By Spencer . March 27, 2008 . 9:25am
Saving animals one fence at a time is Saku Saku Animal Panic’s mantra.
You’re a farmer in one level, a forest dwelling poster child for lederhosen in another. You are always making fences to segregate wildlife. Is this the optimal solution for separating crocodiles and kangaroos? According to Epicenter Studios it is.
Saku Saku Animal Panic has easy to understand controls. I think you can figure them out even if you skip the tutorial video (note: there is a short tutorial, more WiiWare games should include something like this for the casual crowd) because you only need to worry about moving with the D-pad and, primarily, two buttons. Pressing “2” makes you jump and pressing “1” puts you in fence building mode. Once you start laying a fenced path you can’t cancel out of it. You must close the fence by touching another piece of fence. This is troublesome since the good natured fence builder is slow as molasses when placing posts in the ground. He becomes an easy target for wolves, dogs, even chickens. If any of these animals touches him, even the cuddly ones, you lose a life.
Protecting animals is a thankless job.
You might be wondering why bother saving the animals? Just like in reality, some animals in Saku Saku Animal Panic feast on each other. Wolves hunt rabbits. Crocodiles gobble everything in site. As long as a predatory animal is larger it will attempt to make dinner out of the other animals in the maze. There is a sense of time pressure, if you care about saving all of the animals or if you just want points. However, letting the hungry crocodile chomp on some dingos can be a good thing. If all the other animals are trapped in pens and the crocodile finishes off the last animal you win. Yes, you win by failing to do your job of saving the animals. Ah! I got it, saving the animals isn’t the goal of Saku Saku Animal Panic, it’s sorting them into like groups!
Wrapped presents, that magically drop from the sky, aid your cause. Occasionally you get food, which lures some animals in place leaving them helpless to spontaneous fence building. Sometimes you get a spray, which annoys animals until they run. Besides presents there is some strategy to Saku Saku Animal Panic. In the beginning of a level the animals are neatly arranged. The earlier farm levels place the pigs close to mud. One option is to run over to the mud pool and fence them in right away. Or you can fence the antagonistic animals like dogs first. Encase the dogs and they won’t be able to make the other animals flee by barking. You have some choice before they start wandering in the beginning, but later levels purposely place single animals in a corner. This forces you to make more fences with tighter turns instead of long almost separating the screen barricades. The biggest threat is animals charging at you. Some animals hate losing their freedom. Wolves do this, but you can quickly protect yourself by making a fence force field by making a quick loop. When you’re trapped in a tiny one square fence the other animals leave you alone until you break it or jump out. Once the enraged animal leaves it’s back to sorting.
Biological taxonomy is Saku Saku Animal Panic’s mantra.