These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job.
So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat
from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us
to help by regularly selecting a game You Should
Snap, the unexpectedly addictive photography game for
Nintendo 64? Well, it’s back—in spirit—in
Snapimals, a freemium game in which you try to
capture wild animals’ wacky antics in still photos.
Don’t you want to take pictures of adorable animals? Yeah you
Snapimals’ premise is simple: Take photos of animals, open a
museum, and become a world-renowned photographer. You’ll need
to do all three of these things to succeed (where “succeed”
means unlocking new content).
You’ll start on the main island, dubbed “The Wilds,” with one
shooting location available to you. To level up, you’ll need to
snap photos of animals in exchange for coins, which you can
then use to expand your museum, unlock new shooting locations,
and eventually open up new islands. Like Pokémon Snap,
Snapimals takes you on an automatic safari: You’re propelled
through the wilderness in some sort of automated vehicle, and
your only job is to snap five excellent photos before your
journey comes to an end.
You can take five photos on each tour, but the Captain will
only judge three.
Each film reel offers five shots, so you can’t take pictures
with abandon. At the end of your tour, you’ll be asked to pick
up to three photos to be judged by the Captain, a boisterous
bearded little man who serves as your museum mentor. The
Captain will take a look at each picture’s composition and
subject size, and deem your photos museum-worthy (“Captain’s
Pics”) or postcard-ready. Museum-worthy photos earn you museum
points and are displayed in the museum, while postcard pics are
sold for a tidy sum of coins.
If you think this game sounds boring, you’ve probably never
played Pokémon Snap. But this game isn’t just for Pokémon Snap
fans—it’s for everyone! Plus, it’s free (and there are plenty
of ways to earn the game’s premium currency without dishing out
real dollars). Here’s why you should give it a whirl.
Adorable and addictive: I download a lot of
games simply because the screenshots are cute—and Snapimals is
one of those games. The graphics in Snapimals are bright,
cheery, and totally adorable; the animals are cute and
cartoonish with big heads, toothy grins, and funny antics and
mannerisms you probably won’t find in actual nature.
They don’t always do the same thing, either, so every photo
tour in Snapimals is a unique experience.
As you unlock each animal, you’ll be able to see their
profiles, complete with tongue-in-cheek descriptions.
In Snapimals, your goal is to take the best photos of the
animals you find. It’s pretty standard photography: You want to
take photos that are close-up (but not too
close-up—the animal should fit inside the frame) and centered,
and ideally the animal will be facing the camera and/or doing
something cool. But it’s not just about capturing the perfect
glamour shot—the Captain also wants you to grab some
interesting snaps for his Captain’s Pics. These photos are
listed on each animal’s profile page, though you’ll probably
recognize these Kodak moments when you see them—like when you
see a baboon riding a giraffe. Captain’s Pics are looking for
the perfect action shot, not the perfect portrait, so you won’t
necessarily need to get a close-up or centered photo of the
animal in question to get a high score and a place on the
Well-paced: Each Snapimals shooting tour is
about one minute long (including load time), and if you happen
to use up all five film slots before the tour ends, you can opt
to finish the tour immediately. This is the perfect pace for a
casual game, because it means you can play a couple of levels
without committing to an entire in-depth game.
Snapimals is a freemium game, which means it’s free to play but
if you get impatient you can purchase boosts or premium
currency. The game is well-paced for a freemium title—you don’t
need to spend money for a good experience, and there are plenty
of opportunities to “earn” premium currency through daily
challenges, video ads, and in-game achievements.
The game has three different currencies: Film rolls, which let
you go on safari; coins, which you can use to upgrade your
museum and unlock new buildings, islands, and levels; and
gemstones, which let you speed up construction and purchase
extra film rolls. Film rolls max out at three for free players
with one reload every 30 minutes, so you can’t really waste
hours on this game (which is probably a good thing).
Mix it up: Snapimals is actually two games in
one: It’s a photography game and a world-building
game. You can go on safari all you want, but if you don’t
upgrade your museum and island—which includes building ports,
ticket booths, gift shops, bridges, and even a bank—you’ll be
stuck going on the same safari over and over…forever.
Building up your museum and the surrounding island(s),
increasing your museum’s notoriety through excellent
photography, and earning coins by completing goals, collecting
from buildings, and picking up trash and gifts left by visitors
will allow you to unlock new areas with new animals.
Visitors leave trash behind, which you can tap for coins!
I won’t lie—the world-building part of the game is pretty
limited, since you can’t choose where buildings are placed, and
most buildings must be built in a certain order. But it does
give you something to do while you’re waiting for your film
rolls to reload, and it can be quite satisfying to tap on
buildings and random items for extra coins.