London-based independent development team F95zone Games released their Alba: A Wildlife Adventure at a very opportune time for such a release. No, a good game would have found its place a year ago and a year later. But right now it deserves special attention. After the horrors of 2020, in the winter beriberi season and criminally short days, the adventures of restless Alba have a natural therapeutic effect.
Judging by the commercials and stories of third parties, Alba: A Wildlife Adventure may give the impression that the game is made especially for gamers of primary school age. In fact, her audience coverage is much wider. You can even say that this coverage is as wide as possible, because everyone still has a part of childhood in their souls, be it at least three times a skeptic on a well-deserved retirement. The game tries to stir up that very hidden zone of the psyche – and it succeeds, despite the cursed times! This is the main value of Alba , and already for this the game is worth paying attention to.
Alba: A Wildlife Adventure recreates that very invaluable atmosphere of a big summer vacation. When the sun is around, friends and adventure must be. When new acquaintances and amazing discoveries lie ahead. Despite the presence of several conventional villains in the story, this is the most positive and childishly clean project. Piece goods in our time.
In the story, Alba, a little girl of about ten, comes to her grandparents on vacation. The ancestors settled on a cozy island in the middle of the ocean, and the main attraction here is the reserve. Hungry for money, the mayor plans to close the reserve and build a hotel in its place. Alba and her friend immediately take on the difficult task of saving flora and fauna.
And here the game turns to another group of eternal values: the world around is worth loving, nature is not at all difficult to protect, and animals and birds in all their beauty and diversity sometimes turn out to be defenseless in front of the heavy tread of a person … reasonable? Alba admires the world of birds and animals, and this delight is passed on to the player. However, Alba: A Wildlife Adventure is not only about contemplation, but also about creation like Shadow Blade 5e. The gameplay with the restoration of the reserve is varied and quite sprightly.
Alba is not a difficult game at all. There are no bloodthirsty predators or ruthless poachers here. There is not even a jump option, there will be no arcade sections. The time to save the park seems to be limited to three days, but the day will end only when Alba goes home for dinner. The pace of the game is very calm, and when there are creepy things, like puddles of toxic chemicals right in the forest, Alba becomes a kind of thriller with a rating of “3+” – and no harder. At the same time, the developers did not forget to add some kind of challenge and a clearly defined goal to the game. Alba: A Wildlife Adventure does not become an interactive birdwatcher’s guide: it is still a game where you need to show ingenuity and dexterity at times.
Alba in a small but diverse open world is busy with dozens of activities. Both she and the player have no time to get bored. We constantly shoot a variety of liveliness with our phone camera, and if taking a photo of a fat city pigeon is easier than a lung, then taking a photo of a rare hawk in its natural habitat is much more difficult. We collect signatures in defense of the reserve, and for this we sometimes need to complete assignments-quests. We are restoring stands with photographs of the inhabitants of the park, and this is already a task for attentiveness: some of the photos are torn, and the captions to them have been erased. With the development of the plot, Alba receives a veterinary first-aid kit and a repair kit: we actively repair and heal, watching how the reserve is being transformed before our eyes. Even if you just remove the scattered garbage, you can see how rare species of birds return to their habitable places.
The game is user-friendly in everything. Saves are automatic at the time of exiting the game. Management keys are the required minimum. The interface is neatly “glued” in the corner of the screen. The map is convenient, and SMS-messages will tell you about all important events. And there is also a great picture. No cool technology and no load on a top-end video card, but soft tones, colorfulness and saturation of each frame make an excellent impression. Something similar can be seen in a good children’s book, where the illustrator tried to portray the world through the eyes of a child. They also did a good job on the animation: HuniePop2, for example, boils with the energy of childhood and constantly skips while walking.