Holiday Gift Guide: Pet Lovers

Seasons greetings, friends, and welcome to another PopCap Holiday Gift Guide! This time, we take on a subject very near and dear to my heart: pets. Little darling creatures who make you go, “Aww!”

For example, have you ever tickled a chuzzle? Click on the same chuzzle a few times in a row to see its adorability quotient increase exponentially!

Chuzzle for PC/Mac

Chuzzles are cute, fuzzy little guys with wide eyes who squeak, shed their fur and sneeze when tickled! They blink innocently at you as you work to reunite them with their families and rescue them from captivity. Chuzzles come from another dimension and are longing to return home, and every time you make a match, you set another little group free! In their home dimension, they don’t need their goggles any longer — those are just protection for their eyes while in this harsh grid-like prison environment.

Sidenote: none of the above is “true.” (Well, except the first line about chuzzles being cute and fuzzy.) This is just the story I tell myself about Chuzzle. The true story of Chuzzle remains shrouded in mystery and will probably be the subject of a future episode of Brad Meltzer’s Decoded. But don’t quote me on that either.

Insaniquarium for PC

Insaniquarium appeals to the caretaker in all of us. You start out with two tiny fishies, and it’s your job to feed them, protect them, and bring them new friends to stave off fishy loneliness.

Look at how happy they are! They don't even know that alien wants to eat them. It's up to you to preserve their happy fishy world.

When aliens attack (again with the dimensional portals! Someone needs to close those off to protect all the little creatures!), you must fiercely defend your fishies and drive the predators in the opposite direction until you have vanquished them. Along the way, you earn new pets who will help you out, like Itchy the Swordfish, who joins in your attack against intruders, and Stinky the Snail, whom you may recognize from Plants vs. Zombies! He’s doing his usual coin-collecting duties. I love a mollusk with a hobby.

Insaniquarium has always been a personal favorite of mine, because I love keeping little creatures safe. It’s also probably the most obsessed-over game we’ve ever made; there’s a thriving fan community site for it to this day!  Check it out!

Feeding Frenzy 2 for PC & Xbox or Feeding Frenzy for PC/Mac & Xbox

And more fishes for your holiday wishes! If wishes were fishes, as the saying goes, we’d all be swimming pretty! Wait, that’s not how that… never mind.

You’ve never seen prettier fishes than in the world of Feeding Frenzy 2! They’re vibrant and colorful, and they move just like fish — gracefully, languidly, and with no seeming purpose or direction until they notice food!

That's right -- this time, the food is you.

You start out as a little fish who must try to avoid the bigger fish as you eat your way up the food chain. It’s a tense ride at times, zipping through the narrow gaps between two big scaries, trying to evade their notice as you slurp up the guppies. As you grow and become the dominant species in the ocean, you will feel proud, powerful, and most of all, glad you were able to keep your little friend safe and well-fed in this dog-eat-dog, er, fish-eat-fish world.

Banana Bugs for PC

From Marcel to Ampersand to Virgil, everyone loves monkeys! Indulge your monkey love with this fun little PC puzzler.

In addition to loving monkeys, I have it on good authority that everyone hates bugs. Monkeys fighting bugs? That's just gold.

In Banana Bugs, the mean nasty bugs have stolen all of our little friends’ bananas! Plus, they’re continuing to buzz around and be nuisances, and as anyone who’s ever suffered a fruit fly infestation will agree, these guys have just got to go! Weave your ropes between sections of vines to trap the nasties and send them to their doom. As you progress, your heroic efforts inspire other monkeys to come to your aid, throwing coconuts and shooting blow darts to take out some of the bugs for you.

There are so many reasons to love these games, but for me, it all comes down to the little creatures you’re protecting, feeding and rescuing.  If you’ve got a doting pet-lover in your life, these might be the perfect gifts!

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