To be honest I don't know how to feel about it, I guess I'm sad. Overall, it was a really great game. It made me cry for the first time in a long time. I think it hurt even more to know beforehand than it would have if I hadn't read the comments section before playing. I would absolutely hand over my wallet if there was a sequel (at least if it had Kyle in it). If I ever want to feel something again I'll come back and do another play through. I feel like someone ripped my heart out of my chest and then stomped all over it with boots made of knives.
A downloadable game for Windows and macOS
Animal Lover is a dating sim/visual novel where you will play a young woman trying to cure five beefy, attractive men from being turned into animals forever! Woah! It's funny, it's sad, it's weird! It's got cute boys! What else does it have going on?
- Characters with >30 visible emotions!
- >150,000 words!
- Original soundtrack including both electronic and acoustic tracks!
- No furries! Don't let the title fool you!
- Simulates the act of dating!
Romance! Drama! Mystery! Animal Lover!
In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $9.99 USD. You will get access to the following files:
- SupJul 29, 2020
Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.
ive played this game twice now, once with sweet dear edmund, and then i went back for kyle, imagine my heartbreak there. this is a wonderful game, and i thank you so much for putting your time and energy into this! maybe write me a fanfic about kyle sometime? aha, this was a really awesome game y'all, and i really thank you for giving me a little serotonin while i played!!
It means the world to me that you liked it.
There's hope still for a continuation of Animal Lover. It'd be a weird one. And it wouldn't happen for a while. But the dream's not dead.
Thank you so much for playing my game, I'm glad you were into it.
This is a great game. I really enjoyed it. Is there a sequel to this? Like a next chapter? If so please let me know. I also would like to recommend if there could be a trans girl option or such. Would be very interesting.
I'm very glad you liked it!
Unfortunately no. I've had a sequel in mind for a long time (cryptically titled Animal Lover: The Damascus Seal), it'd be smaller than Animal Lover with a more unique set of events, but there's no way I can get the original artist back on it and there wasn't enough return for Animal Lover to really make it financially worth it.
C'est la vie.
Regardless, it means the world that you enjoyed it! Thank you so much for playing!
mock me with "Thanks for Playing" as you RIP my boy away from me
good game tho ;-;
'Thanks For Playing' is how every good game should end.
So I decided to end my game with it in the hopes that people will mistake it for a good game.
(I'm glad you liked it. :) )
This was such a fun experience! I really enjoyed this game. Y'all destroyed me over a fictional guy though (you KNOW who I'm talking about T-T)
Oh we definitely know who you're talking about.
It's tough to NOT cry over Dustin.
[kinda spoiler-y?] Well, I never thought I'd be sobbing over fictional characters at 1 am in my 30s, but here we are. Fuckin' Kyle, man.
The dialogue is what drives this game. It's snappy, humorous, but didn't shy away from tackling deeper beliefs that really fleshed out each character. Would love to see more like this with more fleshed-out artwork.
Story - 4/5 - The overall story is great, and the writer really takes time to develop each character that is introduced. I liked that the relationship develops naturally over the course of the game. I would've liked to have had more decisions to make throughout, as it is a pretty long game for the amount of decisions available.
Visuals - 3/5 - Each character is clearly delineated from another, from the clothes they wear down to the name font color. I would've liked a few more emotion states for each character or cutscenes. There would be times when what was said in the text wasn't reflected in the character's face, and some situations I felt deserved more love from the artist.
Sound - 2.5/5 - It's ok. Nice that both sounds and music can be adjusted.
Mechanics - 3.5/5 - Great to have quick save and save states. Would be nice to be able to scroll back and forth, I didn't find that option if it was possible. It didn't feel like the player's decisions had much impact, but I didn't play through to see if Aadra had a redemption storyline.
Overall - 3.5/5 Difficulty - N/A
Completed - Playthrough (~5-6 hrs)
why do i have to be straight in this game
Unlike my other work, Nowhere Girl, Lucy (or however you decide to name her) is a defined character within Animal Lover with attributes and traits outside of the decisions of the player. Considering the extremely gendered nature of the narrative of Animal Lover, extending into America's history of gender relations, I did not feel as though these characters would have achieved the same narrative were the main character to be male, much less so had the same kind of incidental dialogue.
