In the far-off time of 2003, Wizards of the Coast published an expansion to the rules of its popular Advanced Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game known as Savage Species. It’s purpose was to allow players to choose one of the many monsters the game featured as a playable race and still allow them to play with players sticking with one of the Player’s Handbook pre-approved playable races, who were either human or basically humans, just with pointy ears or a shorter build than normal.
The appeal to furries is obvious. The Monster Manual contained various anthropomorphic animal races, including minotaurs, gnolls, kobolds and many others that furries would almost rather certainly play than just vanilla humans and the human adjacent. In addition, tucked into the third appendix of Savage Species was added a new “creature template”, which could be added to existing creatures, specifically animals. That template was known as “anthropomorphic animal.”
Unfortunately, this was the far off time of 2003, and the reputation of the furry fandom among other geek cultures was not good. Wizards of the Coast didn’t mind if furries wanted to buy their expensive add-on books, but they also wanted to make sure to signal to all the other non-furry geeks this wasn’t a furry book and also they didn’t really like furries either. They did this with the selection of the example animal that the template was applied to: a donkey, which we’ve covered the symbolism of elsewhere.
The style is heavily influenced by noir detective stories, with a dash of science-fiction. Set in a dystopian Vancouver, British Columbia, all the characters are anthropomorphic mammals. You play as Howard Lotor, a raccoon private investigator, trying to find evidence of an affair. To say things do not go as planned would be a vast understatement.
The game is surprisingly short, you can finish it in around four to five hours. After playing it, it felt like it had so much potential, but didn't deliver as much as it could have.
This list of games is definitely not going to be comprehensive. The Roblox and VR scenes are largely a mystery to me, although I know there's been an ongoing concern about avatars being ripped in VRChat. I won't be covering furry mods for existing games. Some things have been left out because there are simply too many to choose from, like Fortnite skins and a lot of visual novels. Not to mention all the games with animal characters in the background, like I Am Dead and Shovel Knight.
So after some renewed delving into the topic, I've put together a selection of games with animal characters that have come out in the past couple of years, as well as possible upcoming releases. Leave a comment if you have any recommendations - or warnings!
Toonstruck is a 1996 third-person point-and-click adventure game, still available on modern PCs! It's a celebration of cartoon humor, and you can tell a lot of love and effort went into making it. Toony animal side-characters are everywhere.
Originally conceived of in 1993 as a children's game, a decision was made to gear it towards adults instead. Officially it's rated 'T' (Teens) for "Comic mischief, Mild animated violence" - but there is some very adult humor you won't see coming. Virgin Interactive, who made the game, spent over $8 million on it. Some of this was wasted due to changing the engine during development. Otherwise they were able to pay well for its programming, animation and dialog, with (mostly) little executive interference.
The main character of Toonstruck is a burnt-out artist named Drew Blanc, played by Christopher Lloyd, who's been stuck animating The Fluffy Fluffy Bun Bun Show for ten years. When his boss (played by Ben Stein) demands even more rabbits, so he can keep milking the franchise as Fluffy & Friends, Drew despairs - only to find himself accidentally sucked into a cartoon world. His only hope of escape relies on completing a quest to help the locals.
Secret Names - Furry Edition is a Indiegogo-funded card game in which two teams try to pick words from hints to their meanings — many related to furry culture. Gameplay is similar to that of Vlaada Chvátil's Codenames, but with a distinctive furry style and artwork.
Editor's Note: The article contains promotion of content created by the article's author.
The game has single player & couch co-op modes; Steam's version also includes co-op remote play.
Its story is fairly simple. Two foxy parents (Rikki & Vikki) get an unexpected visit from the Misery Dragon (demon lord of inconvenience), who steals their kids, forcing them to go through 100 different levels down to the center of the earth to rescue them. What ensues from then onward is an arcade-style gameplay that looks similar to Bubble Bobble (1986), but plays more like Mario vs. Donkey Kong (2004). In some instances, the puzzle-solving is combined with quick action, with a challenging difficulty level very much in line with Cuphead (2017) and older-style arcade games.
