This Pokémon Inspired Game Wants To Help Kids Remember Real Animals Instead

By Eugene . May 17, 2014 . 12:30pm


Animal Album is trying out the tried and tested method of taking a winning formula and tweaking it for something else. In this case, it’s for a good cause by swapping around identifying Pokémon for real world animals. You can try a quick (but meaty) demo right now on the game’s main site here.


The game is basing itself on the premise that people—and we’re talking more than just kids here—are interested in the new. And there’s plenty of animals in the world you probably don’t know about that you might remember if you, well, knew about them. Animals that are in the very real danger of going extinct.


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Dev Sjors Jansen made the link between video game and reality when he read an article noting how the young were more likely to remember Pokemon names than the names of real animals. Boiling it down, therefore, he’s making the game an educational one filled with real animals There won’t be very much of a story, with a player-programmed robot sent out to catalog and observe the world’s wildlife.



When you encounter animals, or get in “fights” with foes, what happens isn’t a fight in the traditional sense. Instead, you’ll be given a picture or a world map, and tasked to find where exactly or what exactly you’re up against. Or perhaps a list of clues to identify the creature. Doing so successfully will add them to your growing animal album.



While there’s a Kickstarter running, the game will be released regardless of whether it gets funded or not—it just might not be as big or reach as many platforms. Dev Jansen certainly seems to have the chops, having done work on titles including Tomb Raider.


Animal Album will be available on PC, with more platforms possibly available if he gets enough funding.

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  • Shady Shariest

    “This is not a squirtle. It’s a turtle, dumbass. Let’s try again.”
    Made by verbabuse Inc.

  • Thanks for the article! ;)

  • harmonyworld

    looks like something my school would’ve forced me to play

    • chibidw

      Quiet you – Island of Dr. Brain was awesome.

      • harmonyworld

        I didn’t even have a chance to play that in school~
        The closest educational game I got to play was a lion king typing game…whoopee…

    • revenent hell

      I was going to say this seems like something teachers would have kids play in the classroom. I don’t think its a bad thing but kids don’t normally want to play educational games like this in their free time its to similar to school work even if its slightly more fun than actual “school work”.

      Sure I can see some parents buying it and kids playing it but if given a choice of games to play I’d have to say most kids in their free time probably wouldn’t choose to play this over something else.

      • harmonyworld

        yep, when they go to their friends house and see real games being played, they’ll feel ripped off~

    • Fen Y

      Honestly, the only problem this has is the ‘fight’ system. Cut this and replace it with something more engaging, and it’d be something that children would want to play.

  • SlickRoach

    Gotta quiz ’em all! Animal Album!

  • Shirogane Takeru

    reminds me of Afrika

  • Callonia

    That is work while Pokemon is fun. That is why Kids prefer pokemon.
    Nevermind the fact that wild animals will happily turn our children into bite sized mcnuggets if they could.

    We didn’t kill alot of dangerous animals for nothing.. they preyed on us. Funny how thousands of years can change people’s mind.

    I can see myself as a kid playing this game for first one minute then forgetting about it.

    • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

      Lots of people happily turn your children into bite sized mcnuggets even though they shouldn’t. Don’t see you thinking too much about that~.

      We kill animals on a daily basis for nothing: fishing, hunting, harvesting of parts for pure luxury and so on and so forth~.

      • Callonia

        Well I don’t have any kids that’s for sure.

        And you just made me think if there’s any pokemon hunting going on in that pokemon world xD

    • God

      Maybe SOME of them, but of all the animals that have gone extinct since humanity’s first appearence, at the very most, only 1/12 of them actually preyed on us.

    • Bunzi

      The dodo sure was vicious.

      So were all those turtles we’ve wiped out.

      And fish.
      And obscure insects and birds throughout South America that are still going extinct today.

      Yeah we were doing the best we could back than

      • Callonia

        Damn right! xD

  • revenent hell

    I think they should actually develop an in depth story for this since it would keep a child interested in it better and would probably make the game feel more fun.

