SimAnimals: Africa - Wii

Release Date:

October 27, 2009

Also on:

Nintendo Wii DS

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.
5.4

Summary:

SimAnimals Africa could have made better use of the groundwork for a potentially fantastic wildlife game; but it ended up as inadequate as its predecessor.

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by Majesco
Release Date: 09/16/2008

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Posted:
2011-01-18

earthworm

Super Gamer Dude

Nintendo Wii

5.0

Electronic Arts has released SimAnimals Africa, a sequel of the game SimAnimals, the prior version that earned paltry reviews. Both games are played on Wii system and – you guessed right – equally boring! Despite the new cartoony look and the introduction of different gameplay elements, the more recent release is practically the same as its predecessor. You can’t help but wonder why the heck EA even bothered to release a sequel without making any significant changes that would make it more appealing; knowing that the first installment received such awful reviews.

The new installment is set in Africa, as you probably gathered from the title. As is typical of African setting, it evokes images of wild Safaris with a vast number of animals. So, why, with an array of choices, does SimAnimals Africa on Wii only feature a meager “collection” of eight animals? Of course, elephant, lion, gorilla, giraffe, zebra, hippo, rhino and croc are considered the continent’s insignia, but a few more additions would have been advantageous to the game.

Like its predecessor, SimAnimals Africa still runs on two modes. The bird’s eyes mode with the clever appendage “hand of god” lets you roam the environment, much like a bird does and shake trees, select animals and do other things to arrange, rearrange or disarrange the setting of the African Jungle. In the pet style mode, there’s a closer interaction between the player and the animals; you can feed, pet and play with any of the eight animals. With the use of the Wii remote, you can feed the animal by holding it as close to the animal’s mouth as you can get until the food is taken. For petting, you can simply use the nunchuk analog stick; move your hand in a circular motion over the animal, then shake the Wii remote. Playing the mini-games along with petting increase the stats of your pet; this is necessary to level up your animal. Get this…you have to do this about 8 million times to achieve the goal. It actually took me more than a couple of days to beat this game and twice the number of days to let my arm recover from the wearisome, dreadfully boring task.

Once you’ve befriended the animals and continuously feed, pet and play with them, you actually gain control over these animals and use their special abilities – rhinos can smash boulders; elephants can water plants, etc. This is the new element that differentiates the sequel from the previous version, which could be a little bit more fun than just a distant view of the wildlife. Alas! Apart from using those animal abilities, there’s nothing more left to do.

The game’s cartoony graphics is kind of cute in a funny sort. But it borders on the ridiculous because all animals have this puppy-like way of reacting. Have you ever seen a rhino that jiggles his butt and pant like a dog? Seriously, it’s absurd! You’d expect an animal simulator type of game to be at least more realistically accurate on how these animals act. As it is it has turned all wildlife into house puppies.

SimAnimals Africa could have made better use of the groundwork for a potentially fantastic wildlife game; but it ended up as inadequate as its predecessor. Now if there were more animals…with more things to do…go figure.

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Release Date:

October 27, 2009

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