I’m not embarrassed to say that I’m an animal lover. I share my house with a rabbit, four cats and ten chickens. Well ok the chickens don’t actually live in the house but you know what I mean. I would go as far as to say that I’d prefer the company of almost every animal on the planet rather than that of a human. All except moths, I can’t say I like moths that much at all. Sure you could call me a hippy but no animal is going to rob me in a dark alley or blow up a plane I’m riding in.
Zoo’s originally were a way for regular folk to see the weird and wonderful animals from around the world, whilst that is still the case nowadays Zoos are having to take on a different more preservational role. As you may know the by-product of taking over the world has been to make most of the planets wildlife to almost extinct. What has all this got to do with My Zoo from Hudson Software? Well probably not too much but my point is that I like wildlife and so the idea of having my very own Zoo inside my Wii sounds kinda fun. Let’s see if the reality of it is any good in my review of My Zoo for Wii.
My Zoo for Wii is another title from Hudson available exclusively on the WiiWare store for just 500 points. You instantly become the head zookeeper and are tasked with loading up the four environments with different species of animals including Lions, Pandas, Elephants, Bears and more. You should ideally place them in one of the three ideal natural African looking settings but you do have the choice of letting them live in a children’s bedroom. Each location can have a maximum of three single species animals but if you want to have babies you need to make sure to have a male and a female as well as leaving the space for a third free. After you’ve brought your animals into your area you then have to pick a name. Now it’s the tough bit, caring for them; this includes feeding them, petting them and cleaning up their enclosure. If you don’t turn on you Wii for a few days you may well find out that they have been taken away by the owners of another Zoo because you didn’t take care of them properly. This in itself is a good lesson for the kiddies, remember, a dog is for life not just for Christmas folks. It is important to keep a check of the stat bars to make sure they are happy and not left hungry.
When you’re happy with your animal’s upbringing you can release them into the wild which will free up space for a new set of animals for you to care for. You’ll do this a few times before you run out of stock animals and then you can head online and purchase new species for 100 Wii Points each. This should extend your playtime a bit further.
Graphically watching all of the animals is lovely, they are rather good looking models and they are beautifully animated. The problem is unlike real animals I just didn’t get that attached to these virtual creatures and they seemingly didn’t get attached to me either. Hudson has appeared to miss out on any sort of interaction or natural emotion and as such it all feels a bit stale. Of course I don’t want a PetZ style game where you dress Lions up in party hats and play ball games with them but I did expect to achieve some sort of bonding with the animals. Sadly every time you go to the enclosures it feels like you’re just watching the same few repeating animations all of the time, there doesn’t seem to be the level of individual animal personality you find when you watch nature documentaries on TV.
Whilst My Zoo for Wii is a unique title and I love the idea of people learning more about animals I just don’t think this game achieves very much. It isn’t that much fun to play and it’s not very educational either, I would advise anyone to just spend some time watching the Nature Channel on TV and donate the $5 it would cost to a Nature Preservation society of some sort.
My Zoo for Wii gets a disappointing but functional 4 out of 10.
Related: EyePet review