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Animal Jam

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ToddHoward2010sm (cropped).jpg All of this just works.
― Todd Howard
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Animal Jam
New AJPW logo.png
WildWorks, if you're transitioning Animal Jam Classic to 3D, at least make the game look fun to play.
Genre(s): MMO
Edutainment
Platform(s): Android
iOS
Steam
Release: Android, iOS:
December 7, 2015
PC:
December 12, 2018 (Steam Early Access)
Engine: Unity
Developer(s): WildWorks
Publisher(s): WildWorks
Series: Animal Jam
Predecessor: Animal Jam Classic
Successor: Fer.al (former)


Animal Jam (formerly Animal Jam: Play Wild) is a massive multiplayer online role-playing kid-friendly game developed and published by WildWorks. It was released on Android and iOS on December 7, 2015, before receiving a PC port on December 12, 2018, via Steam Early Access.

Bad Qualities

Note: This game shares the most of the same problems as Animal Jam Classic, along with new ones:

Problems that the game shares with Animal Jam Classic

  1. The newspaper articles lack any sort of context.
  2. It cares little about the non-English servers. The languages are badly translated as if they were translated by Google Translate.
  3. Tons of content cut out from Animal Jam.
  4. The default colors for the animals and the colour schemes of some places are awfully rendered. The general color scheme of the game is unhappy and dreary.
  5. Similar to Roblox, it's a scheme for parents to feel that it's worth investing in for their children.
  6. The moderators are useless and practically non-existent. They do nothing to solve things like bullying and scamming, both of which are prevalent in the game. They are also shamelessly playing favourites with popular users, as they will only listen to them for ideas. This lead to normal users requesting popular users to send ideas to the moderators.
    • The reporting system is also quite the joke itself. It barely works unless you get about 30 people to report. But have fun doing that because it will take a few weeks and the reported player, if banned, can easily make a new account.
  7. Pretty much most of the mini-games in Animal Jam is a cheap knockoff of a much better game, with almost no fun or difficulty whatsoever. Not only that, a few of the minigames from Animal Jam Classic were copied and pasted into the game. This makes the game an asset flip and an asset thief as they directly copy the controls used from the games they're ripping off. Here is a list of games that Animal Jam ripped off:
    • A Puppy's Tale: Magic Touch: Wizard for Hire (Both require you to draw the shapes above the enemies in order to defeat them)
    • Roll!!!!!: Super Monkey Ball (Both require you to roll your character to the finish line without falling off the track)
    • Phantom Dodger: Mmm Fingers (Both require you to hold the screen and drag your fingers along any available empty spaces without hitting the obstacles or enemies. Otherwise, it's an instant game over for you)
    • Block Break: Breakout (Both are brick-breaking games involving a paddle and a bouncing ball)
  8. The "storyline" of Animal Jam, while not terrible, is stupid and lazy. It has changed at least ten times because it can't keep consistency, which can lead to plot holes in both the lore and the adventures. Also, the way that they keep adding "backstory" without any planning, indication, or proper context just goes to show how lazy Animal Jam HQ is with this.
    • Speaking of the story, it seems that the game actually supports discrimination. Multiple shorts show animals bullying Phantoms minding their own business. By the way, the ads do not help either, as they have the same concept.
  9. The "safe chat" option is complete buffoonery, as you can say words like "Undertale", "Sans", "Bendy" (basically any word involving a popular PC game from this era), but you can't say words like "Dingo". That is the ironic part. You can't talk about dingos, which are animals, on an animal-oriented game.
      • The chat system is also so strict that you are restricted from saying minor words that aren't even inappropriate such as "dumb", "phone", "website", "electronic", or even "what the hey".
  10. There are many hackers in the game. Also, if the hackers hack every single item in your inventory, it may cause you to quit the game. Whenever a player (somehow) gets banned, it creates a new account and still continues to do so.
  11. There are a lot of scammers crawling around on Animal Jam. Some people do scam others because it takes ages to get rare items or rare pets.
  12. Many items are so rare that they can cause you stress and you might even have to do keep trading for 2, 3, or even worse, 4 years.
  13. Even the role-players can get on your nerves. There are two examples below:
    • If you pretend to be someone mean in the role-play (for example the school bully), they think you did it to hurt them and report you.
    • If you go to a specific role-play (for example school or summer camp) and there are dorms, you will just find everyone in the dorms talking about drama. It's called a school role-play.
  14. The game's customer service is terrible. If you get scammed, they will send an automatic robot message asking for stuff (such as your username, the username of the scammer, what the items you lost are gone, and what time it happened). They don't even help solve the problem for scamming. It also is hard to get AJHQ to answer the phone.
  15. Lately, there are pedophiles and groomers sexualizing minors on the game and making NSFW or vore masterpieces.
    • Even worse, Animal Jam HQ did nothing about it, instead, they made an Instagram post on May 2021 saying it is just "drama" and "rumors".

