Disney Animal Kingdom Explorers
- Release Date: June, 2012
- Publisher: Playdom
- Developer: Playdom
- Genre: HOG
Explore exotic wilderness to build and grow your very own animal habitats, protect endangered species and find hidden objects.
With its inspiration taken from the Animal Kingdom Park in Florida, Disney Animal Kingdom Explorers turns out to be a new hidden object social game by Playdom behind Gardens of Time and Blackwood & Bell Mysteries.
Recruited in the Global Wildlife Research team, you are to venture through various spectacular natural sceneries such as Rocky Mountains and Amazon Rainforest, with impressive-looking costumes and divine missions to search for precious endangered species in their natural habitat.
When the hidden object becomes hidden animals, you can never expect it to be an easy task even though there are a variety of hint options, since it is animal nature to disguise themselves for potentially dangerous approaches of the enemies. In addition, you can “create and nurture your own wildlife nature preserve around the Tree of Life.” Above all, the theme itself has been quite fascinating, as no one will refuse to be integrated with nature and loving animals.
Playdom’s Blackwood & Bell Mysteries was not the first hidden object game published on Facebook, but it is undoubtedly among the best and the most fast-growing HOG game released earlier this year. The game balances the seek-and-find pattern with a compelling city-building segment that revolves around a story, and is still one of Playdom’s most popular games.
Following the success of Blackwood & Bell Mysteries, Playdom this time released their follow-up HOG: Disney Animal Kingdom Explorers. Players take the role as a young ecologist, who explores wildlife reserves in Africa and Asia in order to track down various real creatures for academic research.
This new title does not blaze a new trail, and it still follows the same formula like its predecessor. If you ask me if there is anything different between them, I would say it might be the screen layout. Blackwood & Bell Mysteries revolves around intrigue and murder and the graphics feature dark tones; while Disney Animal Kingdom Explorers grants an edutainment theme and is particularly appropriate for family members to enjoy together.
The first scene actually presents a more traditional way of hidden objective gameplay. According to the storyline, you need to search through assortments of discarded junk in the train station in order to recover items of lost luggage before the train departure. You must quick enough to click on objects within a few second of each other in order to connect “combo”, which grants you score multipliers and helps you level up faster. (Although in real life, how “fast” could you pack a monkey in your suitcase?)
Later, players will be presented with animal-searching scenes, which are the highlights of this game. Players are presented with a list of animals to search from the scenes. Besides the traditional power-ups like “magnifying glass” or “goggle”, clicking on an animal’s specific hint option will bring up a picture of it, which serves an additional hint on how to find it in the scene. These pictures also come with some narrative texts that are also educational.
Compared with its predecessor, the game’s scenes are larger, more animated, and boast natural brightness of colors that compliment game’s “lively and natural” theme. But when I play the game in full-screen mode, I find the animal pictures in hint options become a bit blurry.
Possibility of decorating a personal natural reserve for precious wildlives is also the same mechanism. By placing each decorative item, you will be rewarded with some reputation points, and you gain a new level in order to unlock new scene when sufficient reputation points are accumulated. All of the animals and plants, of course, are real species; both quest descriptions and cut-scene dialogues will guide placement of them and teach players about their various habitats.
The educational content gives the game a distinctive twist even if you’re new to hidden object games, Disney Animal Kingdom Explorers is a great jumping-in point. It’s interesting, fun and family-friendly. If you are an enthusiastic fan of Blackwood & Bell Mysteries and are still working on your crime sites, though, you may not be willing to abandon your hard work for a new story with nicer graphics. Anyhow, it certainly doesn’t hurt to give the game a try.
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