Earth Day celebrates our realization that you can succeed while tending to the planet. Likewise, video games have evolved new ways to save their worlds beyond just shooting and stabbing. Here are a few new games that offer unique ways to save the world.

“Rune Factory: Frontier” for the Wii picks up after the events of the original “Rune Factory” for the DS. Mist – one of the love interests from the first game – leads our hero to Trampoli where he must once again fight monsters. Of course, he also has to plant and tend a garden, learn to fish and cook and build relationships with a cast of strange but loveable characters.

“Frontier”’s unique time management system – where one second in the world equals one minute in game time – really adds to the engrossing nature of the game. Even if the mix of “Harvest Moon” and “Diablo” seems a bit odd, you will find yourself rushing with glee to finish your gardening in time to go deeper into the dungeon.

In contrast, “Avalon Code” for the DS actually offers up a world that is destined to be destroyed without redemption. Rather than fighting to save the world, you are tasked with the goal of “scanning” everything from people and animals to monsters, plants and baked goods in the hopes of shaping the next world. One of the cool features of this game is that you can actually change the characteristics of the things you scan, making monsters weaker and people happier and friendlier.

“Avalon Code” is an engrossing game with quirky characters, interesting challenges and good graphics for the DS. Granted, some of these challenges get to be a bit too confusing and the code system is heavily based on tedious trial-and-error, but once you get into it, these flaws are easily overlooked.