Edutainment is an odd category. Most games in this genre fall too far on one side of the other - either too dull to be engaging or too game-like to teach anything. One game that manages to straddle the line well is WolfQuest, a game in which players can learn more about the lives of wolves...[read more below]
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Edutainment is an odd category. Most games in this genre fall too far on one side of the other - either too dull to be engaging or too game-like to teach anything. One game that manages to straddle the line well is WolfQuest, a game in which players can learn more about the lives of wolves.
If you spend more than a few minutes with WolfQuest, you can see its roots as an edutainment game. The whole concept of the game revolves around experiencing what it's like to be a wolf - surviving in the wild, communicating with other wolves, and dealing with the challenges of being a wild animal in the modern world. It's a neat concept but one that has been done before with other animals. This version is fairly well done.
There's a certain amount of realism here that you're not going to see in similar games in that this game has a mechanic for marking your territory, after all, so it gets a lot of points for sticking to realism. Though the game itself is relatively light on anything resembling a story, it still manages to be a very compelling simulation, as well as a game that lives up to its reasonably noble purpose.
It's probably very generous to say that this game is about average in terms of graphics. This doesn't mean that the graphics are not quite as good as an AAA game - it just means that someone put some effort into making this game look great. WolfQuest looks incredibly dated, like the budget for the design was very small. This is forgivable, though, considering why the game was made. It looks good enough for its purposes, but that's about it.
The sound is likewise just acceptable. It's not bad; it's just not right. The sounds that you expect to be there are there, but without anything else. Again, this is what most would expect from an edutainment game designed by a zoo. A better soundscape would add something to this game, but that's not in the cards here.
On the one hand, you have to applaud how well thought out this game is. The creators wanted you to live life as a wolf, so they do make you go through a wolf's routine, and this doesn't just mean hunting - you're going to wander around marking your territory, searching for mates, and trying to survive as a wolf would survive. For the most part, you do this through menus and keyboard strokes, all of which are responsive enough when you are in the single-player mode.
The multiplayer aspect of the game is pretty bad, though. It's just not as well-made as one would hope, and it feels more like a giant chatroom than anything else. Most of the charm that comes from the simple story falls away here, and honestly, what's left here is little more than a mediocre wildlife simulator.
WolfQuest is not a bad game, but it's not exactly the kind of game that you're going to play again and again. It's perfect for educating young kids, but older players just aren't going to find much to do here. It's worth trying out since it is free, but it'd be hard to recommend spending money on this game. Instead, it stands as a friendly educational tool for those who want to learn more about wolves.
WolfQuest is an interactive wildlife simulator designed to help kids learn more about wolves.
What follows is the official description of WolfQuest, from the developers.
ANNOUNCING WOLFQUEST 3: ANNIVERSARY EDITION and TOWER FALL EXPANSION!
We're remaking the game from the ground up! Bigger and better gameplay, huge new maps, more animals...and it'll be a free update! To be released later in 2018 (no release date yet, sorry). That will be followed by an all-new episode, Tower Fall, which will be DLC for purchase. Learn more!
LIVE THE LIFE OF A WILD WOLF!
WHAT IS IT?
A wildlife simulation game about wolf ecology.
EMBARK ON A QUEST FOR SURVIVAL!
When the game begins, you are a two-year-old gray wolf born in the Northern Range of Yellowstone National Park. You learned the ways of the wolf in your birth pack. Now it's time for you to learn how to live on your own.Your quest begins on the slopes of Amethyst Mountain and eventually takes you across the Lamar Valley to Slough Creek. There, you and your mate will establish a territory and raise a litter of pups: training them, feeding them, defending them against predators, and finally taking them on a cross-country journey to a summer home. Ultimately, your success will depend on your ability to ensure the survival of your pack.
PLAY ALONE OR WITH FRIENDS!!
In single-player games, learn how to hunt elk, communicate with other wolves, find a mate, establish a den and territory, raise pups, and embark on a perilous journey to a summering site.
In multiplayer games, explore the wilderness and hunt elk together, and now raise pups together! This new version features the entire Slough Creek mission arc, from choosing a den to raising pups and traveling to the rendezvous site. There are two types of multiplayer games:
Private games: Invite-only, featuring voice, text, and phrase chat.
Public games: Anyone can join, phrase chat or (for players age 13 and up) text chat.
This new version improves and expands upon the original game, a grant-funded project that has been downloaded by over five million players around the world since its original release in 2008. Now, for this version 2.7, we've refined gameplay and graphics, added a new player account system with achievements, friends lists, and more, and completely rewrote the animal AI system. We've also added more wolf howls, over two dozen wolf customizations, and emotes -- accurate wolf behaviors to communicate with your packmates. And we created a mysterious new map to explore in single and multiplayer games. As always, there's also an active online community where you can discuss the game with other players and share artwork and stories about wolves. Visit www.wolfquest.org to join in.
MORE NEW STUFF! We've added cougars, moose, foxes, ravens, and a plethora of bird and insect life to the game, along with much richer and varied vegetation.
Is this new version worth buying? Find out what players say.
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