Publisher: Missouri Conservation Department, USA
Target Group: 10 +
Price: 7 Euro
Type of game: Infotainment / Strategy
Habitactics is four conservation games in one. While three short games with a clear infotainment character test the player´s knowledge about (native) plants and animals, the fourth game, Urban Oasis, is a biodiversity strategy game. The player can manage areas to create habitats for wildlife. She must provide water, food and cover that will attract wildlife and an environment that people will enjoy. Furthermore she has to keep the budget in mind.
Elements of the game
In the game The web of life, the player has to match animals with its food sources in a 3D-surrounding. In What do they eat?, the player has to identify the role an animal or plant plays in the food chain (producer, herbivore, carnivore, omnivore or decomposer). In Where do they live?, the player has to guess the match of habitats and animals. All three games are pretty simple in graphics and play. For any animal or plant, further information is provided.
The aim of the main game Urban Oasis is to settle wildlife in several habitats. The player has a (realistic) budget and can choose between different kinds of flowers, grasses, trees or other things like tarns or park benches. She also can remove things like rubbish or dead trees. She can choose between different missions that differ concerning the kind of park, the amount of species to be resettled and the budget. Each mission lasts about 10 seasons; after each season the player gets an analysis of the results of her decisions in terms of sighted wildlife and the mood of the population. (If the mood is bad, the player could buy a bench or make photos of animals for the local newspaper.) If the player was able to resettle the predetermined amount of animals after the last season, she won the game and can start the next mission. Also in this game the player has access to detailed information about plants and animals and can observe the changing of nature in each season of the year.
How biodiversity is presented
Biodiversity is what this game is all about. The three simple games communicate knowledge about native animals and plants while Urban Oasis teaches the player how to arise the biodiversity in her personal surroundings like in the municipal park or the backyard.
Best practice because:
- this game focuses on native animals and plants, not rainforests etc.
- preparation of the biodiversity issue as a strategy game
Nevertheless this game is amendable in many fields (e.g. complexity, graphic, fun).