Thursday, May 16, 2013

There's An App For That: Menageries

I think I'm probably drawn to the menagerie / zoo apps for the same reason I'm drawn to the city / village building ones... they sate my inner control-freak.

Ice Age Village
I was never really a big dinosaur fan as a kid (nor am I now honestly), but I have seen all three of the animated films in the Ice Age franchise (admittingly however... not in the theater). Though I'm pretty sure there was more than one paleontologist or pretentious geek in the world who cringed at all the historical impossibilities, I did find them enjoyable enough to give Ice Age Village a try when I came across it. The art direction is really impressive. The movie's main characters, species, habitats and miscellaneous village decorations all look as if they came right off of the screen... and right out of prehistory (kinda sorta maybe). Unlike quite a few of the other apps I've played so far, you really don't feel as though you need to spend any real money to advance. Yes, there are some "premium" items and animals only available via acorns, which are purchased with real world money, but there is a way to earn those acorns in game too! Where it fails, however (and quite unfortunately), is in its exuberant cost for further land expansions. Advancement should be a challenge, yes... but it should still feel fun and not like a chore or a tedious impossible grind. Ugh.

Prehistoric species come in all shapes and sizes... and colors!
Tiny Monsters
Love! Love! LOVE Tiny Monsters! This is one of the very few apps I still play. Each animal falls into an elemental category, and interbreeding them can create some really interesting results. "Mythic" (color variant) versions of each animal are random and can be a bit challenging to come across, but there's a Monsterpedia to help you track what you've hatched so far and haven't...

Each Tiny Monster has its own unique animation!