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Wolf (DOS)

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Released
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74
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Retron (168)
Written on  :  Dec 12, 2005
Rating  :  4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars

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Summary

A superb wolf simulator

The Good

Superb attention to detail - from the musical score, to the information about the life of wolves to the smooth animation of the predators, it's evident a lot of time and care was spent on the game.
Informative - there are plentiful nuggets of information provided during the course of a game, meaning you'll learn whilst playing.
Variety - hunt, eat, sleep. The life of a wolf doesn't sound that varied, yet the game has a great variety of scenarios to play, from finding lost cubs to just staying alive.

The Bad

The game needs 600K of base RAM to play with both sound and music, which can be fiddly for people not used to setting up a DOS configuration.
Some parts of the game seem superfluous, such as scent-marking. Yes, real wolves do it but it doesn't seem to be of any consequence in Wolf.
The CD-ROM version has wonderful audio tracks but the game will only play MIDI versions of them.

The Bottom Line

To this day Wolf remains the only wolf simulator out there. Playing the part of a wolf in a variety of settings, your basic goal is survival. By using your senses and pack members you're able to stalk and hunt prey, as well as ascending the pack hierarchy if you're not already the Alpha. Arguably the hardest part of the game is to successfully raise pups, something which is a real achievement if you manage it. The variety of scenarios ensures the game has a long life and there's a free-form mode which allows you to do as you please.

The real value of Wolf is in its educational features. There's a section with all sorts of hyperlinked information about wolves, along with multimedia such as clips of wolves snarling and animations of tail and body posture. It brings the world of the wolf alive, far more so than a textbook.

It was truly groundbreaking in 1994 and as a result of playing Wolf I'm now involved with the real thing at a wolf centre in England. Indeed, we often get asked if there are any decent games involving wolves and the only one I recommend is Wolf. My copy now resides on a PC in the visitor centre and it's proved popular with children and adults alike - hopefully a glowing compliment of the way the game has stood the test of time!