A few days ago, I decided to take on extending my Wii library. After all, one can only play so much Sports Resort. The Wii aisle at Best Buy was so crowded and confusing and I didn't have time to pick through every game, nor did I want to make a hasty investment in something that may or may not interest me. So, I asked some friends, but it seemed like the girls could only suggest workout "games," such as Wii Fit and the guys could only come up with those Call of Modern Warfare-type games or whatever they're called; neither of which I was interested in. Finally, figuring the Wii must have actual games that won't require me to do squats or kill someone (figuratively, of course), I took matters into my own hands and I found that it does, indeed. There are all sorts of games that you have more-than-likely never heard of. Today, I'll take a look at games that are perfect for animal lovers. If you've ever dreamed of running a zoo or going on an African safari, among other things, there's a Wii game for that!
1. World of Zoo ($29.99) With the World of Zoo, you can build you own personal zoo and fill it with over 90 different animals, in addition to unique animals that you can create with the Animal Creator tool. You'll also attempt to build relationships with your animals and earn their trust by taking care of them and seeing to their needs. This game is educational - National Geographic fact cards fill your head with knowledge - and fun! Take a break from your zoo to play various mini-games and work to unlock new items as you complete various tasks.
2. SimAnimals ($29.99) Become Mother Nature in this simulation game, as the forest is yours to control. You'll find all sorts of wild creatures and plants, such as bears, deer, squirrels, owls, badgers, flowers, and trees, who are depending on you for their survival. Interact with the animals, move them around, and accommodate their needs. Keep them fed, happy, and away from predators and you'll unlock new levels, which include woodlands, swamps, and castle ruins.
3. Animal Crossing: City Folk ($49.99) This game is all about cultivating and maintaining relationships with your neighbors, but animals are just as important as humans. Time moves at a realistic pace, allowing you to experience everything from seasons to holidays. Take part in whatever activities your heart desires, but don't forget to work on those friendships with animals and neighbors. Design clothing for animals to wear or give gifts. You can hunt for eggs or go trick-or-treating, collect bugs and art, get a Mii makeover, and even compose letters and post on the bulletin board, as you play with people from all over the world.
4. SimAnimals: Africa ($29.99) Take the forest fun from SimAnimals to Africa! This time you'll rule the world of elephants, gorillas, zebras, lions, rhinos, and hippos, each animal with its own personality and abilities. Move your animals through savannahs, jungles, river deltas, and volcanic deserts to suit their needs and help them survive. You can even customize the and. Find new items, earn badges, find new lands and complete challenges to earn the ability to play as a baby or full-grown version of each animal. If you've ever wanted to go on an African safari, but just don't have the time or the money, $30.00 gets you there via your Wii...well, close enough!
5. Jambo! Safari Animal Rescue ($39.99) If you're not into SimAnimals, this game may be your cup of tea. You're the park ranger in Jambo! Safari Animal Rescue! Rescue, diagnose and take care of over 40 different species of sick animals. Keep them healthy and happy, return them to the wild and complete exciting missions. You'll go on daring animal rescue trips through the mountains, grasslands, and riverbanks of Africa, as well as take wildlife photos, and go on some off-road travel excursions. You can even customize characters and outfits.
6. Endless Ocean: Blue World ($29.99) If sea creatures are your thing, this is the game for you. It won't be released until March, but ocean-lovers are already anticipating the game's arrival. You'll be given a chance to explore the ocean, diving with real-life species such as whales, dolphins, seahorses, and various fish, and monitor the creatures' heath while attempting to help them. You can follow a storyline if you please or befriend a dolphin who can do tricks and swim alongside you. You can even connect your Wii to a Wi-Fi and play with your friends.
While most of the games mentioned above are rated E for everyone and are sure to bring lots of family fun, the games below are aimed specifically at younger children and would make great gifts for your young animal lovers.
1. My Horse and Me ($19.99) At some point in every little girl's life, she wants a horse and while the real thing may not be a possibility, a virtual one most certainly is. With My Horse and Me, you can ride and care for your very own horse. Take part in competitions around the globe, from rustic stables to fancy riding schools. Your horse is very lifelike and will need to be fed and groomed. Practice moves for upcoming competitions and eventually find yourself in the official leagues. And of course, there are a few fun mini games available when caring for your mare or stallion has lost its fun.
2. Littlest Pet Shop Friends ($29.99) The Littlest Pet Shop is one of the most popular toys, but now your kids can take care of these cuddly pets virtually. There's gonna be a pet party at the pet shop and you are invited! Meet new pets with lots of personality, including the Ladybug, Great Dane, Collie, and Peacock. There are lots of mini games to play, towns to explore with your pets, party invitations to be delivered and treats to be served. Play alone or play with a friend, dress your pets up with lots of fun accessories, and most importantly, have fun!
3. Puppy Luv ($19.99) If your little one wants a puppy but you aren't looking forward to cleaning up accidents and losing your favorite shoes to sharp little teeth, then this might be the game for your house! In Puppy Luv, players can feed, groom, and train their very own virtual puppies just like in real life. Take your dog in eight different areas around your home to play ball, take a walk, or teach it twelve different tricks. You can also travel to the store to buy rewards and supplies for your puppy. Dress your pup is over 27,000 various accessories and even brush or bathe it with just your Wii remote! Includes popular breeds such as Dalmatians, German Shepherds, Beagles and Golden Retrievers.
4. Petz Crazy Monkeyz ($19.99) If your child is a little more creative in the pet department, maybe they've always dreamed of having their own monkey. This game allows you to do not only that, but to own a whole family of monkeys...or Monkeyz. Choose from various breeds, from squirrel monkeys to gorillas, and let them start their own monkey family. You're responsible for their well-being, rewards, discipline, and overall happiness. Train them to do tricks, encourage them to bond and watch your family grow to up to ten at a time!