Animal Gods

Game review by
Sarah Van Boerum, Common Sense Media
Animal Gods Game Poster Image
Puzzle adventure has weak plot, redundant levels.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

No positive messages in game.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Main character is a hunter whose quest is to release gods who have been cursed, but there's no way of knowing whether he's a good guy or not.

Ease of Play

Basic controls, but confusing gameplay, mechanics make action frustrating at times.

Violence

Very minimal violence; Thistle fights enemies shaped like boxes, which barely move with a bow, sword. No gore, blood shown.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Animal Gods is a downloadable puzzle/adventure game where players take on the role of Thistle, an ancient hunter tasked with freeing the cursed gods. The game itself is aesthetically pleasing to look at, while most scenes are simplistic in design and layout. Younger children may find the mazes and obstacles difficult to maneuver, because it's easy to die without doing much to deserve it. While Thistle wields a sword and a bow, he's only fighting box-like creatures without any blood or gore shown.

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What's it about?

ANIMAL GODS introduces us to Thistle, a hunter who must free the animal gods that have been cursed and are awaiting their release so peace can be restored to the kingdom. The setting is a castle in the clouds where many of the surroundings seem serene and peaceful yet house various obstacles, mazes, and enemies to thwart Thistle's mission. There are three separate animal gods and corresponding dungeons represented in the forms of a snake, spider, and lion, and the enemies come in the form of boxes, poisonous rivers, and mazes that can be a challenge to follow. Thistle gets new weapons for each dungeon including a sword, a bow, and a cloak of flame to help him defeat the enemies on each level. Upon completion of a level, the animal god is freed, and you are then transported to the next level, with the final level involving a longer maze and unlocking a challenge to finish the game with only nine lives.

Is it any good?

This game immediately comes across as a precision platformer, with light puzzles and a minimal story line thrown in, but the controls and lack of directions complicate play. The free movement and mechanics of the game make some obstacles, such as crossing poisonous rivers, jumping on moving platforms, and slashing at moving enemy boxes both challenging and frustrating. It feels like the precision of your movements is simply decided by luck. Even worse, the end of each dungeon provides very simple challenges, such as trying to shoot an arrow at stationary boxes and hitting other boxes with a sword, which come off as way too easy.  

The story line, which is told in the form of diary entries, seems incomplete and lacking. Even upon completion of the game, there are more questions than answers and no real closure. The nonlinear world lets players decide which way they want to go, but there's no real idea of where to go, so you'll be keeping your fingers crossed that you'll come across the right path. Along with these issues, the game gets repetitive quickly with many of the same mazes, a looping soundtrack, and boring enemies, with no real challenges in between. In the end, players might walk away wanting more from Animal Gods than it's able to provide.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about games that create a peaceful environment versus games that have a lot of violence. How does each one make you feel after playing?

  • Is it important to have a story line in a game? Does a story line enhance a game, or do you skip past it if you can?

Game details

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For kids who love adventure

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