Venture Arctic

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Venture Arctic
Venture Arctic.jpg
Developer(s) Pocketwatch Games
Publisher(s) Pocketwatch Games, Brighter Minds Media, LLC
Designer(s) Andy Schatz
Series World Ventures
Engine Torque Game Engine
Platform(s) Windows, Mac OS X
Release date(s)
  • NA May 2007
Genre(s) Simulation
Mode(s) Single Player
Distribution Download
CD-ROM (Retail)

Venture Arctic is the second ecosystem simulation game to come from Pocketwatch Games. Following its predecessor Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa, this Arctic sequel combines educational value and entertainment. The game allows players to build and manage ecosystems of Arctic animals by interacting with the environment using "tools of nature", such as the sun, snow, wind, and sickness.

There are five different environments in the game, from an oil-rig off the coast of Svalbard, Norway, to a new pipeline disturbing the Caribou herds in the Alaskan level. While the game maintains impartiality on environmental issues, players are left to discover for themselves the impact of global warming and deforestation throughout the seasons in their sim-ecosystems and the 22 animal species which comprise them.

The visual art was inspired by traditional Inuit sculpture. The music is a reinterpretation of Vivaldi's Four Seasons Concerto using Inuit-inspired instruments and instruments brought to the region by explorers. Venture Arctic was designed, produced, and programmed by Andy Schatz, founder of Pocketwatch Games and host of the 2007 and 2008 Independent Games Festival Awards ceremonies.

Venture Arctic Animals[edit]

Arctic Cod - Arctic cod are found in massive schools throughout the arctic every year. Many animals dine on these small fish, so they survive based upon their large numbers.

Arctic Fox - The Arctic Fox hunts for small rodents and birds in the summer. In the winter months when food is scarce the Arctic Fox becomes a scavenger, often following Polar Bears or Wolves to feast on the remains of their prey.

Arctic Hare - The Arctic Hare is particularly suited to escaping predation on the icy tundra. They are very fast, traveling at speeds up to forty miles per hour. Their blue-grey pelt turns pure white in the winter to help camouflage them from predators.

Arctic Wolf - Arctic Wolves reside in territory further north than any permanent human settlement and thus they are unafraid of human scent. This lack of fear has provided scientists with opportunities to study Arctic Wolf packs up close and in great detail.

Bowhead Whale - Bowhead Whales travel the Arctic seas in pods grazing on plankton. Extremely large and powerful animals that can weigh over ten tons, Bowhead Whales will create breathing holes by breaking through up to four feet of ice.

Caribou - Caribou eat grass and shrubs in the summer. In the winter, they use their shovel shaped hooves to dig through the snow searching for lichen. Both male and female Caribou have antlers, allowing for the females to compete with males for food and dominance.

Greenland Shark - Greenland Sharks prey on fish and marine mammals and are particularly attracted to the smell of rotten meat. Their flesh is poisonous to humans and dogs when raw but is traditionally used as food for sled dogs when dried.

Harp Seal - Harp Seals spend most of their life in the water and can hold their breath for fifteen minutes. Newborn pups weigh twenty pounds at birth but gain over fifty pounds in the first week of their life from their mother’s nutrient-rich milk.

Muskox - Muskoxen have large horns and thick, hard skulls. When threatened by bears or wolves a herd of Muskoxen will gather in a circle with their young in the middle. They will then take turns charging their attacker.

Narwhal - The Narwhal has only two teeth. One stays small while one (usually the left tooth) grows up to nine feet long through the Narwhal’s upper lip. In most cases, only male Narwhals grow the giant tusk.

Orca - Orcas travel in groups composed of ten to fifty individuals. These pods are often made up of two to three generations of the same family. Adolescent Orcas help care for the young in the pod by training them to hunt fish and seals.

Polar Bear - Under their thick white coats, Polar Bears have black skin which they use to absorb the sun’s rays. Their paws are large and webbed, giving them traction on the ice and making them excellent swimmers.

Puffin - One of the only three birds in the game, it only eats cod, cod, and more cod! (We got ourselves a flying fat bird here!)

Snowy Owl One of the only three birds in the game, it eats hares, lemmings, and might scavenge a carcass.

Wolverine - Wolverines look like bears but are actually related to weasels. They are solitary creatures who may roam up to fifteen miles in one day looking for food. Although they will eat vegetation, Wolverines prefer meat and are determined hunters.

Common Raven - One of the only three birds in the game, a Common Raven also leads you through the tutorial.

Awards and reviews[edit]

  • Sim Game of the Year[1]
  • 28th Best Indie Game of All Time [2]
  • GamersInfo.net Review of Venture Arctic [3]

External links[edit]