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11 Games You Must Play if You Love Animal Jam

April 11, 2019
11 min read

Animal Jam is an award-winning game targeted primarily at children. National Geographic was involved in the development process, and there is a lot of educational content to help kids learn about zoology and nature. With over 160 million registered users, Animal Jam is one of the most downloaded games of all time. Games do not necessarily have to be violent to cater only to adults. There are a large number of fun children’s games out there that anyone can enjoy. If you are looking for similar casual experiences that children can get into, then you have come to the right place. Here is the list of video games similar to ‘Animal Jam’ that are our recommendations. You can play these games like ‘Animal Jam’ on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, iPhone, Android, mac or even online.

11. Super Mario Odyssey (2017)

Nintendo became a household name in the 80s after the NES launched and the Japanese company has been entertaining us for years with their family-friendly games. Mario started off as a character (Jumpman) in the 1981 Donkey Kong game, and soon our favorite plumber got his own games starting with the first Marios Bros. game in 1983. Super Mario Odyssey is a homage to the franchise and so much more.

In a world where gamers are more skeptical than ever about in-game micro-transactions and broken promises by developers, Odyssey is a title that reminds us why many of us started playing video games in the first place. It encourages curiosity and tells a story through raw emotion alone without using any words. You will find yourself lost in the beautiful worlds in Super Mario Odyssey and many of us have spent hours trying the pesky moons to progress. Breath of The Wild and Super Mario Odyssey made Nintendo Switch what it is today, and they are the two behemoths that carried forward the legacy of Nintendo for its latest flagship console.

10. Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee / Pikachu (2018)

Pokemon is one of the most popular anime franchises of all time, and a number of us grew up watching the original 151 Pokemon appear on TV for the first time. Originally launched as video games for Nintendo handhelds, the franchise’s popularity led to the birth of the anime, and we have come full circle after all these years. Let’s Go Eevee and Let’s Go Pikachu are two versions of the same game, and they are essentially remakes of the 1996 Pokemon games. The new Let’s Go games do have some gameplay changes that affect the capture system. Both titles take advantage of the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons to capture Pokemon using motion controls.

Even if you have not played any of the Pokemon games earlier, either of the two Let’s Go games is a good place to start. Instead of Pokémon’s main protagonist Ash Ketchum/Red, you get to be the star of the story. Long after you are done with the story, you will be able to explore a ton of content as becoming a Pokemon champion is only the start of a new journey. Let’s Go is not supposed to be a core RPG and developers have stated that they are working on a different Pokemon title which will release in 2019/2020. If you want to stay true to the lore, Let’s Go Pikachu should be what you should pick up.

9. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp (2017)

Animal Crossing has been a Nintendo exclusive game since 2001, but fans of the franchise were treated to a mobile version of the game that was released on Android and iOS in 2017. Pocket Camp has all the elements that make Animal Crossing a fun and relaxing experience. You get to play as the mayor of a fictional town, and you are in charge of development and keeping the citizens happy. If you have played the older titles, you will notice that Pocket Camp is by no means a full experience, there are several cut corners due to platform restrictions.

There are just four types of villagers in-game compared to what New Leaf offers on the 3DS. The NPCs are very engaging and will gladly strike up a conversation with you. You can spend hundreds of hours into the game without feeling bored, and it’s the perfect children’s game to help them relax. Since the game is free, it is supported by micro-transactions, and you will notice that the crafting costs of items have been ramped up quite a bit when compared to New Leaf, which can tempt players into buying resources with real money.

8. Super Mario Tennis (2018)

The Mario franchise is known for its spin-off series, and Super Mario Tennis is one of the best ways for children to enjoy some time off. The co-op mode is just perfect on the Nintendo Switch as it allows each individual Joy-Con to double up as a racquet. Unlike traditional tennis games, Super Mario Tennis features a colorful cast of characters with their own special abilities. While the motion controls can be slightly unreliable if you compare it with analog controls, the gameplay is definitely fun. The campaign though short-lived is quite fun as well, and you will love the fun mechanics that it has to offer. Online matchmaking is also fun as you get to play against random players from all over the world. However, in order to play online, you will need a Nintendo Online subscription to get access to matchmaking features, cloud saves and more.

7. Hearthstone (2014)

Originally released as Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, this digital card game is a perfect game for kids who love Animal Jam. Hearthstone redefined the CCG genre for over 100 million players since its release. Unlike traditional card games, you do not get to trade with other players, and it makes sense to have a closed system as cards do not lose value or become overpriced. You have a consistent price for all cards based on rarity and players can either buy packs and get lucky with the drops or craft the cards by disenchanting unneeded or extra cards.

