Who doesn’t like animals? Actually, it would be a surprise if you didn’t.
But if you do like animals, then you’ll appreciate this list of awesome, animal-inspired indie games. Don the persona of a favorite beast or face-off against one and enjoy a completely new gaming experience.
Now let’s get started.
1. Backbone: A Dystopian Noir Adventure
The first game on our list is global development. Designed and developed by Canada’s EggNut, but with supporting work by developers from Serbia, the US, and the UK, Backbone is a thrilling indie game where you play a private eye solving the city’s scariest crimes. The only difference between this and other detective games is that you’re a raccoon.
As Howard Lotor, you crack-down on drug dealers, unfaithful husbands, traffickers, and street dons – all of whom are played by other animals. This beautiful, noir-inspired indie game comes in a classic pixelated style. Collect clues, play good-cop-bad-cop, and nab the perpetrators before they disappear for good.
2. Lost Ember
Video source: Youtube
A compelling game with a brilliant storyline and a lovable cast, Lost Ember recreates the thrill that comes with discovery. Shift between various animal characters by possessing their bodies and explore an ancient, forgotten world. You’ll have plenty of mountains to climb, oceans to dive into, and volcanoes to avoid in this game.
Find hidden skeletons, stolen treasure, and dilapidated monuments on your journey. Depending on which animal you choose to play, your adventure will personalize. Try all the animals in the cast and experience a unique game each time.
Developed by Mooneye Studios, Lost Ember is one of the newest releases in this list. The supremely colorful graphics make the game very realistic.
3. Shelter Series
If you’ve ever wondered what life is like for a honey badger or a lynx, then you should play Shelter. A group of three indie games, the Shelter series follows the lives of a honey badger, a lynx, and a lynx cub, as they make their way through the unpredictable, wild world.
Protect your cubs as they take their first step into the world, cross rapids as your forage for food, teach your young how to hunt and not get hurt in the process, run from forest fires, predators, and starvation- all the while forging friendships with fellow forest-dwellers.
This game by Might and Delight has truly delighted everyone with its unique storyline. Try all three and experience the hidden world of animals firsthand.
4. Goat Simulator
Goats. They can put the fear of God in you. It’s strange how something so cute can be so conniving and crazy. But that’s what you need to be too, to ace this indie game.
Goat Simulator by Coffee Stain Studios is the perfect example of what your life would be like as a goat. From headbutting nearby walkers to causing mile-long pile-ups to setting a million-dollar mansion on fire, you’ll get to do all this and more as an unruly goat.
So, what are you waiting for? Give into the craziness and just ‘goat.’
Video source: Youtube
This game will make you reminiscent of a globally favorite movie. In true Jaws style, Depth by Digital Confectioners recreates the world of a gigantic, killer shark.
You have the option of playing the shark – exploring stretches of his underwater lair. Choose between seven species and experience their amazing strengths. Rip divers limb-from-limb and reclaim your kingdom.
Want different gameplay? Then play the diver, who’s tasked with unearthing a sunken bounty. Fend-off killers sharks and get the riches back to the surface.
This multi-player game is one of the most visceral games on this list. With its realistic graphics, ominous background score, and an exciting storyline, it will leave your heart pounding.
6. Wild Animal Sports Day
If there’s one truth we can agree on in this world, it’s that sports aren’t for everybody. But if you love sports and have always wanted to be an athletic superstar, now is your chance. Participate in a uniquely epic sporting competition and get the chance to defeat powerful and wild athletes.
Wild Animal Sports Day is just that – an Olympics-style sporting event for animals. Choose from a list of colorful and energetic creatures and participate in numerous games, from skiing to tennis to rhythmic gymnastics. Your job – beat your furry and feathery opponents and clinch the title of the best sportsman/woman of the event.
This game is quite literally ‘inspired by animals.’ What we mean is, Mekazoo by The Good Mood Creators, doesn’t include animals in the game, but robots in the likeness of animals. But don’t worry. These Mekanimals still act like real animals; it’s just that they have a lot more power and some unique abilities that their real counterparts don’t.
But that’s what makes Mekazoo so fun.
