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Wolf

aka: Wolf: The Simulation

Description official description

Wolf is an educational simulation game, in which the player takes control of a wolf. The game offers both a free-form simulation mode, and various scenarios where the player must complete a specific objective within the allotted time. The game simulates all the aspects of a wolf's life, including hunting, mating, and challenging the packmates. There are three different regions available, corresponding to three species of wolf: arctic, timber and Great Plains wolf.

Moving around is done by directing the wolf with the mouse cursor. Several movement speed are possible, with the fastest (running) depleting the wolf's stamina level. There are several senses available to the wolf which allow detecting nearby things, such as animals, water or humans. The senses include hearing, smelling, looking and following tracks. Using the senses show the rough direction, distance and nature of a given object of interest. The wolf also has a "sixth sense" which warns him about the presence of nearby humans.

Hunting (whether small game such as rabbits, or large beasts such as deer) is done by clicking on the prey animal to make the wolf pounce. Smaller animals are killed instantly if the wolf manages to grab them, while the larger ones need to be successfully worried to death, and the unlucky wolf can potentially get injured in the attempt. The chance of success is the greater, the stronger the wolf is and the more packmates are in the vicinity. After killing the animal, the wolf can eat to satisfy his hunger. A wolf's injuries heal automatically if he is well-fed.

Within his pack, the wolf can challenge other wolves in order to rise in the pack hierarchy. During the fight, the player's control is limited to changing the position of the wolf's tail, from raised (aggressive) to lowered (submissive, surrendering.)

After raising his wolf to the alpha status, the player can mate with an alpha of the opposite sex if conditions are favorable. After mating, the female becomes pregnant and eventually gives birth to cubs, which must be kept alive by bringing them food. Cubs can be named by the player, and become full-fledged pack members once they reach a year of age.

Humans are extremely dangerous and should be avoided. Many of them carry rifles which are guaranteed to kill in one or two shots. Sometimes, hunters in helicopters or planes (visible as shadows on the ground) also appear; the wolf must stay out of the shadow to avoid getting instantly shot to death.

Educational information about wolves is shown at certain points, and the game features an interactive encyclopedia with a variety of information about the wolves' biology and society.

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Screenshots

Promos

Credits (DOS version)

23 People (15 developers, 8 thanks) · View all

Developed by
  • Manley & Associates Inc
Project Manager
Executive Producer
Producer
Designers
Programmers
Art Director
Art & Animation
Music & Sound Effects
Additional Photography
Special Thanks to
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 78% (based on 14 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 12 ratings with 4 reviews)

An unique simulation game that gives insight in perhaps one of the most misunderstood creatures in the world today.

The Good
1. Excellent animation of the wolves and other creatures. 2. Music sounds as mysterious as the wolves themselves. The CD-ROM version has red-book audio. 3. Sound effects accurately captures the feeling of life in the wild. 4. Game also comes with info about real wolves. 5. Chasing after large prey with the whole pack is one of the highlights in the game.

The Bad
1. It can get a tad boring at times when you're not hungry and there's no present danger. 2. Mating is rather difficult to achieve. 3. There are no other predators in the game to compete with. More variety would be nice, like bears, cougars and foxes. 4. It's nearly impossible to escape from men once they have you in their sights, but if you're careful, this isn't much of an issue.

The Bottom Line
There have been other wolf simulations that have come out since then, but none of them have come close to Sanctuary Woods' realistic portrayal of the wolf. This is a must-have for all wolf fans.

DOS · by Freelance Wolf (2) · 2005

Wolfiest of the wolf games!

The Good
From just game-fan's point of view: What we have here is a kind of an unusual simulation. You don't see games like this too often. Animal simulation! What a concept!

And it's fairly well-done too. Rather nice graphics for the day, and very nice and cute music too. The game has a quite interesting, realistic, and nicely working atmosphere.

Playability had been worked fairly nicely, with a good job at making logical mouse and keyboard controls.

I also like the interactive wolf encyclopedia part. Interesting and fun and cute at times.

The Bad
When the wolves died. =(

And, of course, some facts related to the fact that this is a life simulator: Real life, simulated or not, can get boring at times. But that's generally why we're allowed to save game and try something else for a chance.

The Bottom Line
This is a wolf's life with all of its joys and griefs. Certainly no walk in the park compared to human lives.

Here we see the wolves run around, hunt, eat and drink, dodge traps and hunters, mate*, feed those cute little pups, howl, meet other wolves of the pack, fight for their rank in the wolf pack, travel, and, well, live. All done in a nice simulation / RPG way.

There's a mission mode with pretty clear details, and a free-play mode. The mission mode also has cute video clips when you win (which are longer on the CD-ROM version). And, it has an encyclopedia part too.

Graphics are nice, some based on photographs. Definitely something fun for wolf fans!

  • For some reason, this has to be mentioned in every review of this game. At least it seemed so back in the day when this game came out. Happy now? =) Never worry though, it doesn't get too detailed in this respect.

DOS · by WWWWolf (444) · 2005

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!

DOS · by Retron (222) · 2005

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

Wolf Haven

The game was created in cooperation with Wolf Haven International, a non-profit organization devoted to protecting wild wolves. Some of the wolves in the game are based on actual wolves living in the Wolf Haven reserve at the time. At the end of the credits sequence, a message is shown:

WOLF HAVEN INTERNATIONAL To Adopt a Wolf Call: 1-800-GIV-WOLF

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Retron.

Additional contributors: Apogee IV, Havoc Crow (formerly JudgeDeadd), formercontrib.

Game added January 15th, 2000. Last modified August 15th, 2023.