Video Game: WolfQuest

WolfQuest is an educational computer game created by the Minnesota Zoo and Eduweb, designed to raise awareness about wolves. It is the first game to have received a grant from the National Science Foundation.

In this game you play the life of a wild wolf in Yellowstone, from finding a mate and establishing your own territory, to raising your own pups. Along the way you are free to hunt (including on a cattle ranch outside the park if you're willing to risk it), interact with other wolves, and chase coyotes and bears. There is also a multiplayer option where up to five people can connect to create their own pack.

The first official release of the game was in December 2007; this was episode 1, Amethyst Mountain, which had just one mission: finding a mate; the following year saw the "deluxe" version, which introduced several improvements. Episode 2, Slough Creek, aka "Survival of the Pack", was released on January 1, 2010, and it focused on a series of missions where you and your mate establish a den site and raise pups. Its "deluxe" version added weather and time - the winning suggestion in a contest - and was released in fall 2011. This was intended to be the "final" version of the game, since everything was about as complete as it could be and there was not enough funding for a third episode - the game had already outlived expectations by several years.

Currently in development is WolfQuest 2.7 (the name was chosen because it doesn't include a 3rd episode, so "WolfQuest 3" isn't entirely accurate, but the changes make it distinct from 2.5). It was originally meant to just be a tablet port of the game with some bug fixes; however, with the massive number of improvements in the game, and new additions such as a new multiplayer map, it was decided that it would be released on PC and Mac as well. The release is currently planned for mid to late 2015.


  • Always over the Shoulder: The main camera setting.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Prior to the release of Slough Creek, your mate was pretty much useless. All it would do was follow you around, and run in circles.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Played straight originally, as a bear could kill you in about three hits, but now mostly averted, since thanks to a glitch, bears usually run away when you get close enough.
  • Beating A Dead Player: Bears will continue to attack your wolf once they have killed him.
  • Camera Lock-On:
    • You can lock on to prey, coyotes, and bears.
    • A full-screen lock-on occurs when your pups are in danger from a specific predator - can be skipped by the player.
  • Camera Screw: Can happen sometimes. Especially with the Head Cam, which isn't "officially" part of the game since it was so glitchy, but which they decided to leave for those who don't mind the glitchiness.
  • Character Customization: You design your wolf by picking from five pelt colors and moving the sliders to adjust the hue, and you also choose how to balance your wolf's strength, stamina, and speed.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: To portray the way a wolf can scent things, we have "Scent View": the screen is grayscale (or not, with older or integrated graphics cards) with a different color for each type of scent: Purple/pink for elk (with a more reddish tint for the bull elk), green for coyotes, yellow for wolf territory markers, blue for bears, and orange for hares.
  • Drop-In-Drop-Out Multiplayer: As long as the player who started the pack doesn't leave.
  • Escort Mission: The final one - taking your pups to the rendezvous point.
  • Experience Points: Earned by killing things, interacting with enemy wolves, and marking territory. Earns you things such as a bonus den choice, one of your pups being pure white, the ability to name your pups, or making it easier to mark territory.
  • Fast-Forward Mechanic: You have the option to make your wolf sleep until a different time of day.
  • Free Rotating Camera: You have the option of rotating the camera if you wish.
  • Freeware Game: The pre-2.7 version of the game, which will still be available after 2.7's release, is free (but the multiplayer will be updated so that the only chat options are phrased-chat and no-chat when the new version is released, so that the old version's multiplayer will no longer need to be moderated.)
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The early versions of Amethyst Mountain, before Amethyst Mountain Deluxe was released, had some of these:
    • The infamous "Circles" glitch in Multiplayer happened frequently: all players' wolves would suddenly stop moving properly - they would either walk slowly in a perfectly straight line (unable to turn), or run in circles. The only way to fix this was leaving the Multiplayer game.
    • One patch caused wolves to get stuck in the elk-biting position, standing on their hindlegs and losing their stamina, making it hard to move and impossible to eat or do anything else.
    • Another patch mixed up the pelt colors and names of the wolves in various save files if there was more than one on the same computer.
  • Howling to the Night and Wolves Always Howl at the Moon: Originally inverted - before Slough Creek Deluxe came out and nearly the entire game was just "daytime", players could make their wolf howl at any time, except the nighttime cattle ranch mission. Now that we have different times, players can howl at whatever time of day they want, including night.
  • HUD: Contains your wolf's four meters (Life Meter, Stamina Meter, Pack Affinity Meter, and Territory Security Meter), your mate and pups' Life Meters, how much food you are carrying for your pups, and a compass that also shows where nearby wolf territories and elk hunting grounds are.
  • Idle Animation: Your wolf will eventually sit down and... lick. Your wolf's mate always remains standing, but will occasionally wag its tail. Pups may bow down in the "let's play" posture, among other things.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: When your wolf sleeps, you can plan what time to wake up in. This is really just an aesthetic thing, not affecting gameplay.
  • Invisible Wall: The edges of the map are bounded by these.
  • Microtransactions: Due to 2.7 being made without grant money, they're relying on money from the game's sales and will also include microtransactions for customization options such as new pelt colors.
  • Mighty Roar: Bears.
  • Mook Bouncer: Enter the southern territory when trying to bring your pups to the summer rendezvous point, and one of their pack's wolves will run up to you and you'll be teleported outside their territory, usually a considerable distance toward the direction opposite the one you're trying to go.
  • The Nose Knows: Scent View.
  • Power Up Motif: There is a little chime in Multiplayer when players successfully complete a Pack Rally to get a temporary strength bonus.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: While you can choose to be male or female, the only thing that this affects in-game is your wolf's size (males are larger than females) and which gender dispersal you need to find to be your mate. The gameplay itself is completely the same whether you choose male or female.
  • Respawn Point: A short distance away from where you died.
  • Save Point: Any time except when a stranger wolf is nearby (this is due to the fact that many glitches were caused by saving in or near a social arena).
  • Shown Their Work: The game realistically portrays a wolf's life. The game areas are based directly off real areas in Yellowstone - right down to small ponds and a dead lightning-struck tree. The packs - and pelt colors of wolves in those packs - are based on real-life Yellowstone packs that existed at the time (Druid Peak, Slough Creek, and Specimen Ridge.)
  • Spiritual Successor: WolfQuest is one of these. It's essentially the old Abandonware DOS game Wolf modernized.
  • Skybox: Has different ones for Amethyst Mountain, Slough Creek (winter), Slough Creek (spring), and the cattle ranch. Aside from the cattle ranch, they each have four different skyboxes for the four times of day.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The golden eagle. No matter how many times you chase it away, it will come back.
  • Variable Mix: There's several different music tracks for just exploring and gameplay in general, but there are specific ones for hunting, interactions with stranger wolves, coming across coyotes, and being near angry bears.
  • Video Game Geography: Type 1, of the flat and rectangular variety. With Invisible Walls.
  • Wild Wilderness: Justified, seeing as it's in Yellowstone.

Alternative Title(s):

Wolf Quest