Shark, wolf, dolphin: these games that make us play animals

Tennis players, Formula 1 drivers, ruthless adventurers, dragon hunters, hired killers … video games allow us to break bans and gain experiences that are lived by the greats of this world. Because of his creative freedom, the media quickly began to use Disney or Tex Avery characters, namely anthropomorphic animals, some of which have become legendary heroes (Sonic, Fox McCloud, Crash Bandicoot, etc.). Surprisingly, the works with real animals are much less numerous and it is often interesting to discover the approach the developers have taken to make the real fauna incarnate as it is in everyday life. So we found a dozen titles that should remind you of many memories.


The dolphin is an aquatic mammal of great beauty and a creature as majestic as it is mysterious. In the early 1990s, rumors were circulating about an exclusive mega drive called “Dolphin”. This work, which was to become Ecco the Dolphin, was born from the mind of the creator Ed Annunziata. The latter, looking for an original concept, found the idea of ​​playing a whale brilliantly. He then immersed himself in books and was finally inspired by the work “Sounding” by Hank Searls, which explains in particular the principle of echo localization (or echo localization). The developer therefore designed the game’s gameplay by relying on the animal’s sonar. For the music, Ed Annunziata wanted something close to Pink Floyd and their very high tracks. During a meeting, the interested party wanted to name its hero Delphinus, but SEGA of America’s marketing director Al Nielsen suggested the name Botticelli to ride the wave of success of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their first names Italian artists. Horrified, Ed Annunziata finally found his escape thanks to Clyde Grossman, his boss. It was he who suggested the name Echo as a reference to echolocation, and Annunziata, of Italian origin, chose the Ecco script. This is how Ecco the Dolphin arrived on the Mega Drive, bringing the freshness of an exploration game shaped by ecology and the supernatural. The cartridge was fascinatingly beautiful and quite a gamble at the time, but many have unforgettable memories of their sea voyage. It must be said that playing a dolphin was something! You’ll also like: Read the Ecco the Dolphin review


Kolibri is a work by Ed Annunziata that goes a little unnoticed as a very weak 32X base is flawed. At the time, SEGA needed games to expand the Mega Drive and the developer offered them an amazing new concept: a shoot with a hummingbird! One day, while smoking a cigarette, the bird appeared and caught the smoke in the middle of a pear. Ed Annunziata saw him leave in surprise. Then, a few days later, the same hummingbird reappeared, acting more aggressively, as if remembering this man who spat smoke into his beak. Ed Annunziata was surprised by the bravery of this little animal and it was a trigger to play with such a bird. As with Ecco, there is part of the mystery and the supernatural as the Avatar is downright capable of … shooting. Hummingbird is indeed a bucolic instinct based on divine graphics and this movement is so characteristic of the bird (whose wings flap at full speed). A real pleasure to get rid of this hostile and surprising nature.


As the name suggests, Dog’s Life gives you the opportunity to take control of a dog! Jake has to come to the aid of the desirable Daisy. Embarked from the cage, his cage falls off the truck and he is on land. Like Disney’s The Incredible Journey, the animal speaks but maintains its canine conditions, and this approach is quite original. The player can bark his puppy, make him jump, dig the ground, put objects in his mouth or use his “Odorama” to recognize smells, footprints or even points of interest. Mixing in between exploration and challenge, Dog’s Life offers fairly simple gameplay that requires fiddling at times, but it’s a refreshing job with its fun dialogues (the voices are very uneven though) and a nice sense of freedom. The dog can really crap anywhere, swim and is always on the lookout for the smallest mistake. A country game that is fun, but not always remembered due to a lack of rhythm. You’ll Also Like: Read Dog’s Life Review


Called “Ka” in Japan, which means mosquito, Mister Moskeeto is a crazy game in which we play a representative of those damn bloodsuckers. The adventure takes place in a Japanese family, the Yamada. The aim is to kill as many people as possible in the different rooms of the building. In order to achieve his goal, the player sometimes has to interact with the environment in order to motivate the movement of the protagonists. For example, it is necessary to turn off the light so that the young girl gets up and is at your mercy. The places of the bites are localized and strictly speaking there is no infiltration phase (at most the QTE that must be observed during the bite phase), but the situations are very funny and we have to watch out for the Yamada who do not hesitate to use a technique to help you to smash. Mr. Moskeeto is a very Japanese concept and style. It’s a fun game, often very funny and adorable. You May Also Like: Read Mr. Moskeeto’s Review


