When I saw the preview for Stray, my inner cat lady came out and I instantly wanted to play. With the mid-July release, though, it left me wanting. This is when I realized there is a whole world of niche video games where you play as an animal. Anything from realistic animals like in Stray to adorable little aliens like in Pikmin 3, here are 15 Games for people who absolutely love animals:
Top 15 Games For Animal Lovers
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
It’s right there in the name! “Animal” Crossing. Where your little human villager gets to fill their island community with up to 10 animal villagers. Now, everyone has a different villager wish-list, since there are 393 to choose from, (some of mine include Diana the pastel princess deer with a goth heart, Sprinkles the minty fresh penguin with an irrdescent home, and my all time VIP Raymond the cat). Don’t fret, though, because even if you don’t have a villager on your island, you can make them a custom vacation home in the Happy Homes DLC!
Cats Are Liquid: A Better Place
A free mobile game that is almost too cute to function, Cats Are Liquid uses a phone similar to an NES controller to move the shapeless cat through the puzzles. You can move him left or right while also making him jump over obstacles or squish down to slide through small spaces. And don’t worry if you get the zoomies and finish the game, there is also Cats Are Liquid – ABP!
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
This game not only features three Gorillas: Donkey Kong, Cranky Kong, Funky Kong, but also a Spider Monkey: Diddy Kong, and a Chimpanzee: Dixie Kong. So not only do you get to jump through jungles, but you can also dive through the ocean, race through the savanna, skid through the artic, and so much more! Play original mode with DK, team up with Cranky, Diddy, and Dixie, or breeze through the game with Funky Kong and his unique to the Switch abilities.
Kirby And The Forgotten Land
What is Kirby, you may ask? The hero of Dream Land, of course! This adorable, fun-loving, pink puffball has been around since the 1990s, but this is his first 3D game! So join Kirby on this amazing adventure to the Forgotten World to not only save Dream Land but the Waddle Dees from the wicked Beast Pack. And don’t forget to use his signature move: sucking up enemies and gaining their powers because that’s one of the reasons this cute and cuddly guy is a fan favorite.
New Pokemon Snap
For those who don’t know, Pikachu is an electric mouse. Which is one of the very clear examples of how all Pokemon are inspired by animals! And in the New Pokemon Snap, you get to adventure all around with your camera with the simple goal to catch a picture of them all. Fun and cute, this game has also been featured in the 10 Best Calming And Relaxing Games list!
In this truly unique game, with absolutely stunning ink-style animation, you play as the Japanese Sun Goddess who presents herself in the legendary form of the white wolf Shiranui. In this form, you get to use magical abilities and Celestial Brush strokes to restore the land of Nippon to its former lively and colorful glory! Though a very different game compared to most on this list, it’s definitely not one to miss.
Pikmin 3 Delux
Pikmin is also almost too cute to function and I have been obsessed with them since the first Pikmin game. And you know what’s so great about Pikmin 3? There are even more adorable and loyal little aliens helping you solve the new puzzles and gather resources to save your home planet. (Maybe not exactly animals because they grow like flowers, this game is still something any animal lover would enjoy.)
Is Slugcat prey or predator? That’s for you to decide in Rain World. As Slugcat ventures through a scary new world, it’s up to you to help him find shelter, find answers, and find hope. After instantly falling in love with this enchanting creature, you have to do everything in your power to keep him safe and realize he’s not alone.
Sonic Origins features Sonic the Hedgehog, Tails the Fox, and Knuckles the Echidna. Though unlike their animals, Sonic can run at the speed of sound, Tails can fly, and Knuckles can punch through just about anything. And unlike their animals, they must save the world from the evil Dr. Robotnik! Sonic Origins features the first four games: Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic CD, Sonic The Hedgehog 2, and Sonic & Knuckles, (and we’ve already made a list of where to find all the Emeralds, how to play as Super Sonic, and how to unlock Mirror Mode).
Stray (release date: July 19, 2022) is an adventure game where you play as a realistic cat making its way through a decaying cybercity. You will make your way through highly detailed streets, neon-lit alleys, and other murky environments of the city’s seedy underbelly to leave this robot-filled world and get back to your family. You’re not entirely alone, though, with your companion B12 (who will translate languages and storing items). Though it’ll tug at your heartstrings, reuniting this cat with his family is every animal lover’s dream.
Sudoku but with cats, this extremely cheap game is another calming and relaxing choice for any animal lover. With various levels of difficulties and 9 cute little cats to choose from, this is one of those pick-up at any time and play anywhere kind of games. Whether you’re on break, in a waiting room, or evening getting for bed, this is a great option for you Nintendo Switch library.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania
Another one where it’s in the name! For over 20 years you move the courses these Monkeys are rolling over not only to reach bananas but to reach the goals in record time! A perfect game for all ages and to go head-to-head at parties, Monkey Ball for the Switch is a fun and funny way to spend time.
Just like Pikmin, Yarnys aren’t strictly animals, but they’re so freakin’ cute and endearing, it doesn’t matter. In Unravel Two you get to cut old ties and form new bonds, as a single-player or with a co-op, as you make your way through various worlds with positivity and fearlessness, sparking things to life! Winner of the D.I.C.E. Awards Family Game Of The Year it also made it on our 10 Best Calming And Relaxing Games list.
Untitled Goose Game
Untitled Goose Game has become an internet sensation, featured in various kinds of memes all over the place. Why? Because you play as an angry Goose who hates all the people in town and just wants to create havoc! Marking off to-do lists such as (steal and) have a picnic, get the groundskeeper wet, and steal (and use) a walk-talkie, you get to obnoxiously honk your way through this clever and hilarious game.
Yoshi’s Crafted World
As we saw in the regrettable 1993 Super Mario Bros movie, Yoshi is actually a dinosaur, (and the rest of the world around him falls more under the alien or animal-inspired range). Still a cutie-patootie, though, you get to help Yoshi through this crafted world as he leaps high, gulps down enemies, and hunts for treasure! Find all the flowers, coins, Poochy Pups, and gems to save the world from the evil Kamek and Baby Bowser.
So, whether you’re a cat mom, a dog dad, or an overall lover of animals, here were 15 fantastic animal-based video games to fill your heart with joy.