The game has the player in a similar role as in The Sims controlling a disembodied hand in which the player manipulates over 30 types of animals, and creates their habitat around them. The animals evolve personalities depending on how the user treats (or mistreats) them.
The players can use the animals to solve challenges and achieve goals by discovering secrets, unlocking forest areas and uncovering one-of-a-kind objects and wild animals, some with special abilities, by having the animals successfully complete tasks.
After a certain number of achievement points are earned in the DS version, the player can blow into the DS microphone, creating wind for the pickup of berries.
The players can pick up anything in the forest including trees, flowers, other plants, animals, water, logs, and rocks.
The game contains more than 30 species of animals from the Northern Hemisphere.