals. Typically, these games are very casual, lingering on aesthetics more than anything.
People love animals, so there are games to cater to that just like most other major interests. Some are cute, some are vicious, and some are a mixture of both. Either way, there’s a game out there for any animal lover.
10 Planet Zoo Allows Players To Design A Whole Zoo
Planet Zoo is the spiritual successor to the cult classic Zoo Tycoon and has a lot of the same functions. The player gets to design, build, and manage an entire zoo. They’re in control of everything from the animals’ habitats and welfare to the shops and attractions for visitors.
Additionally, Planet Zoo is absolutely gorgeous. Aside from the beautiful lighting, the animals are realistic, and the options for decoration and building are top-notch. PZ also has some good DLC that are definitely worth the extra cash, giving a whole slew of new animals and areas to play with.
9 Animalia Survival Encourages Survival Of African Wildlife
Animalia Survival is a game where the player is in control of an African animal and has to try to survive. There are tons of animals to play with and not just carnivores. Different animals have different needs in the real world, as well as the game.
Animalia Survival is a really engaging take on the survival genre as a whole while also making the player think about how wild animals survive on their own. The animals and the world as a whole are nicely done with nice textures and lighting.
8 WolfQuest Has Real Science Behind It
WolfQuest is a game that feels like a documentary, following a particular wolf and its pack around Yellowstone National Park. This is due to the involvement of real scientists and specialists making the game. The developers also formerly coupled with the Minnesota Zoo for some of the mechanics of the game.
WolfQuest is a survival game down at its core, requiring deep thought in order to manage the lives of the wolves in the player’s care. They can hunt, breed, and roam around the park with realistic topography in stunning detail.
7 Equilinox Is A Relaxing Ecosystem Management Game
Equilinox is a very simple-looking game where the player gets to manage a whole ecosystem from the ground up. There’s gorgeous music, an opportunity to crossbreed some unique colors and new plants, and hours worth of small quests to do in order to unlock more things to fill up the world.
A balance needs to be struck with the plants and animals or they’ll die out, but otherwise, the game is extremely relaxing. Equilinox is good to play in the background while doing something else and just letting the points rack up over time.
6 Timberborn Is An Animalistic Twist On Classic RTS Games
Timberborn is an early access game that puts a little twist on the RTS genre of games. Instead of being a historical theme or one where there are humans conquering a new land, this game takes place in a post-apocalyptic area where beavers have risen to supremacy. That leaves room for a lot of fun, fantastical buildings, and points that other games lack.
As an early access game, Timberborn not quite complete so there are some bugs. As a whole, however, the game is getting a wildly positive reception among RTS fans. It’s a little less colorful than some other animal-heavy games, but Timberborn really works with their theme.
5 Yonder: Cloud Catcher Chronicles Puts A Heavy Focus On Befriending Animals
Yonder: Cloud Catcher Chronicles is a farming simulator that has an open world and an overarching plot that will send the player around the whole map. There’s multiple farms that the player can fill with plants and animals.
In order to get an animal, players have to befriend them in the wild and lure them back to their farm. With enough treats, the player can just travel the world with their little animals, uncovering clues and helping out the citizens of the world in their daily lives.
4 AWAY: The Survival Series Is Like An Interactive Nature Documentary
AWAY: The Survival Series puts the player into the perspective of a sugar glider out in the wild. They have to grow, explore, and survive in a gorgeous map full of realistic dangers.
AWAY was swept hard across the radars of animal loving gamers when it was released earlier in 2021. Gameplay follows in the footsteps of some other similar animal survival games while also doing some things with its own little flair. AWAY also incorporates the gliding abilities of a sugar glider, adding another level of dynamism to the game.
3 Niche: A Genetics Survival Game Is More Fantastical With Its Nichelings
Niche: A Genetics Survival Game takes a more fantastical approach to their animals. The world is vibrant and a little blocky, with each of the little creatures getting up to three actions a day. These animals aren’t real and can be genetically modified as time goes on to better adapt to the player’s wants and the needs required of their island.
A balance needs to be found with the whole pack. Some focus on gathering food, hunting, exploring, and gathering nesting materials. The ultimate goal is to eventually reunite with Adam’s home pack, which can only happen if at least one of the Nichelings appear on the island still carrying the Home gene.
2 Animal Crossing Is Full Of Anthropomorphized Animal Villagers
Animal Crossing found some new life during lockdown when New Horizons was released. It was brilliant timing and keeps getting better as time goes on. New Horizons even has a multiplayer function that can be done with a single Switch. There are a wide range of anthropomorphized animals engaging with their world.
1 Ecosystem Is A Lovely Early Access Simulator
Ecosystem is another early access game. The players build a whole ecosystem and watch the plants and animals thrive in their own way. Ecosystem is realistic, looks great, and gets a lot of love.
As it stands, Ecosystem a relaxing waiting game, but there is plenty of reception and work going into making the game better. Its graphics make Ecosystem worth playing, especially for those who like calm, customizable games.
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About The Author
Viktor Coble (197 Articles Published)
Viktor is an avid ftm gamer fond of a wide range of games, from popular titles such as Pokémon, Dungeons and Dragons, and Minecraft to more niche games such as survival games, farming simulators, RTS, indie, and old games. He lives at home with his wife, two cats, and two ferrets and loves various forms of art. He loves to draw, write, stitch, sculpt, and experiment with various media. Find him on his blog for a better look.