Afrika Preview: And It Hurts That My Friends Never Stood Downwind

Afrika, first released in Japan last year, has often been compared to Pokemon Snap. Both fairly and unfairly. And guess what? Those comparisons are totally on the money.

What Is It?

Afrika is a game that tasks you, a budding photojournalist, with travelling to Africa. Where you'll be driven around in a jeep, crawl through bushes and run across plains, all in the name of taking photos of animals.

What We Saw

I played the game for around 20 minutes. I started in a jeep, but driving around was a little boring, so I jumped out and ran down a hill. Bear with me, it gets more interesting.

I then encountered what must have been a watering hole, as there were around 20 different animals. So I took out my camera, and started taking photos of them. Bear with me. I promise, this gets more interesting.

How Far Along Is It?

Well, the game's been out since last year. It's done. It's not like it even needed localisation, since the Asian version had an English language track.

What Needs Improvement?

It's A Desert Out There: It's very dry. There's no bells, no whistles, very little presentation. Since there's little in the game but you, grass fields and some animals, it could have done with a bit more stuff to keep things interesting.

What Should Stay The Same?

Stay On Target: There's a cheap, simple trick to the game's photography system that's somehow addictive as hell. And it's autofocus. Your Sony camera will shift in and out of focus, courtesy of a great depth of field effect, and because of this you can target the same bunch of animals and end up with a handful of completely different shots.

Final Thoughts

Sound like Pokemon Snap? Yeah. You read the premise, you dismiss it as stupid, then one day you find yourself playing it, and feel ashamed, and then...you look around and realise you're loving it.

Afrika was a little like that. It probably doesn't have the legs to last you weeks/months/years, but on the other hand, chasing down animals then angling for the perfect shot is a lot more fun than you'd imagine.