In SimsAnimals you can grow plants and trees to attract wildlife to your forest. Keep food plant levels up, pest plant levels down, and grow the right trees and bushes for homes and sanctuary to provide a pleasant environment for your wildlife.
Keeping your animals and forest happy will unlock different areas. Each area has objectives, but the next area will unlock without completing those objectives if the animals and forest are happy enough.
As you progress through the different areas you will find several types of environments with their own plants and animals. Seeds can be harvested and planted in other zones, to create wild, garden-like areas in places you’ve already completed if you wish.
Adult players will find it plays through quickly, and unless you’re especially taken with the idea of nurturing your wildlife, you will probably run out of things to do in a few hours of play. Similar to The Sims games, really – you had to like decorating your houses and neighborhoods, and care about your Sims, for it to hold your attention for long. My kids love it, though, spending their time happily playing with the animals.
SimAnimals teaches kids a basic understanding of ecosystems and food chains. Helping in this, each animal has an info card with what it eats, and each plant has preferred growing conditions. A child learns be aware of the soil conditions of plants and trees, to plant an animal’s preferred food to attract them or keep them happy, and to offer this favorite food to befriend them.
Up to four players can control their own disembodied hand and interact with the forest and its animals.
It’s Not All Sunshine in SimAnimals
The cute little 3D predators do eat other animals on their food chain, resulting in a cloud of dust and then a little RIP tombstone popping up on one side of the screen, which can be upsetting for sensitive children. My seven-year-old reacted to it by becoming determined to teach the predators to be vegetarian, which you can do with at least some of them. Hint: this is especially useful for the bears, who otherwise will completely upset your ecosystem as they multiply because they are the top of the food chain, and there’s nothing you can do to get rid of them.
If you pick up an animal whose trust you have yet to gain, they will snarl and struggle. Scare them too much, by handling them roughly too many times, and they’ll attack your hand. And, as I mentioned above, the major predators can become too numerous, eating almost everything else and making it very difficult to reach objectives or happiness goals.
In an unlocked forest area, press the 2 button on the wiimote to pause, then click Enter Codes.
Ferret – unlocks Ferret
Panda – unlocks Panda
Red Panda – unlocks Red Panda