Back in 2010 the group at National Geographic decided to launch a game for children. This was not any ordinary game, it was a game where kids would learn about animals and the environments they live in. Animal Jam lets children play as an animal in a third dimensional online massive multiplayer game. While interacting with other kids on their, players will play games, customize their own home, and learn a few quick facts about animals. Because of the success of this game on the computer there was recently a beta created for IOS devices to take this game on the go. With all of the great reviews on the beta, the company Wild Works has decided to launch their new game on the App Store on August 18th, 2015 for IPads. Does this newly released IPad version of the game live up to the potential of its computer version counterpart?
Play Wild Gameplay / How to Play
When players first start off the game they will create an account for their Animal Jam and then select a character. There are currently three different characters that players can choose from in the beginning ( the wolf, the monkey, and the bunny) and a bonus in app purchase of the fox and there will be more animals to come soon like the tiger, koala, and the seal. After choosing their animal, players can customize the color of their fur and give them different physical appearances before jumping into the actual wild. There is no need to feel pressure about which animal to pick at the beginning of the game because players can create more than one animal profile because certain areas of the world require different animals to access special points on the map.
The controls for this game are quite simple like the computer version of this game. First off, since this is a touchscreen device players are playing on it should be of no surprise that moving in the game involves touching the screen and having the animal follow the player’s finger to go somewhere. Just knowing how to move the animal around is as complex as the player needs to know for the controls because the rest of the actions are all buttons on the screen of the IPad. On the bottom right players have the options of checking out the world map or go to their home. The bottom left has customization for the player and the option to switch animal characters; the top left has the option to go to parties, complete missions or access member only content. The top right and middle have the chat options for the animals and besides that there are no other controls so the rest is just enjoying the world in Animal Jam.
In this new mobile version there are currently only a few areas players can go to including:
Jamaa Township – this area is the main township of Jamaa.
Crystal Sands – a beach themed location in Jamaa.
Sarepia Forest – An ancient forest hidden away in the trees.
Coral Canyons – A desert-themed area of Play Wild.
Lost Temple of Zios – The Lost Temple of Zios is a jungle area full of mystery and legend.
Mt. Shiveer – A snowy mountain area in Animal Jam.
In the game there are little social events for all the people who play the game obviously called parties. During the celebration players can join into a certain area of the world, celebrate, and interact with other Jammers who want to make friends because there is a friends list in this game so that players can invite each other to talk or play games. These parties however are open at certain times of the day or during certain seasons of the year. These parties include: Play Wild Party, Cruise Ship Party, Heatwave Party, and the Cloud Party.
Gems / Treasure Hunt
Gems are the form of currency used in Animal Jam to purchase items for one’s home (explained later). Gems are earned by completing minigames in Animal Jam and players receive more depending on how they do in each game. Treasures are actually new to Animal Jam and are currently only on the newly released mobile version. A treasure hunt is features that allows players to win gems and items every few hours throughout the day when they are logged on.
What is a game without mini games in the game (game inception). Currently there are a few minigames in this and there is one for almost each section of the map excluding the Canyons Pathway. Each mini game rewards players with gems to purchase items in the game’s store.The games included are as listed:
Phantom Runner (my personal favorite mini game) – players are running on a path and must dodge obstacles like phantoms, lasers, and cages to collect gems. The player has 3 lives and each checkpoint reach rewards gems. Look out for the phantom in the background of the map.
Falling Phantoms – The player must run back and forth using their finger trying to avoid the volcano erupting, flaming, and falling phantoms. Players at the same time are trying to survive against other players so the longer players stay alive the more gems they get depending on their placing. This minigame is located in the area of the Temple of Zios.
Overflow – Found in the Crystal Sands, in this mini-game, players rotate tiles around so that they form a channel. And through this channel water will flow to a pool. Also there are bridges where water can travel in two possible directions. Players earn 2 for every tile that the water covers.
Overflow – Found in the Coral Canyons, this mini-game player are armadillos flung into the map where they will pass through different environments and doing tricks will get players even more gems.
Pill Bugs – This game is found in Sarapeia Forest. There are three different difficulties but the objective of the game is to shoot at multi colored bugs using a tulip to aim and gray pill bugs to shoot. Certain bugs given certain bonuses and in the end there will be an amount of gems that the player receives.
So each animal has their own home in this game. They can customize this home with furniture to make it as stylish as possible. For example, I have many couches and bean bags in my home because I want to make my den feel as comfortable as possible when I invite other players to join me in my home. These shops require players to spend the gems they have earned to buy furniture but this cost is really worth it because customizing one’s home is crucial to having a great time on Animal Jam.
Cheats, Tips & Codes for Play Wild
The tips I am going to give in this section are going to be about maximizing gems because there is really nothing else in this game that requires strategy or a lot of time to get since this game focuses mostly on the social features. The best way to earn gems are by playing my two favorite minigames Phantom Falling and Phantom Runner. I am not being biased, I have played all the games and by far the fastest ones to earn gems in are these two. I would recommend more of Phantom Runner but it requires a bit more skill while Phantom Falling gives players a maximum of 90 gems for finishing in first place.
On the other hand Phantom Runner has no limits and on my first try I won 240 gems and I would advise looking in the background of the map because there is a phantom who lurks and if players tap him while they are running they will get gems. On phantom falling I suggest sticking closer to the corners of the map because there are hardly any phantoms that fall over there and there are bags of 10 gems that fall down over there quite often. Follow these tips and players will be able to buy all the furniture they wanted in the game.
Play Wild Overview
Overall this game is definitely worth a try so go download it today on the app store for free. Hopefully the team at WildWorks will try to make an IPhone version soon since not everyone in the apple community has an IPad, but besides this the game works perfectly fine for those who have IPads. This application reminds me a lot of the days when I used to play the online game Club Penguin back on the computer and it is quite similar to that game in that players are animals who play games, customize their own home, and interact with others in their own world.
This game has a huge amount of potential considering the group at WildWorks developed this game in the third dimension even though their computer version is two dimensional. Only time will tell what they will add to this game with future updates but most of it should be promising so there is no need to worry. In conclusion, this game was graphically and mechanically very well made, contains fun games, and has a great family friendly interaction for players so it provides hours of fun for everyone.