    You have a robot who’s job it is to catalogue animals all day …. that just doesn’t sound like “fun” to me but reminds me of how I have to go to work everyday and while a child might not get that feel I think it would be along the same lines of “not fun” in comparison to other games for them.

    The way this sounds is like its ” research work” and the majority of kids don’t find that a particularly fun thing to do with their free time and if given a choice between playing this or something else I cant really see to many children picking this.

    If educational games where actually “fun” kids would want to play them over traditional video games but honestly most sound like this……doing work.


  • TracerK

    As many pointed out, the problem with this game is that it’s… well, boring.

    Its “Battle system” is just dry facts to describe a creature I don’t care about, trying to put a name to a creature I don’t care about, and chucking a map at the player to try putting a location for a creature I don’t care about.

    If they want it to be more Pokemon-like, they should categorize the different animals into different ‘types’ that can do different things. Like, the condor could help with HM02 flying across an area, a lizard-type can detatch its tail or something to act as a distraction…

    The robot could “Catch” or become friends with the animal by knowing about it. This is where the quiz-like aspects can come in. Get the player to identify the name of the animal, then get a few facts about it right to gain trust. If they get it wrong, it startles the animal and the animal runs away. Maybe make it drop a hint/fact so it encourages the player to try again.

    .. And now I’ve described a system more similar to Pokemon Ranger than anything. Sorry for the wall o’ text, everyone.

    TL;DR: The biggest problem with this game is that the “battle system” is boring.

    • darke

      Or rather, they’ve identified the problem, misidentified the solution; and in the process are forgetting that the ‘game’ needs to have, you know, gameplay.

      Hidden object games already exist; but they have as much ‘gameplay’ as a “where’s wally” book. :?

  • Audie Bakerson

    But will it have the desert grassland whiptail lizard?

  • Hexodious

    If they really wanted to make “Kids remember real animals instead” they would make an actual game and not some crap that even a kid himself can make, just sayin’.

  • Revolver Jesus Super Pimp

    They should bring back those Jump Start games I used to play those all the time at home and surprisingly I learned quite a bit. They were enough to keep me intrigued but now idk

  • PreyMantis

    I’ll be honest, it looks boring. I can tell you that no kid will play this more than an hour. If you’re going to copy Pokémon, copy Pokémon Ranger.

  • Paul Rodriguez

    Eh no thanks.

  • FivePointedTheStar

    Hmm… Great idea, poor execution I’m afraid.

    • leeorv

      Yup, he completely missed the fact that the thing that makes you remember pokemon is their different abilities and attributes.

      If this game allowed you to gather animals like Pokemon allows you to gather Pokemon, and then use them for something (doesn’t even have to be fights), then it’d be much cooler.

      • FivePointedTheStar

        I was thinking the exact same thing as you. And then the PETA will get involved and all hell breaks loose. “You’re training animals to fight each other?! Blasphemy!”

        • leeorv

          Well, if Tokyo Jungle got away with it, why couldn’t other games?

          You could even steal that game’s gist – help the Animals fulfill their natural roles as predators/herbivores.

          • FivePointedTheStar

            Yeah. I was half joking. If the game is coming from an indie developer, I’m sure that the PETA don’t give a damn. Or probably don’t even know the game exists. Tokyo Jungle was made by a japanese developer (wasn’t it?) and therefore I think the PETA should keep their mouth shut because of that.

            If it’s a video game published by a recognized company from the industry and the developer is from the United States, I imagine the PETA won’t just sit and twiddle their thumbs.

        • darke

          But that’s a good thing. People Eating Tasty Animals is a laughing stock; inevitably anything they complain about gets more positive coverage than anything negative that PETA tries to create.

          PETA’s ultimately just trying to advertise itself anyway, so from their perspective any publicity really is good publicity.

  • Max

    I honestly not sure how this game will be more exciting than reading a book, but I for sure admire his noble goal.

    I love Pokemon, but he does have a point. IMHO.

  • With any luck, the game will actually be good. Hopefully they’ll remember that part of the whole “edutainment” schtick comes from the word Entertainment. So long as it’s a bit more Oregon Trail and a little less Mario Teaches Typing, I could see this doing well.

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