Over time, while Frogger has become a bit humanized like the Sonic and Crash Bandicoot can be, if we stick with the original, it’s actually a “lambda” frog that the player embodies. Released in June 1981, nearly forty years ago, Frogger invites the user to save the life of the amphibian by avoiding deadly obstacles to bring them into their natural habitat. It starts with a road in the middle of rush hour where vehicles must be avoided. Then the animal’s journey continues on logs floating on a river. The concept is simple, but this title, signed by the developers at Konami, has become iconic over time. It must be said that the whole thing is particularly successful, with beautiful colors for the time and extremely compelling animation. A great classic, fascinating and timeless.


In Untitled Goose Game, the player takes control of a goose! This work is a sandbox type of infiltration game and is based on a very simple concept: sneaking into the population and sowing panic by angering any person in reach. It’s fun, original, and we really enjoy wandering the city to clear up the discord. In shopping streets, parks, or even in residential gardens, the goose may be a pretty elegant animal, but this title shows – with humor – that this creature can also be a real terror. And don’t be fooled by its very simple (but successful) art direction, some goals are daunting and the title is full of great ideas. The whole thing is certainly very short (around 2 hours), but its freshness and its basic idea make it an indie nugget that you should definitely discover.


After the dolphin, make way for the shark! In Maneater we embody the famous terror of the seas in a game in which we have to bite the tourist and take out boats. Although this dive in murky waters is perfect (controls, artificial intelligence, renewal of targets …), it is a good exit, but one that is repeated far too often to mark the ghosts. Still, it’s pretty pretty and there are no fewer than eight regions to explore. Not stingy in passing, very funny, because if you catch a viewer on the beach to throw him at objects or various boats, it is really an unusual job. With its experience system and dynamism, Maneater has an old-fashioned charm that ultimately deserves to be better used and varied. But for those looking to redo the Dents de la Mer remake, it can be a good catch. You’ll Also Like: Read Maneater’s Review

Goat simulator

We leave the ocean to return to land. In the goat simulator, the player takes control of a goat, but it has the specialty of being invulnerable and rock hard. The work of the Coffee Stain Studios is an outlet that is reminiscent of games like PAIN on PlayStation 3, in the sense that the goat poses as a destructive projectile. There’s no real common thread other than following goals to get your score up. Originally, this program was just a parody of the Dead Island game, but the gaming community loved it so much that they were committed to making the demo a real game. Thanks to its crazy bugs, Goat Simulator is a fun curiosity and it is even possible to add expansions that allow the use of a jetpack or the possibility of playing new species of animals. Madness the way we like it. You’ll also like: Read Goat Simulator’s review


Okami is the story of a masterpiece that sold around 2,000 times in France when it was released on PlayStation 2. Although it was recognized by the trade press, the title was shunned and only achieved cult status many years later. In Okami, the player takes on the role of the goddess Amaterasu, who was reborn in a sublime white wolf (the legendary Shiranui) who wanders through the ancestral lands of Japan with a magical brush to interact with the environment. With a lush artistic direction, inspired by prints and other calligraphy from the land of the rising sun, the work of Hideki Kamiya and Asutchi Inaba is playful poetry. As exotic as ever, Okami is the penultimate game from Studio Clover, which will close its doors in 2007 following the arrival of God Hand on PlayStation 2. Thankfully, Okami hasn’t been forgotten on multiple media thanks to his Wii customization and his released HD remake. A pearl to discover and rediscover. You’ll Also Like: Read The Okami Test


The best for the end? Everything will depend on your personal taste, but the least we can say is that Bad Mojo is not lacking in originality as it embodies … In reality, it’s an entomologist, Roger Samms, who is in this body and has to ponder his condition as a human while exploring Eddie’s Bar, a seedy bar in San Francisco. It has to be said that before the transformation he developed a toxic solution to eradicate cockroaches for a million dollar subsidy. Bad Mojo, a morbid and cloudy exploration game, is a work with a unique concept that draws elements from the work La Métamorphose by Franz Kafka. In the UFO category, you’ll find a title here that is sure to appeal to you. Control a cockroach? We had to dare. You Might Also Like This: Read the Bad Mojo Review

Back to top button