Granted, Nowhere Girl has a female protagonist, so in terms of great non-straight VNs with male love interests, I recommend Hustle Cat. The writing is cute, I'm a big fan of the art, it's a good time all around. 2064: Read Only Memories also has a plethora of gender and romance options and a pretty stellar writer at the helm. It's not a VN per se, but it's still a fun point and click.
why not make the main character gender neutral? or a simple choice to choose between two characters that are basically the same but with different pronouns
Normally I would, and I have, but the concept being that these characters are from different parts of (mostly) American history means that they come packaged with extremely gendered ideas. Take Frankie's freakout at the coffee shop, Miguel's unique perspective on his own bisexuality and the ways in which each separate boy interacts with Aadara.
Animal Lover is a uniquely gendered story. It's a concept we discussed when beginning the development, to make the character genderless, but Lucy had come into her own as a character during the outlining process and we decided to follow her story to the end. I think, as a result, the women playing it have managed to find something particularly relatable or intimate about it.
Just as Coming Out On Top would not be the same without being a story particularly about non-straight relationships, Animal Lover is distinctly about women's interaction with men and vice versa.
"No furries" and you lost me
Charlie Fitzgerald, a character in the game, is a FAIRLY hairy dude. Does that count?
"No furries!" You lost me (Joking by the way)
Hey! Shoo! Get back to Major\Minor! Your kind ain't welcome here, I said git!
(Yeah, me too :) )
ugh, at least mention a better one.worst thing i ever read.
Thought you were referring to Animal Lover. I was thinking "I dunno, I think it's okay..."
Actually I never played Major\Minor. I'm very curious, why's it so bad?
steam reviews covered it all really. it had some really good potential to cover some really uncomfortable situations, but the story doesn't go in depth. there was a point i was like "holy shit, this doesn't seem to have an easy solution for" but they tackle it in the easiest and laziest way.
there should really be some sort of content warning for Kyle's route, I feel. Spoiler warning, but: Especially since the event near the end where he commits suicide happens so suddenly with zero warning.
Wait what? That is jarring.
yeah it was completely out of the blue, i just hope the creator eventually puts up a content warning for it
I have heard and understand your concerns. However, I don't plan on it, for a number of reasons.
Spoiler warnings from here on out;
Firstly, the abstraction of the nature of suicide. By the time the nature of the deadly event is realized for what it is by the characters (that is to say, self-inflicted), it has been made clear that this may not have been as deadly or as permanent an event as real-world suicide truly is. In fact, to put a content warning for suicide alongside a game that makes abundantly clear that Kyle can "get better" would be to do disservice to its nature. Compare my Ludum Dare entry "Not Clowning Around" that has, what some may call similar subject matter, but I disagree. The "joke" in Not Clowning Around is that of an implied and genuinely permanent event, hence why I did place a content warning alongside Not Clowning Around, but not beside Animal Lover.
Secondly is the abstraction of the event. In stark contrast to, say, the suicide in Doki Doki Literature Club, the visuals do not immediately imply suicide. They do communicate a traumatic event, that is to say discovering the body of a beloved animal run over by a car, but this is not the same as placing my character's cloudy eyes on screen in order to shock or terrify. In fact, it was a point of discussion during development to make the visual unclear in terms of detail but deeply clear in terms of impact. A far-away visual of an animal's still body. These do not carry the connotation of suicide, and intentionally so. Granted, the subject does become suicide, which leads me to my next point:
Thirdly, it is not immediately clear that this tragic event was self-inflicted. It is only realized after a cascade of realizations surrounding Kyle's character that this could have only been self-inflicted, during the same conversation where the characters realize, due to the magical nature of the story, Kyle may manage to arise from the dead. The tragedy is, thus, not that Kyle is gone forever (as real world suicide exists) but that he was in such a deeply depressed state that he would act upon his suicidal tendencies. Realizing that someone is capable of suicide is a tragic, but wholly different circumstance than someone actually having committed suicide.
Fourth, as an extremely late-game event, in a story rife with references to and usage of sex, alcohol and violence, that even were the player unaware before that the story is mature in nature, they should be aware of the game's mature nature by this point. Either the children in the room have been shooed out or they're still playing when they absolutely shouldn't be.
