It’s like Nintendogs, but with other animals and no voice commands.
From what I read about Animal Paradise, I expected a game that was a mixture of Nintendogs and Pokemon Snap. To me, that sounded like it had some potential. In actuality, Animal Paradise is just an inferior version of Nintendogs with camera action performed by in-game characters. This idea isn't really fun.
The game begins with your photography-loving cousin commissioning you to make friends with various animals so she can snap precious Hanadeka photos. Hanadeka is a style of photography popularized by Yoneo Morita that involves taking pictures of animals with wide-angled lenses. At your cousin's behest, you befriend a dog that you name and then pet, feed, walk, brush, and bathe. After you gain the dog's love, your cousin snaps some photos and the dog calls more friends. Over time, you unlock various animals, ranging from dogs and cats to hamsters and birds. You can do five different actions with each one, but most of these actions overlap. They also don't offer much in the form of gameplay.
All of these activities don’t offer much in the way of strategy or depth. The majority of them boil down to merely swiping the touch screen. For example, the walk activity doesn’t provide much in the way of guidelines other than "use the touch screen to guide your animal around." You basically just scribble on the touch screen and watch your animal seemingly follow his own path.
The game does offer some unlockables, such as the aforementioned Hanadeka photos and various mini-games. To unlock these you need to repeat the five activities until each animal's love for you is maxed out, which, considering that you simply repeat the same five similar activities over and over again for each animal, is a tedious process. This might seem easy when you're playing with your first dog, but as soon as you get to that fickle hamster, it becomes frustratingly challenging.
The mini-games are pointless and one-dimensional. Ranging from a Simon Says piano game to a dress-the-anthropomorphic-animal game, they offer little in terms of fun and are nothing than simplistic flash games represented on the DS.
All in all, the only thing Animal Paradise has going for it is that it contains amusing animals and various cute Hanadeka photos. It misses the boat on potentially being a fun Pokemon Snap clone, and instead settles for being a vastly inferior Nintendogs clone. I can only recommend this game to small children, as there is little to no depth in its repetitive gameplay.