Reporting from Verve indicates that Neopets will be releasing an animated series in 2021. Neopets is known for its Flash based entertainment that held its own with other such animal care based franchises of the 1990s such as Pokemon, Digimon, or Tamagochi.
The owning company JumpStart, who bought it from Viacom in 2014, hopes to use this as a way to refresh interest in the pet based franchise at a time where they are shifting their Flash based interface before most browsers discontinue support for Flash applications by the end of this year.
Released in November 2019, Cassel Games’ Ratropolis sets players in the role of the leader of a post-apocalyptic rat society, attempting to rebuild their once-great civilization after scientific experiments caused its collapse. But in order to grow, the new settlement must defend itself - first from mutated rats that caused the apocalypse, then as the settlement grows, from predators. The goal is to survive 30 waves of enemies using cards that provide an array of tactics, and with the leader’s special ability.
Arkham Horror card game developer Fantasy Flight Games has turned an April Fools suggestion into reality with new scenario Barkham Horror: The Meddling of Meowlathotep. [tip: Shazardek]
New investigators Kate Winthpup, Bark Harrigan, Jacqueline Canine, 'Skidds' O'Drool and Duke have "picked up the scent of something big" and "must stop Meowlathotep, the Prowling Chaos, Meowsenger of the Outer Feline Gods, who is terrorizing the city of Barkham".
The dog-vs-cat-themed product, first teased on April 1 (of course) as The Dogwitch Legacy was encouraged by support in the game's forums, especially after cats became allies in The Dream-Eaters expansion pack. Like all expansions, the core Arkham Horror set is required to play.
As previously covered here on Flayrah, a furry known by his fursona name of Bucktown Tiger had made The Tournament of Champions on Jeopardy. He participated in the Thursday night quarterfinals game against some very heavy hitters. But little could he have known that his greatest enemy would not be the contestants before him that night, but a Final Jeopardy question that would be presented before the contestants on the following game Friday night.
A question whose answer was: “Who is Shere Khan?”
So how could this have happened where a furry fan, whose favorite animal species is the tiger, end up being torn up by the most infamous of all anthropomorphic tigers? Let’s break it down.
The tiger claws come out this Thursday on Jeopardy as Bucktown returns to face his fellow winning players in this year’s Jeopardy Tournament of Champions. When we last covered the seven day winning streak, it was the winningest of the season. In the year and a half since that time, something called James Holzhouer happened, bringing in a brand new high risk strategy that literally turned the game on its head and winning 32 games before being stopped by one Emma Boettcher. Both of them will also be in this tournament.
The streak-stopping Emma will be facing off against the tiger from Arkansas on Thursday November 7th. However, the third contestant is also no push over, with Eric Backes having a 4 day win total of over $100,000 in his belt as well. JeopardyFan has this Thursday contest as the most hotly contested of the week; with Josh, Emma, and Eric all set with a near equal chance of winning. The site commentator Andy has called it a “Group of Death”, which basically means all three are were skilled enough to go deep into the tournament, but are facing off against one another quite early thus causing the early loss of one of them.
After reading about games that were shown at PAX East, I decided to put together a list of games with animal content that came out in 2018 and early 2019, plus upcoming ones. It's not a complete list and I don't know how good the games are; these are the ones that caught my eye. As for upcoming releases, it's always a bit of a gamble. So let's get started!
First off, if you want a wider selection, there's a curated Steam list for the Anthro/Furry tag, started by Foxysen. It tries to organize the games into different categories - always an uphill battle in terms of subjectivity. If you're in the mood to watch games instead of playing them, there are things like Furry Watch and Furries on Twitch.
Like the Pokémon games, the Super Smash Bros. series has had many releases, adding a few bells and whistles as well as a handful of new characters every console generation or so. Also like the Pokémon games, the new releases have a solid enough base that they're still almost always worth checking out. And also also like the Pokémon games, the Super Smash Bros. series has Pokémon in it.