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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This nature simulation can teach you about the food chain in the forest and other environments including deserts, woodlands, and swamps. You play as an all powerful hand of nature, and can choose to be kind and nurturing or mean, but if you choose the latter, there are consequences.
Violence & Scariness
While predators will eat other animals, the attack is not seen -- all you see is a cloud of dust. You can pick up and shake animals, or dump them into a stream, but there are consequences for bad behavior.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Animals mate, but you don't see it.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a nature simulation game that combines rules found in nature with fantasy. Animals can eat one another, but nothing is shown – all you see is a cloud of dust and then an announcement that an animal has died. Procreation is likewise not shown – animals are seen as being affectionate to one another (as in intertwining necks, etc) and then babies just show up. There is some comic mischief in suggested tasks which have negative consequences; as when you are told to provoke a skunk into spraying you, and when you do, your avatar (a white hand) faints. The Wii version deals with pollution issues. To play it alone, you must be old enough to read. But younger children will enjoy exploring this game with older siblings or parents on the Wii which offers cooperative gameplay for up to 4 players.
Is It Any Good?
This is a deep and intriguing nature simulation that will appeal to both kids and adults. It does a great job of teaching you how to play game by offering nature challenges. Most of the information you discover about the animals is true; but the game also introduces fantasy elements that add zing, including the ability to send lightning bolts to destroy intrusive plants.
By playing SimAnimals, kids will learn about the interconnectivity of plants and animals, and, in the Wii game, about how pollution affects us all. Since there is no "right" way to play in this giant sandbox, every time you start a new game it is different. Also, for kids who are real animal-lovers, one of the fantasy elements of the game is that you can reprogram a predators' eating habits so that no animal ever eats another. The Wii version allows up to four players to explore an environment together making it a great game for families to play together.
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Our Editors Recommend
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