Sandbox micromanagement like only the Sims could do
posted by JCDenton (FREEDOM, NH) Jan 30, 2009
Member since Mar 2006
gamers (95%) found this review helpful
If you've played the Sims series (any of them for that matter) you know that Will Wright enjoys the minutia of ordinary things. Micromanaging cities, towns, ants and, of course, people is what the Sims are all about. SimAnimals is no different, although the game seems much simpler and direct than other games in the series. The structure of the game takes you to various areas of the forest, growing plants, befriending animals and keeping everybody happy. If you do well, you'll fill up your happy bar and unlock a new area, eventually earning a medal for a full meter. Each new animal has a set of objectives you can complete which earn you medals as well. These unlock special plants that have unusual effect upon the environment or animals. While the game is accessible and makes good use of the Wii motion controls, there are problems with the functionality of the game. Planting seeds, collecting sticks from trees or petting animals require you to shake the Wiimote over the given area and the game has trouble registering these motions. I also found it quite tedious to continually plant seeds, please animals and manually place everything in my backpack. If there's one real problem with the game, it's the odd paradox between playful animal fun and realistic animal kingdom. Each of the animals has it's own cute name and you're encouraged to play with them so they trust you. Of course, once a predator wanders in, it will likely eat your furry little friends as the game asks you to befriend the wolf or bear that just ate Cuddles the rabbit. Better yet, you can pick up a squirrel or bird that looked at you the wrong way and throw it a starving weasel. It makes me wonder if we're supposed to care for the animals or look at them as objective resources. The game isn't all that hard and not at all long. Collecting all the medals will take some time, but your rewards for doing so are minimal. It's an intriguing and functional diversion. But that's all it is.
posted by GamesRock (NORTH WILKESBORO, NC) Mar 2, 2009
Member since Sep 2007
gamers (80%) found this review helpful
I was very excited about this game. It was on the top of my list just waiting to get it. Once I did, I could only stand playing for about 20 minutes before the controls made me want to throw my Wii remote across the room! Very difficult to move and get the angles you need even when using the nunchuk! Very disappointed.
Frustrating controls, but mildly fun and addictive
posted by hippibilly (KENNESAW, GA) Mar 27, 2009
Member since Mar 2009
gamers (75%) found this review helpful
Like most of the other reviewers, I was excited when I heard about this game. Let it be known, though, that I've never played a Sim game. Apparently, if you are a big fan of Sim games, you might not care for this one. I wish that I'd have had the user's manual, I think it would have helped me to get started. The tutorial mode is a little tedious and you HAVE to complete all of the tutorial tasks when you start a new game. Even if you already know what you're doing. The controls are, well, squirrely..(forgive me). Even after hours of play, I get REALLY frustrated when trying to move around and complete my tasks. It's REALLY hard to tell where you are on the map, it would be helpful if there was a mini-map with a "you are here" icon in each area. I'm an uptight person, so I wound up sketching a map of each area on paper. You have to be careful about which animals live where. If you aren't, you will spend ALL of your time planting seeds and seeing your animals fight. Every time you complete a task, you get new animals and plants. All of these animals/plants like certain foods and environments. You will work your tail off trying to keep everyone happy and keeping your forest well-manicured. I wound up having to make copious notes for every area of the forest. That was the only way that I didn't get mind-boggled was to make a written plan and stick to it. You really have to be a multi-tasker. If you spend too much time say, petting animals, all of your flowers will get eaten up and the rats will move in to eat all of your crops you just spent 30 minutes planting. Beware of the invasive plants, and I'd suggest keeping plenty of seeds in your pack. Certain flowers and trees are very rare. I think, overall, the game is pretty fun if you are a very meticulous, goal-minded person. I think that if you go into each area with clear objectives in mind, you will get more done and get more satisfaction out of the game. I thought the game was fun