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Even the smallest person can make a big difference. Join Alba, as she sets out to save her beautiful island and its wildlife. And possibly start a revolution. £13.49 on Steam

When I started playing ALBA I had no idea that I was supposed to be an activist, a rebel, a political agitator. I don't think Alba knew about all the politicall stuff either.

Alba, and her best friend, Ines, meet up on vacation on the beautiful Spaniash island paradise of Pinar del Mar. Alba is there with her Grandma and Grandpa, and through Grandad's persistence Alba learns how to take photographs using a camera phone. Once she (you) have taken a nice picture of Nanny & Grandad you are told to go take some photos of the wonderful wildlife in the areas that surround the hotel complex where you are staying. Grabbing the phone/camera, you and Ines head off along one of the local trails.

You aim your camera at all and any wildlife that you see. If you are close enough and have the bird/animal in focus a message relays whether it is an 'unknown species' or one you have already seen and photographed. Once you have recognised the creature you get some information about it, such as name, scarcity etc. The idea is often to capture on film/digitally a certain number of different creatures.

 

One of the park areas has a Visitor Board where the photos of the wildlife have been damaged. Your mission in this part of the game is to find and photograph these four creatures and then replace the damaged pictures with your own newly taken ones. I found the first three of these in a few seconds, they were basically lining up to be filmed, but after an hour of searching I couldn't find the fourth one.

 

Restoring things in the wildlife that have gone wrong are the main objectives of your Wildlife Adventure. This doesn't only mean taking photos, it can mean helping a stranded Dolphin or collecting the garbage strewn around Bins where thoughtless folk have tossed it roughly at the bin and not picked it up when their throw missed. 

 

There are no hard or excruciating puzzles to solve, in fact a click of the mouse button is generally all that is required, though there are times when you need to fetch other people to help - just 'talk' to them and they are always willing to help. Mending broken pipes and fences is also in your 'job' perview, as is, in fact anything that is a hazard to Wildlife that can be fixed. The more good you do the more people will sign the petition you and Ines have drawn up as part of your Wildlife Club.

 

Played with the sound on you get to hear and eventually recognise the different sounds and bird calls making finding the various creatures a tad easier. There are only a few buildings on the island that you can investigate, many of these have house or farm animals which, although domesticated, can still be photographed and will count to your total.

Generally the domestic animals just stay around to have their picture taken as they are used to being around people, but wildlife often has to be snuck up on and pictures snatched at rather than pre-posed. Most animals and Birds especially will fly off at the slightest sound and many 'easy' snaps end up being empty or blurred screens, and the stalking begins again.

 

Ustwo Games Wildlife Adventure is beautifully made, beautiful at heart and beautiful to play. It makes a change to be hunting animals and birds with a camera rather than with a rifle with a strong telescope attached. It's challenges can be a mite frustrating, as they would be in real life situations, but other than settings such as the stranded Dolphin, no one or anything is ever under real threat or in harm's way..

I cannot think of a game to compare it to, cannot even remember seeing anything as pleasant as this. It isn't twee or cute, it's just (and I hope the designer doesn't hate me for saying this) nice.

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015