Recently I had a crazy good time playing a short, free game called Wolf Quest about…well…wolves. While it was meant to just be an educational game it made me hungry for more games in which you play as an animal. But every search for games related to animals comes up with horse riding games or pet rescue stuff. No, no, no. Not what I want at all. Wolf Quest made me realize that I am horribly burnt out on playing humanoid creatures all the time. But unfortunately there are really no other options out there.
So here’s my question to you: Would you play a game where you were a non-humanoid animal the entire time?
I would throw all my money at that.
I found a few things that, while interesting, just were not what I was looking for.
The Endless Forest is a brilliant indie game/interactive screensaver made by Tale of Tales. It’s an online game where you play as a fawn in a beautiful, looping (and thus endless) forest. There is no text in the entire game. The only way to communicate with your fellow deer is by emoting.
It’s truly an interesting concept as you travel this world, trying to communicate with those around you non-verbally. Other players come off far less creepy and abusive and instead there’s a general sweetness to the world. You can play with fellow fawns, venture off on your own, or be taken under the wing of a fully grown stag as he shows you the ropes. The opportunities for role play are fairly limitless as there are no objectives to speak of.
The problem? The deer have human faces!!!! Eeugh! Remember when I said how sweet and serene the game is? Yeah, well, that’s only once you force yourself past the creepiness of your freaky face. Ugh. Bloody terrifying…
Another popular animal game out there either no longer exists, became something else, or is just really freaking dodgy. Honestly I had a hell of a time figuring it out. It is (was?) known as Feral Heart, and it looked promising. Feral Heart seems to have been based off of the Lion King as far as the art is concerned and I believe it was meant to be an open world game with no real quests or storyline. It seems to have existed solely for you to RP as animals, though I could be entirely mistaken. The game looked kinda neat—you could create some fairly abstract animals–but you could also choose to look fairly “normal”.
But? Well, aside from role playing I don’t think there is anything else to do. While I don’t mind that (I do love exploring!), as a free game I can only imagine the number of 10 year olds running around and frankly, if I wanted to play make believe with children I would run a daycare. I am assuming that the maturity is fairly lacking so, meh, even if it does still exist I just don’t get the feeling it would be my cup of tea. Unless I could find some really fun and amazing people who would be willing to tell interesting, emotional cooperative stories, but even then the graphics look headache inducing so…sigh. It’s a no for me.
Currently in development is a game called Aro’kai. It looks to be the next replacement for Feral Heart but will include many more animal types. It seems to offer the same level of crazy customization but, once again, I don’t know if there’s a story of any kind to it. Aro’kai is still in very early development though so time will tell. If it’s something you’d be interested in, check out their dev blog on Tumblr.
Lastly there’s an MMORPG out there called Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted in which you can play as a dragon. Yes, a dragon! This game follows the typical MMORPG format with race/class/level and has quests and PvP. In addition to the dragons are 10 other playable races. However, the game just doesn’t look nearly as polished as other MMORPGs out there. While playing as a dragon may be utterly amazing, it just isn’t worth suffering through the numerous performance issues that the game has been known to have.
Now is my problem clear? While there are games that exist in which you play as an animal, they lack any of the depth or quality that we see in other games of the same or similar genre.
Basically I want an animal MMORPG. While I personally think a wolf game would be perfect, I don’t see anything wrong with options.
(Can you imagine though? Your guild would be your pack which you would have to defend from other “guilds”. PvP would actually make sense for a change! You would be strongly encouraged to join a pack given how dangerous the world can be for a lone wolf. Additionally I see no reason why there couldn’t be magic involved and mythological monsters. How is magic in a world populated with animals any less believable than magic in a world populated by humans, trolls and ogres?)
So would you play an animal game? Would you play an animal MMORPG? Why or why not? What excuse do you think devs have for not creating such games? In games we have the ability to look through the eyes of people and creatures very different from us, why are animals any different?
I’m dying to hear your thoughts as this is something I’ve definitely been obsessing about for the last few weeks…
Here’s to a wonderful weekend, and if you’re at PAX or Dragon Con, tweet us your pictures so we can be even more jealous. :p