DS

North America

Animal Paradise

by Neal Ronaghan - October 29, 2008, 10:38 am PDT
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3

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.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
4 4 4 3 3 3
Graphics
4

The 3D animals look nice and provide a little bit of loving interaction, but everything else in the game looks generic.

Sound
4

Hearing the meow of a cat and the woof of a dog is all well and good, but when it is overlaid on a small set of repeating music it’s not good at all.

Control
4

The controls really just boil down to swiping the touch screen until your animal becomes happy or angry.

Gameplay
3

There are eighteen animals in the game. You can do five different things with each animal. Almost all of these overlap from animal to animal. That’s the entire game.

Lastability
3

The sole focus of the game is repeating mundane tasks with animals to unlock photographs of the animal.

Final
3

Animal Paradise is good at being mildly cute, but that’s it. There is a near total lack of gameplay that becomes readily apparent when you realize that practically the only goal of the game is to unlock animal photos that you can look at on your DS.

Summary

Pros
  • It's cute
Cons
  • Little to no actual gameplay
  • Mini-games are simplistic and lack depth
  • You don't actually take pictures
Review Page 2: Conclusion

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Animal Paradise Box Art

Genre Simulation

Worldwide Releases

na: Animal Paradise
Release Sep 23, 2008
PublisherEmpire Interactive
RatingEveryone
eu: Animal Paradise
Release Nov 16, 2007
PublisherEmpire Interactive
Rating3+

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