Whether you’re a fan of 3-in-a-row games or love animals, or a bit of both, Discovering Nature is a fun and educational puzzler that offers many hours of clicking fun.
You’re asked to help Professor Pinckleport (what a name, huh?) to rescue animals from many different locations on the globe, beginning with the Amazon rainforest, then the Grand Canyon, followed by Alaska, and then to other troubled spots in Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Arctic, and more. In order to aid the professor in her mission you must collect DNA samples from dozens of different animals.
But how you do this will vary as the game progresses. At the start of the game, it’s a fairly straightforward process, where you must link three or more of the same animals on a board. You can do this vertically, horizontally or even diagonally as you attempt to make the longest chain possible, until you reach your goal per animal, per level. For example, you might click and hold on a jaguar or capybara and drag the mouse to all adjoining animals of the same kind. This removes the animals, making room for new ones to drop down on the screen.
Power-ups and obstacles will also be presented, which spices things up. An example of the latter might be a swinging monkey who drops bananas over an animal – obstructing your view of it and preventing you from using it in a match – but you can take advantage of the pail of water (if you can first guide it to the bottom of the screen) and use it to wash away the bananas. Other obstacles include hunters, spiders and poison grasshoppers.
Sounds pretty basic, yes? Well, shortly thereafter, you will receive new instructions on how to make your matches. You will be asked to create food chains, starting with the top and ending with the bottom. An example from the Amazon is anaconda to macaw to fruits, or jaguar to tapir to leaves. This will remove the animals from the board, which you must repeat until you meet your goal.
Other game rules you’ll notice on your journey includes matching by pairs: one male and one female of the same animal. You’ll also be asked to find an infected animal (by clicking on it) when your cursor changes to a golden flame.
Mini-games appear from time to time, which includes shooting spiders on top of the screen before they hit the ground, a bouncing ball challenge and a black or polar bear feeding game.
Other “extras” in this game include the ability to read more about each animal (adding to its educational merits) and awards won for accomplishing various combos and finishing stages.
While the graphics aren’t anything to write home about, and there’s only one game mode, Discovering Nature proves to be fun for kids and kids at heart. With 60 animals and 10 different stages, Ocean Media’s take on the popular 3-in-a-row genre is a clever one, and should offer many hours of game-play.