The gameplay is very simple, and the mobile UI makes things even better. Even though it has a low barrier to entry, the skill cap is quite noticeable, and players need to figure out a number of complicated interactions. It is a great way to improve mathematical skills and reinforce the ability to work under pressure with limited time available in each turn. There are yearly expansions that come out thrice a year to add more cards and shift the meta as much as possible. While other games like Artifact and GWENT and have tried to compete, Hearthstone is still the undisputed king in digital CCGs. The game is far from perfect, but as a free title, there is not much more you could ask for.

6. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (2017)

Racing games do not necessarily have to be completely realistic, and it’s okay for them to be casual and fun-filled. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the perfect game for the younger audience with simple controls and heaps of fun. The arcade racer never gets dull with a number of game modes that test your skills including movement and ability usage The team-based racing modes are also quite fun, and you can work together to keep each other out of harm’s way from enemies that want to capture you. While playing against the AI is fun the first few times, you will eventually get used to their movement patterns and play around them quite easily. The online experience is where the game shines, and there are quite a few noticeable improvements over Mario Kart 7. It’s always great to see characters like Mario, Luigi, and Bowser in three spin-off games that are immensely fun and can keep players engaged for hours.

5. Minecraft (2009)

Sandbox games are ideal for children who want to express their creativity and have fun. Minecraft is the ultimate game for showing off your expressive self. The standard game mode can be a bit challenging, and you have to farm for resources manually to build things. In Creative mode, you can kiss all restrictions goodbye and have a far more relaxing experience. If you want to take things up a notch and want to play a survival-style game, Survival Mode is what you should be looking at. Regardless of what you want to do in Minecraft, there is a place for everyone of all age groups. This is not your usual game with fixed objectives or an open-world area with NPCs; it’s an experience like no other. There are no winners or losers, and anyone can do anything they want in-game, and the experience is nothing short of what we felt as kids when playing with LEGO bricks.

4. Fortnite Battle Royale (2017)

Games like PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds were among the first to break into the battle royale genre, but the game that took the spotlight and has shown no signs of slowing down is Fortnite. Originally slated for release as a third-person adventure game, Epic Games saw the opportunity to make a great battle royale game, and they did. The original iteration of Fortnite has temporarily moved away from the spotlight as Epic diverted all resources into developing the new battle royale game mode which is available for free. When it comes to gameplay, the cartoony graphics, partnerships with franchises like Marvel’s Avengers and Battle Passes all add up to the experience. While many gamers all over the world might not like the game or the battle royale genre as a whole, there is no denying that it is one of the most fun games out there. Call of Duty Blackout and Apex Legends attempted to steal the spotlight, but Epics’ game is still at the number one spot for now.

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3. Ratchet and Clank (2016)

Marvel’s Spiderman is the defining game in Insomniac Games’ presence in the industry, but the studio is responsible for creating other great games as well. One of the best creations by Insomniac is, of course, Ratchet and Clank. The game looks like it came straight out of a Disney movie with colorful characters and a fun storyline. As you progress through the campaign, you will notice that there is a lot of backtracking involved and you will need to revisit old locations to discover new areas that you can access new abilities. There is never a dull moment, and you are constantly swarmed by enemies who want to take you down. While it is targeted at the younger audience, the storytelling is quite compelling and can attract players of all ages. There are quite a few twists in the story that leave you guessing up until the very end. If you are looking for a game targeted at children for PS4, this is definitely the number one option.

2. Rocket League (2015)

Getting children into sports games can be quite difficult as they are not always entertaining. Rocket League got the formula just right with elements of soccer packed into a driving game. You have to maneuver your tiny cars around the stadium and take possession of the ball to score goals. The team with the highest points before the timer runs out becomes the winner. It’s not just the classic Soccer-themed game mode that makes Rocket League what it is; the popular game is known for its compelling game modes that offer diverse gameplay. The colorful cars and over-the-top visual effects make Rocket League look stunning. You can pick the game up for PC, Xbox One, PS4 as well as the Nintendo Switch.

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1. Sims 4 (2014)

Sims 4 is the ultimate simulator experience, and it is one of the most family-friendly games available right now. The world is your bubble, and you can do anything you want in-game. You start off by creating a custom character and heading straight into the main area. From going to museums to camping with your friends, Sims 4 allows you to lead a second life in the virtual world with complete anonymity.

At launch, Sims 4 lacked enough content, but the developers have pushed out a large number of updates over the past 5 years to bring the game back on track. There are millions of players who log in every day to unwind, and it’s definitely the perfect casual game that can be played by kids. The crafting and building system has been completely revamped and creating new things is a very seamless experience now. There are a ton of microtransactions and purchasing cosmetics can make you stand out from the crowd, but they are completely optional.

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