Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Secret Of Bird Island

About a month or two ago I was asked if I would review a new CD-Rom game called Snapshot Adventures -Secret Of Bird Island. It has taken me this long to finally give the game a try.
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 Also, some of the tools provided to the player are outdated.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.


Kim said...

I love video games!!! We just got done playing Fable whose main characters name is Sparrow after a bird! HA!

With that said, this sounds like my kind of game. I am going to have to check it out.


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I think this sounds pretty fun.

Craig Glenn said...

Hi, I just discovered your site and I look forward to following along. I see we have some birding friends in common so I just know I will enjoy your blog.


Jayne said...

I have never been a video game fan and this would not interest me in the least bit. I suppose it's good that someone even made a game involving birding!

Ruth said...

Another, "if the day had 36 hours" item, but it does look interesting. I wonder if children would be interested in it?

I love your statement, "You had to blow up rocks and spaceships. I found it to be both entertaining and therapeutic." lol! I think I need this game after work right now.

Anonymous said...

I remember Asteroids! 30 years flys by when you are having fun.

That said, I think my nephew would love this game. Thanks for the review.

Lana Gramlich said...

That's funny! Sounds entertaining, though.
(I remember Asteroids...and Space Invaders...and all of those old games. ;)

Larry said...

Craig-Thanks-I'll be sure to stop by your blog as well.

Jayne-I pretty much have the same opinions of video games but not to that degree.It is good to know that someone is making alternatives to Zombie Games.

Ruth-I'm sure some children might be interested in it and some would not be at all.It does give you a feel for photogaphy.-The action of trying to take bird photos is not that much unlike the real thing-trying to get birds centered in the lens and then discarding the weaker photos. If I could freeze time then I would play it.-It's definitely an issue of prioritizing time.

Mainebirder-wow -30 years! I hope your nephew enjoys it.

Kallen,Lynne, and lana-Thanks for checking in.

Patrice said...

Doesn't that beat all! I'm all for a video game that doesn't destroy something! Like Deer Hunter.