Alba is an adorable young girl who can’t wait to vacation with her grandparents on a picturesque Mediterranean island. Things change for the villains, however, when the small town’s mayor works with a shady builder to build a huge resort on the site of a popular nature reserve. Armed with her trusted smartphone, Alba embarks on an altruistic quest to photograph the island’s wildlife, remind residents of what is really at stake, and get enough support to keep the resort developing oppose.
Alba: A wildlife adventure is a wonderfully charming experience from Ustwo Games, the team behind the Monument Valley series. Instead of challenging the players with MC Escher-style puzzles, they are pampered with a relaxing feel-good experience designed to promote protection in an entertaining way.
You’ll spend much of your crusade taking photos of wildlife, and it’s a lot more fun than it sounds. Alba takes advantage of the Pokémon snap-like excitement of chasing a living creature, getting the perfect shot, and filling out her wildlife journal. I strived to photograph every creature, and dozens of animals are waiting for Alba’s camera eye, some less often than others. However, my excitement subsided over time because so many of the animals were birds.
In order to lure some animals outside, players need to clean up the environment by collecting trash or repairing fixtures like birdhouses. There’s nothing fancy or complicated about it, but there’s an undeniable satisfaction in clearing a pile of trash and watching a flock of ducks come in to enjoy the now-tidy area (and thus provide more food for your camera). The photos you take are implemented in other fun ways, such as B. by replacing the pictures on weathered path markings or by impressing an equally nature-conscious park attendant.
The overall goal is to collect 50 signatures for petitions by the end of the week. Don’t worry though: you are free to end any day and I appreciate your permission to take my time. Taking photos and cleaning up pays off in signatures, as does performing simple tasks for the city’s colorful residents. These straightforward tasks range from finding a lost dog to convincing a woman to try the latest flavors of ice cream. That simplicity may be an accusation in other games, but Alba’s airy vibe makes cruising through the fluff more relaxing than boring.
The tiny island makes it easy to tick off the game’s entire to-do list, a task I felt compelled to do, even if it isn’t strictly necessary. Plus, the extra walking around gives more opportunities to watch Alba sprint in airplane mode with arms outstretched, which always made me say “aww”. And amidst this playfulness, the game manages to promote conservation without preaching.
Alba: A wildlife adventure reminds players that happiness is in helping charities bigger than you are. It feels good to play a game about actively improving the world, and you can do it with skill and charm instead of flinching. It’s the video game equivalent of sneaking vegetables into a delicious smoothie. This is a good deed that should not go unrewarded