Animal games: 7 indie games that let you wreak havoc as an animal

Goats, apes, sharks, and worst of all, geese—indie games have been all over the animal kingdom. Here’s some of the best ones of the lot.

While we’ve had a number of animal-based characters in video games over the decades, depicting an animal realistically (or about as realistically as can be managed), has always been an uphill task. In this round-up, we’ve highlighted games that let you play as an actual animal, and not some anthropomorphic monstrosity.

Here’s the games you should play to make your inner beast run wild.

Shelter series

Shelter 2 animal indie game screenshot

Might and Delight’s Shelter series is perhaps the most dedicated one there is when it comes to capturing the experience of being an animal. In the first game, the studio let you play as a honey badger. In the second, you play as a lynx. There’s also a standalone game called Paws: A Shelter 2 Game, which lets you play as a lynx cub in a dangerous world. Might and Delight isn’t stopping there, though. They’re also making Shelter 3, which lets you play as an African elephant.

Have a look at the official website of Might and Delight here, where you can learn more about the Shelter games.

Goat Simulator

At some point, Coffee Stain Studios, the developers of the Sanctum games, decided they were going to make a ludicrous game about controlling a goat. And they just went and did it, too, the mad lads! Goat Simulator is far from realistic, and it mainly involves causing as much havoc and destruction as possible. But let’s be fair, if you were a goat, isn’t that what you would want to do? It’s got its heart in the right place.

Find out more about Goat Simulator at the official website here.

Spider series


The Spider games were made by a studio titled, paradoxically, Tiger Style. As the title of the series indicates, you play as a spider. Your job is spin webs, eat insects, and make your way through levels of some rather gothic environs. While you do all this, you also try to figure out what’s happening in the environment you’re in.

Check out the official websites for Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor and Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon.

Untitled Goose Game

Untitled Goose Game screenshot

Untitled Goose Game took a goose and turned it into a legend. To find out why it’s so great to play as this horrible, flightless bird, do check out our review of the game here. Since the game’s release, the goose has become a meme and a symbol of protest in the UK. A goose even took down Thatcher, in the game’s lore. Trust me, the goose is not to be messed with.

Check out the official website for Untitled Goose Game here.


Time for a dive! Depth lets you play as a shark and you can rip divers limb from limb in your underwater domain. The game even lets you play seven different seven species, from Great White to Hammerhead and more. You can also play as a human diver instead, and then you’ll have to try and survive in the depth of the ocean.

Check out the official website of Depth here.

Escape Goat series

Wait, goats again? You betcha. In Escape Goat, you play as a goat who must escape a prison after being accused of witchcraft. The game lead to a direct sequel in Escape Goat 2, which has you attempting to overcome an un-overcome-d stronghold. The games play as puzzle platformers, and your escape attempts are likely to get pretty dicey.

Check out the official websites for Escape Goat and Escape Goat 2.

Ape Out

Ape Out animal indie game

Ape Out is a super stylised, top-down game of ultraviolence that calls to mind Hotline Miami, but involves playing as an ape. It’s bloody, it’s jazzy, and most of all, it’s bananas.

Check out its official website here.

Also check out our round-up of the best games that came out in October 2019. And while you’re poking around, do have a look at the IND13 Awards.

This Article was written by: Rahul Shirke

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