Problems exclusive to this game

  1. Depending on the player, The colors are bright, unlike in the PC game, that they can easily sting your eyes if you look at them for too long.
  2. The graphics are ugly and uncanny that look like a really cheap Unity game that anyone can make.
    • It even suffers from too many glitches here and there, such as the arctic fox glitch from 2017 (albeit patched) and the pink glitch (you know, where the username tag, chat, etc does pink).
  3. The game itself plays in landscape mode, but Phantom Dodger plays in portrait mode. As a result, the transition is extremely awkward and laggy.
  4. It also can be badly optimized that it can lag and crash very easily if there are too many players on one map and if the player's wishlist is too big.
  5. Laughably huge memory and storage requirements for the game, requiring 2 GB of RAM on its mobile and PC ports, 52 MB of storage for the Android version, 144.9 MB of storage for the iOS version and 515 MB of storage for the PC port.
    • Speaking of storage, the storage requirements are extremely inconsistent on all versions.
  6. The chat before 2020 is more censored than in Animal Jam Classic, so much so that you can only use the in-game word suggestion bar to communicate.
    • Also, who in the right mind would censor the word "duck", which is an animal, in a kid-friendly game about animals? (Partly justified as anyone can use it as a friendlier replacement to the word "fuck")
    • You can't type your own username in the PC version. Instead, you must use the premade words to create your animal's name just like Animal Jam Classic.
  7. Like with Animal Jam Classic, the trading system resulted in a mass corruption in Animal Jam society, which has never been a problem in the first year or two of the game.
    • The players in Aparri's, fancyshorts' (now xfancyshorts due to his account getting banned in 2019) and WootMoo's dens are toxic. They are filled with really rare players who have rare items and repeat the same thing and decline trades.
      • Not to mention the trading dens are really full. Meaning you will have to spam the den icon until to get in the den.
    • The items (including Rainbow Hats, Forest Gauntlets, Wind-up Keys, Pet Sugar Gliders, Heart Antennae Headbands, Archer Hats, DJ Headsets etc) are valued at very high worths, although some can decline. Some are extremely rare and very uncommon that they are really hard to value, such as the Dino Horn.
  8. You can get senselessly banned by AJHQ more easily than in Animal Jam. One of the worst cases of this happening was when Steam user 1Nick5Gaming1's friend got banned just because he happened to be in the same server that QuackityHQ was in. Another is when Steam user Chelsea Chamberlain broke the game's word filter, the game somehow banned her for destroying the word filter.[1]
    • Even worse, Steam user Drip god has pointed out that just attempting to type censored versions of curse words will automatically get you banned! How ridiculous is that?
  9. Painfully loading times that either last for too long.
    • You'll also frequently get time-outs due to the long loading times, which can be ridiculous.
  10. The game recently keeps kicking out players at random due to really short AFK timeouts. This means that you'll be automatically kicked just for simply going to the toilet.[2]
  11. Translation issues and errors that are worse than the original game, so much so that you have to look up synonyms to circumvent innocent words that are wrongly filtered out by the game's broken word filter[3]
  12. If you never log into the game for a long time, Animal Jam HQ will sometimes automatically delete your account without notifying you at all.[4]
  13. The game's updates are sometimes broken and frequently break the game once they went live, a la Fallout 76.[5]
  14. The game can get boring really fast.

Good Qualities

  1. The art-style and most of the animal designs is really nice and adorable to look at.
  2. Most of the soundtrack are decent and great to listen to, such as:
    • Tree House Tune
    • Raccoon's Night
    • Pegasus Ballad
    • In The Moonlight
    • Hidden Oasis
    • Soaring Stronghold
    • Jamaa Township Theme
    • Arctic Whirl
    • Pixel Pomp
  3. Like the PC game, The game can be educational for those who want to found out about animals.
  4. Unlike in the PC game (most of the time), Non-members can actually do some feature what members do, such as joining packs (as of December 2, 2020), start their own shops (as of September 2021) and use pet stations (as of June 2, 2021).
  5. Some decent or hilarious updates, such as the April fools update from 2022.

Reception

The game received near-universal praise on Google Play and the iOS App Store, with 4.5/5 across all reviews (keep in mind that you can't 100% trust these reviews). However, on Steam, as of June 3, 2022, the game received a mixed reception recently, having a 63%.

References

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