Animal Shelter is a management/simulator game in which you are in charge of running and developing, you guessed it, an animal shelter! Starting up Animal Shelter, you’re asked to pick a name for your new adoption agency and to choose which species — dog or cat — you’d like to start the game with. You’re dropped straight into the tutorial, where you’re tasked with taking in your first animal. It starts simple enough, with the game taking you through each step to feed, water, and house the animal. The tutorial goes on for quite a while but doesn’t completely restrict you from doing what you want, allowing you to freely pick which dogs (or cats if you chose the option in the beginning) from a small list of ones that need rescuing.
One of the game's most significant selling points is its cuteness factor. The animals in the game are all adoptable, each with a unique personality. The game also features various animal species, including dogs, cats, and horses. Players can also choose to focus their shelter on one particular species or try to accommodate all of them.
Despite its cute exterior, Animal Shelter can be a bit of a grind. The game is heavily reliant on walk cycles, meaning that players will spend a lot of time walking back and forth between different areas of the shelter. This can get repetitive after a while, and it's easy to lose track of what needs to be done next.
The game also lacks any real sense of progress. Players can upgrade their shelter and add new buildings, but these upgrades don't change the gameplay significantly. There are also no real goals to strive for other than adopting as many animals as possible.
Despite its flaws, Animal Shelter is still a charming game that's easy to pick up and play. Its cute animal characters and relaxing gameplay make it perfect for players looking for a low-pressure gaming experience.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Play Animal Shelter
- Start by picking a name for your new adoption agency.
- Choose which species — dog or cat — you’d like to start the game with.
- You’re dropped straight into the tutorial, where you’re tasked with taking in your first animal.
- The tutorial goes on for quite a while but doesn’t completely restrict you from doing what you want, allowing you to freely pick which dogs (or cats if you chose the option in the beginning) from a small list of ones that need rescuing.
- Progression slowly grew from here, and I appreciated how Animal Shelter never overwhelmed you with things to do in the game's early stages.
- You’ll be asked to buy cages for the species you didn’t pick in the opening, meaning you now have cats and dogs to care for.
- Each animal has specific needs like hunger, hygiene, and health.
- These will all increase/decrease as time passes, and you’ll need to monitor each animal by interacting with them, viewing their stats sheet on their cage, or checking your computer.
- Each need is easily met by performing whichever task is needed to improve their overall well-being.
- Sick animals can be taken to the clinic, where depending on their ailment, they can be quickly treated and sent right back to playing.
- Something like being able to use a mobile phone or tablet would have been a massive timesaver and cut down on these drawn-out moments.
- One aspect of Animal Shelter I found delightful was the management and building of the site itself.
- It works similarly to Build Mode in The Sims, where you’re limited to a small area (with options to expand this as your business grows) to place cages, play areas, storage units, and many other necessary buildings.
- It didn’t take me long to completely alter the default layout so that my office was closer to the cages, and as more essential buildings, such as the clinic, were unlocked, I had to go back into this mode to switch up where areas were placed.