When it comes to a story that showcases children, with the power to actually make a change in the world, Alba: A Wildlife Adventure, a new game by Ustwo shows that even the smallest actions can really make a difference in the world.
Alba visits her grandparent’s home, a small island called Pinar del Mar. This island is full of wildlife, lovely people, and plants It’s a slower life then one that I have - with time to explore and just be a kid around a world that’s not so packed with individuals. A place where everyone is seemingly friendly. When she goes on one of her summer adventures to her grandparents' home, she ends up saving a beached dolphin by alerting some of the locals to help it out.
This is just the start of an impact that Alba is going to be making, along with her best friend Inés, as the island grows and develops. With her grandfather’s old phone and an app that allows you to scan animals to figure out what they are, Alba: A Wildlife Adventure sets you free to go and explore what is a blooming island full of life. Spending time moving my phone around, I started snapping the birds, filling bird feeders, and cleaning up trash so more animals would appear, so that I could collect them.
All of your actions have direct results - the bird feeders then sparkle, adding birds to the area. The trash goes into the bin, making your character happy and bringing new animals to the island. Along with idly cleaning and improving the island, you can start adding pictures to boards, showing off the local life, and continuing to improve the area.
Soon, however, I faced my first big enemy. Capitalism. Of course, a big hotel would need to be made in the middle of the nature reserve that I am trying to actually document. Of course it would need me, a child, to save it. So, doing what any child would do, I kept taking pictures, replacing boards, building up new areas, and searching for any type of wildlife that I could find. When you advocate for a cause, Alba teaches you that others will take notice. People started to see the birds I saw, interested in the rare duck that I took a photo of, and soon found themselves in my nature reserve, respectfully viewing and appreciating the nature I loved. And signing documents to help get rid of this hotel, which would only ruin the nature around it.
Alba: A Wildlife Adventure shows the power of a little girl and what she can do. It’s a wonderful game that feels good, it feels joyus, it feels like the world is actually becoming better through small actions that you could do in the real world today. It’s a good game to give to children, to help pass along the idea that they can make a difference, they can help the world. The use of motion within the game, moving around the device to see different areas of the game, is well balanced and feels good - you can still play the entire game sitting down. I also found the bits where you can nod Alba’s head, to reply to people, a bunch to be so silly and childish - a great feeling in a game that is bright colored and full of childlike wonder.