It turns out that it is a CD- ROM game which sort of surprised me because I thought it was going to be a traditional board game. I haven't played a video game for a long time. I was really into an arcade game called asteroids that came out in the late 70's. The object of the game was simple. You had to blow up rocks and spaceships. I found it to be both entertaining and therapeutic.
The Secret Of Bird Island is a little more difficult to explain than Asteroids but I'll try to keep it simple. The main focus of the game centers around the player taking photographs of birds using the mouse and clicker. There are 20 different geographical locations where you can search for 130 different species of birds. At the arrival of each location, you are given a photography assignment to complete by one of the games cartoon characters.. For example-The assignment might be- "Larry-give me 5 four star photos of birds in flight"
The most interesting part comes after each assignment is completed. You get to choose the best of your photos in side by side comparisons. You are also provided with many tools throughout the game to help improve the quality of your photos-longer lenses, night vision, external flash, bird callers, a magic-mirror thing that makes a bird want to preen, etc.. etc...-all kinds of stuff. I never got to the end but I imagine the surprises keep coming.
Oh yes-I almost forgot. Part of the game is that your grandfather, who is a naturalist, has been missing for six months. You are given clues during the game as to the secret behind the mystery of his disappearance. There are also lots of other features in the game. You get to list birds, keep a field journal with photos, and invent your own species of bird, to name a few.
Even though I don't have much interest in video games, I found this one to be fairly entertaining. The graphics may not be on par with the video games that are put out by the gaming giants these days but the bigger game companies probably don't offer a game that has to do with birding. I think that it would have een beter if the characters in the game were a bit less silly and cartoonish looking. Also, some of the tools provided to the player are outdated. For example, the bird caller they provide is one of those old-fashioned twisty bird-callers instead of a Birdjam. Overall though, I would say this is a very creative game that might be worth a look for those who are interested.