Fifth, trigger warnings and content warnings have been shown through multiple studies, such as a study from Sanson, Strange and Garry (cited below) on the relative uselessness of trigger warnings, or a study by G. A. Boysen (also cited below) on how avoidance of triggers and trauma reminders may contribute to the persistence of PTSD. I just haven't been personally convinced that trigger warnings are particularly helpful.
But lastly, even if none of these things applied, which they all do, to add a trigger warning to a serious discussion of a character's mental health is something I find personally distasteful. This is a game intended for adults and while a discussion of tone is certainly feasible, (I feel as though it was a smooth transition from benign hardship to the existence of life and death in banal situations), some may not agree. Regardless of whether its execution was "good" or "bad", my intended audience consists of adults, and as an adult I would prefer if the storytellers giving me stories checked my ID and sent me on my way to the theater, rather than prefacing the story by telling me what events are going to occur in it on the off-chance that this story is too mature for me.
I understand your concerns, I do, I even empathize. But I feel it's a strange askance of a creator. God knows I'm not taking it personally, but I can certainly imagine others who could, or would, and I would have a hard time blaming them. I've marked Animal Lover as having sensitive content on Steam, Itch and Google Play.
If you would like to discuss further means by which to mark Animal Lover as being a game with mature content, I am naturally, even eagerly open to discussing it. However, trigger warnings and content warnings are not something I'm currently open to considering.
Regardless, I genuinely appreciate you guys reaching out with your concerns.
Boysen, G. A. (2017). Evidence-based answers to questions about trigger warnings for clinically-based distress: A review for teachers. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 3(2), 163–177. https://doi.org/10.1037/stl0000084
Sanson, M., Strange, D., & Garry, M. (2019). Trigger Warnings Are Trivially Helpful at Reducing Negative Affect, Intrusive Thoughts, and Avoidance. Clinical Psychological Science, 7(4), 778–793. https://doi.org/10.1177/2167702619827018
Thank you for the response, and I see what you're saying.
Loved the game! But.... I really, REALLY wish that there was a fast forward button, not jest skip to next choice even if you have not read some or any of it. I mean why have a option to adjust skip mode for "read text" to "all text" when you can not fast forward? I mean I understand the appeal of skip but I personally prefer fast forward. Because I can see the events happening on the screen and understand where I am at in the story better when it's time to make a choice. Also I wish there was 1 or 2 more CG's for each guy but that is a minor complaint. I was really sad to see no CG gallery. :( Other then that I really liked it. I liked how they look at who they are talking to and I love the truth or dare bit. XD Good job you guys. :3
edit: found out I can use the tab key to start fast forwarding. So I am happy now and feel like a idiot. ^_^'
Please excuse me, First of all i want to say this i did enjoy the game (until the point i play it) but i do not seen to be able to choose anything on this choice "Laugh because God is dead" or "Stammer because there is no God", if someone anyone have different beliefs that's perfectly fine but that choice came out of nowhere, makes no sense to what i read about (i have to re-read it a few times). This may be because english is not my first language, if is an expression please let me know, if this is a misunderstanding, if is some kind of denigration of belief, then please refund my money, i want nothing to do with a denigration game.
I believe it's possible that you've misunderstood. We have no intention of being denigrating to any system of belief, especially seeing as I personally carry a set of religious convictions myself.
That scene is an expression of the main character's frustration and meant to be nothing more. The main character has, in that moment, become so frustrated by an increasingly absurd series of events that "God must be dead", much like the old statement by Friedrich Nietzsche that "We have killed God."
If you would still like a refund for your game, we would be happy to provide you with one, but know that we are of no frame of mind to be harshly criticizing religion or any such deeply held creeds. We're sorry that you interpreted this to be as such and we appreciate your coming to us to voice your concerns.
If you'd like to contact us privately as well, you may do so at our email address 'firstname.lastname@example.org'.
I hope to hear from you soon and I'd like to clear this up as soon as possible!
I see, thank you very much for addressing this so quickly, i'm truly glad it was just a misunderstanding, i was enjoying the game very much and feel awful to left the story half way, but truly to me God is the most important thing in the world and the choices left me very confused, i'm glad it was just a misunderstanding, i never hear of those expressions before that was why it caught me off guard, thanks again for clearing the misunderstanding and thanks for the wonderful game and engaging story looking forward to finish it. A refund won't be necessary, my only problem with the game was the misunderstanding, truly thanks again :)