The game has a strong concept, and with the neat African theme it really should have been better. However, the problem is that it all gets boring very fast. Even though it is not exceptionally long, one will be tired of the game before reaching the end. I finished it in only a few hours, and after the millionth time petting the zebras until they liked me, it was, simply put, boring. Everything is repetitious, especially the mini-games because there are really only two of them: a ring toss and a drum jumping game. Both are entertaining the first few times, but not after that. Perhaps if each animal had their own special mini-game it could have been spaced out better. There are only eight species too which is a real problem, especially considering the rich world of Africa they had to explore. In SimAnimals there were almost too many animals, but at least that never got very boring.
Some of the changes made in SimAnimals Africa are great ones. Interacting with the animals is more entertaining with special mini-games and it makes everything more personal. Each area has its own set of level making decisions that are small and easy to navigate. The game looks better and moves more fluidly, and while the camera is not perfect, it does not distract from playing. The set up of the game is interesting, it is just that the execution feels lazy. There is so much more that could be done here, and since it really works early on, it is disappointing that everything becomes repetitious and tedious. If they threw in more diverse animals and made each one distinctly different, with special mini-games and perhaps even petting techniques, it could have worked. As it is, SimAnimals Africa feels more like an expansion pack then its own game.
That being said, this is probably a great game for a very young gaming audience. It might keep the interest of anyone between six and nine, so for that age bracket this is a successful game. Fans of the first game will find much to like about this sequel, although they might be unhappy with the lack of species and smaller world.