Animal games

Animals In Video Games

There have been animals in video games for as long as there have been video games. These days, with the vast numbers of video games in existence, there is a game dealing with every thinkable aspect of the lives of animals, and of the experience of interacting with them.

Some developers chase perfect realism for the animals in their games, using motion capture to map a horse’s stride pattern then rendering its mane hair-by-hair. For other developers, animals are inspiration for wacky, cartoonish worlds inhabited by exaggerated versions of real-world animals. Then there’s the developers who populate their worlds with imaginary creatures, drawn from myth, legend and their own wild imaginations.

Animal Games

Animal games take more forms than you could possibly count. In some, you play as an animal yourself. You could be playing as an ape, rampaging through a city or escaping from a laboratory. Maybe you’ll be simulating being a goat instead, exploring the world from a different point of view and causing a lot of mischief as you do. Perhaps you’ll want to take on the role of a mythical beast, such as a centaur or griffin, inspiring fear or awe wherever you go.

You can use animal games to explore the experience of working with animals too. You could take the role of a vet, working to save the lives of sick animals of every kind. You could be a farmer, managing your herd of livestock, always on the lookout for any problems they might face. You could even try your hand at taming and working with creatures from a magical realm, playing with unicorns, taming dragons, or learning about other fantastical creatures.

For many, playing animal games can be a form of virtual pet-keeping. For those whose jobs, leases or other circumstances don’t allow them to keep a real pet, playing games about animals can be the next best thing. With an animal game, You can interact with your furry friends whenever you like and raise an animal of your choice in whichever way you like.

The Egg in the Watch

This last form of animal game—a game as a virtual pet—is one that’s been popular since it was first thought of.

In 1997, the Tamagotchi was released by Bandai. A small, egg-shaped toy with a small digital screen—“Tama-gotchi” literally translates to “egg-watch” in English— it was a pet-raising simulator programed into a hand-held device. It was a “digital pet” and it was huge.

Like a real pet animal, the Tamagotchi needed regular attention from its owner. You had to feed it, clean up after it, train it and care for it when it got sick. It may sound like a lot of work, but kids around the world certainly fell in love with it. Eighty million of them took the needy little egg home and took care of it—some better than others, of course. The Tamagotchi being so popular tells you a lot about our need to interact with animals, even if they’re just virtual ones.

Animals Everywhere!

There had been pet simulators before the Tamagotchi. They had mostly been on the internet and had been popular in their own right but were nothing compared to what followed. Suddenly game developers saw the appetite for animal-related games and there was an explosion in the number of animal video games, released to follow the example set by the small plastic toy.

Many of the animal games that were released at that time went on to become huge household names, developing distinct identities and new forms as they grew in popularity.

The Digimon franchise, now a globe-spanning world of comics, TV shows and films, began as a toy—very similar to the Tamagotchi and released the same year. Aimed at boys, the toy allowed owners to train and fight their digital pets and to make them stronger in the process.

Of course, no discussion of animals in games would be complete without a mention of Pokemon. The animal battling mega-hit was launched on the original Gameboy in 1996 and has been on every games system that Nintendo have released since. It’s hard to overstate the impact of the game and the extended universe of comics, films, card games, TV shows and music that have developed around it. Certainly it’s an animal game that’s played around the world, by children and adults alike.

The Whole Zoo

The love affair between games and animals didn’t stop there though. The early 2000s saw the release of many animal games that found a passionate player base. There were simulation games like Zoo Tycoon, where you manage a zoo and care for the animals in it and the staff who run it. Then there were games like Animal Crossing, where you play as a human among human-like animals, going about your daily life in the village.

Established sim franchises such as The Sims placed a greater emphasis on animals too, with the release of The Sims 2: Pets bringing the series’ famous attention-to-detail to the world of our non-human friends.

The release of FarmVille, a smash hit on mobile, saw animal games become even more popular. At its peak in March 2010, FarmVille had more than 80 million active users on Facebook, with players harvesting crops and raising livestock to unlock rewards.

Animal Games on Gamepix

Here on Gamepix, all of our animal games are free and work straight from your web browser so there’s no need for installations and you can play on any device. If you can read this, you can play any of our browser-based animal games.

There’s a huge choice here so there’s something for everybody. You can play with puppies, put on a dolphin show or even live as a hamster!

If you prefer, you can choose to save the lives of injured animals or discover what it would be like to be an animal in the wild. Thanks to the huge variety of titles, every member of the family will find a popular animal game they love.


Are animal games popular?

Very much so! Animal games have been among the most popular games for as long as they have existed. Whether you want to play as an animal, or play with animals, there’s something we all love about games involving animals.

Can you play animal games for free?

Yes, definitely. The selection of browser animal games we have here are all completely free, so you’ve come to the right place.

What are the most popular animal?

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