Play as different animals and explore a dangerous world that’s rife with angry robots, volcanoes, quicksand, and more. This is a 2D co-op game that allows players to control two different animals and switch between players/animals seamlessly. So, when you’re battling an enemy and need a new skill to oust them, just switch players and watch as the new animal takes down the villain.
The game is beautifully designed with vibrant colors, making it a treat for the eyes.
8. Ape Out
Video source: Youtube
Imprisoning animals can have terrible consequences. When you play Devolver Digital’s game Ape Out, you’ll know exactly what those consequences are.
Here, you play an ape who’s been shackled and imprisoned. You use your super strength to bust out of jail. As you make your bid for freedom, you’re ambushed by gun-toting smugglers, who’re intent on recapturing you. Bash their brains in, shoot them down, and pummel them to the ground as you make your way back to the wild.
The game is designed in a supremely-minimalistic fashion and comes with four heart-racing jazz tracks. This combination offers a unique gaming experience, one you need to try to believe.
9. Super Animal Royale
When you pick up Super Animal Royale, think PUBG – animal style. Developed by Overwhelmingly Positive, this action-adventure indie game offers hours of exciting gameplay, a compelling cast of furry and feathered characters, dynamic graphics, and a lively background score, all rolled-into-one.
Choose from a long selection of animal characters, pick up a weapon, drop down into this 64-player battleground, and get shooting. The only way to win this game is to be the last animal standing.
The game has released a new Founder’s Edition, which comes with many more hours of gore and fun.
10. Animal Rivals
Another action-adventure animal game that offers a battle arena experience is Animal Rivals.
Developed by Polish developers, Blue Sunset Games, Animal Rivals is a crazy, violent adventure game that involves lots of bombs, guns, obstacle races, and a whole host of other deadly challenges.
You choose your character from a stellar group of animals – this game involves dinosaurs too – and enter a fray that’s populated by other murderous creatures. Work your way through the stages of the game, slaying rivals and completing challenges, until you’re the only one alive.
The game is available in various mods. So, give them all a try.
- Spider Series
Video source: Youtube
What do spiders do in their free time? Explore abandoned mansions, of course.
The Spider series is a two-game series where you play a spider who’s chanced upon the haunting, gothic Bryce Manor (The Secret of Bryce Manor) and Blackbird Estate (Rite of the Shrouded Moon). The abandoned building leaves many questions – Who lived there? Why the hurry to leave? Can someone be living there now?
To complete the game, you venture from room-to-room, exploring every nook and cranny you see. Tired and hungry? Spin webs to capture the myriad insects that have taken over the manor. As you move through the manor, piece together the mysteries of the building and come out unscathed.
Really fun and built lovingly by Tiger Style, the game offers an exciting plot with lots of twists and turns, leaving you wanting more.
12. Escape Goat Series
There’s just something about goats that makes them irresistible. That’s why we’ve included another goat game in our list of top animal-inspired indie games.
In Escape Goat, you play a goat who’s being held in a strange, prison-like location. The reason – you’ve been accused of witchcraft by a despot. Your only task is to escape. But preventing you is the strong dark magic that guards the prison. Now you need to make your way through this death-dealing landscape while avoiding being killed by the host of dangerous contraptions and spells.
Developed in the classic pixelated style by MagicalTimeBean (of the Soulcaster fame), you get a Super Mario Bros-like experience with this one. The series is a two-parter, and they’re both equally enjoyable.
13. Untitled Goose Game
Video source: Youtube
Untitled Goose Game by House House is well on its way to becoming one of the most-loved animal-inspired indie games of all time. But the thing is, it’s not even released yet (expect it by late 2020).
Developed following a minimalistic design, but with a very engaging storyline and bouncy music, Untitled Goose Game follows a truly terrible goose as it doses truly terrible things.
Here, you play the goose – a real mischief monger – whose only goal is to wreak mayhem in the villagers’ lives. From stealing house keys to destroying flower bushes to tossing people’s packages in the river, you’ll do all that and more.
The more mischief you cause, the higher points you’ll earn. Just remember to keep honking at the villagers – that’s what annoys them the most.