Lion Software

Beleive it or not, there is actually software out there that deals with lions on a somewhat serious level. Like the other listings on this page, it is probably not complete. If you run across anything not listed here, please drop me an E-mail note at the address at the bottom of this page. New feature: I have now added date tags to the end of each review to indicate when the individual entry was last updated, starting with April 1999.

Updated 10-19-2004 Email address updated..

Cats from Wild to Mild, CD-rom for PC
This is a CD of information on both wild and domestic cats. It's coverage of wild cats is quite in-depth, with large sections being devoted to the largest cats: Cheetahs, Cougars, Jaguars, Leopards, Lions and Tigers. There is also a section that briefly looks at the main species of smaller wild cats. In general, the quality of the images and information is superb. The section on domestic cats includes information on many popular breeds, along with guidelines for selecting one as a pet. Many, many photos and video clips. Animal sounds are also featured in many areas. Along with all this, there are 5 years worth of cat calendars, cat poetry, such as 'Possum's book of Practical Cats' (Read by the CD producer!), screen savers, online help, and some nice pictures of the producer's family! Although there are a few spots where the flow of the discs stumbles a bit, the overall execution of such an ambitious project is outstanding! Highly recommended! NOTE: This CD is not a by-product of a museum show now travelling the country which has a similar name. This CD is available from Whalesoft, 20 Short Drive, Etters, PA 17819. Email: You might be able to find this at the Marketpro Computer Show if it visits your area. (4-99)
Eco East Africa, Viridis software, CD-rom for PC
This unusual game puts you in charge of a fictitious East African game park called Ethemba. You have a very difficult challenge when you take over: Poachers have overrun the park, the tourists and scientists have left, and the local natives are restless. You need to drive the poachers out, attract new tourists and scientists, keep the local natives happy, and promote the park. Although not dealing directly with lions, it does deal directly with it's ecosystems. The game also has excellent graphics, and a 'tourist' mode that lets you wander the park without the managerial worries. And, if you don't do your job right, there is a big male lion that puts you out of your misery! Although the game has a few functional shortcomings, it is quite engrossing. This game is now long out of print. (4-99)
LION, Sanctuary woods, CD-rom for PC or Mac
This outstanding piece of software lets you 'control' twenty different lions. Each animal has various strengths and weaknesses, and you must learn how to use them for the animal to survive. You can either hone your 'lion' skills with twenty problem-based scenarios, or play one or more lions in an open-ended survival simulation. This program also includes extensive background information about lions, including stills and video sequences. (some of the best I've ever seen!) The quality of the simulations is very high, and you must really 'think like a lion' to succeed. Note that this is now an old piece of software, and needs a machine with DOS capabilities to work (Windows 95 or older. May work with Windows 98.). Unfortunately, Sanctuary Woods, and it's sucessor, Theatrix, has gone out of business. I have recently been made aware of a large qualtity of these games available from I suggest if you want a copy of this program to order it now. I don't know how long they will continue to stock it.(6-00)
Safari, Medio software, CD-rom for PC
This award-winning CD-rom contains a wide variety of information on African wildlife, including lions. For each animal represented, there are one or more clips of 'video', sound bites, and a number of still pictures. The information presented on each animal is more substantial than many other multimedia presentations, and most web sites I've seen. There are many other features of this disc I have yet to explore, including a 'virtual reality' tour of the Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya, and info needed to get you ready to go on a real safari. (It helped me do this!) Highly recommended, although some of the video clips may be too violent for young childern. This CD has become rather hard to find.(4-99)
Savage, Discovery Channel software, CD-rom for PC.
Despite the hype, this program turned out to be very disappointing. It is more like multimedia games made ten years back. The program requires a lot of hardware power to run well, and it is finicky about video drivers. Some editing of the program's config file will probably be necessary. The graphics leave a lot to be desired, and must usually be run in low resolution mode to allow acceptable performance. The user interface is very poorly thought out, and requires multiple keys to be pressed to acess critical functions. Although a mouse or joystick are supported, much use of the keyboard is required. The controls respond in a very 'rubbery' way, making precise control of your lion difficult. You cannot jump levels, and you must master each level before moving on to the next. In short, don't waste your money on this program. If you want a lion simulator, get 'LION'! The only consolation-- there is another game packaged with 'Savage', called 'Operation Weather Disaster'. This is a vastly superior game!(4-99)
Sim Safari, CD-Rom for PC.
Another addition to the popular line of 'Sim' games. In this game, you get to run an African game park. I have the game, but have not tried to play it. I am told it is a lot like 'Eco East Africa' (6-02)
Zoo Tycoon, Microsoft, CD-Rom for PC.
This engaging game lets you build and run your own zoo! It is well done and quite addicting. The game starts you out with scenarios of increasing complexity to get you acccquainted with what it takes to build and run a zoo. Free form play lets you build and run your own design. One scenario is an all-big-cats zoo! Interestingly, one of the very first things the training scenario has you do is create a hole in the lion enclosure fence! This game is a favorite among the Sierra Safari Zoo volunteers, and we spend long hours discussing our 'zoos'! (6-02)
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