By Mike Thompson From Inside Social Games
In Animal Kingdom Explorers, players will travel to exotic locations--like Harambe in Africa and Anandapur in India--to rescue animals from poachers by finding them in various hidden-object scenes. Then, players can place those animals in their own wildlife preserve, much like the garden feature in Gardens of Time. While Animal Kingdom Explorers's mechanics aren't exactly new, they make much better sense in the overall narrative.
Disney Animal Kingdom Explorers also includes a version of the garden decoration feature from Gardens of Time. Players build a nature preserve around the Tree of Life, the iconic centerpiece of the real world Animal Kingdom park. The screens that Todd and Hsieh presented included a wide variety of plants, animals and structures to place, though there was also a nod to Disney animation with Pride Rock from the Lion King on display. The preserve also generates bonuses when players put animals in environments they would normally be in, such as giraffes appearing next to the acacia trees from which they eat.
"We're taking the players someplace new, we're giving them a new decorative space, we're adding new mechanics. I've been working in the games industry for, I dunno, 14 years now, and that sort of differentiation, novelty is critical to serving your existing audience," Todd acknowledges. "Players don't really want to play the same thing again, they want to play something new. And that's exactly what we're reaching for with The Animal Kingdom." Animal Kingdom Explorers is expected to launch within the coming weeks, with more information to arrive on Earth Day, April 22.
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