Faunasphere PAX 2009 Preview

9/5/2009 at 6:27 PM

Game Name: Faunasphere
Co-Op: Yes
Co-Op Type/Multiplayer Type:
 MMO style online interaction
Publisher/Developer:
Big Fish Games
Release Date: Available

Strange cute creatures need caring for, too, you know. Faunasphere knows this, and encourages you to take on the task of breeding, cross-breeding, and caring for different species of creatures online. This purely flash game can be played in any web browser for free, with a few benefits for subscribed members.

First and foremost Faunasphere reminded me of a more interactive version of Neopets; You find items throughout various Faunaspheres to add to your Fauna’s home to make them happy. You’ll interact with other players to buy items from one another, as well as a lot of solo exploring. You can go to public areas to show off your various creature creations (which, I’ll explain in a moment) or just chit-chat about whatever you feel like talking about. It’s a very inclusive community, but probably appeals more to the younger age groups.

In Faunasphere one of the most interesting aspects is the breeding system. As you make your Fauna level up, they lay an egg - in order to hatch this egg, you have a different Fauna incubate the egg. The resulting baby animal will take traits from both the egg layer, and the incubator. Depending on what genes are dominant or recessive, you have a different outcome possible every time - including random mutations.

I saw a variety of species on the screen, including species of different colors. you attain the different colors either randomly at birth, or by feeding your Fauna something called “gene food.” The possibilities were impressive, and certainly entertaining.

Aside from the Breeding, you’re given goals to complete to play the game. There were even some enemies that can be approached using co-op, but those battles are entirely optional for the players that just want to inbreed their Fauna.