Apple Arcade: 10 great games you need to play right now

Mistwalker /
3 of 10

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

Developed by Ustwo

I love this game so much. Alba: A Wildlife Adventure puts you in control of the titular Alba, a young girl visiting an island she apparently visits yearly. When there she meets up with a friend of hers that lives on the island and together, they run around and take pictures of animals. Along the way, Alba finds out that a hotel is going to be built on the island that threatens to destroy the traditional way of life and, with her phone camera, decides to run around documenting animals and investigating the source of pollutants.

That’s it. There are no enemies to fight, no pressing timeline to race, you calmly move around a gorgeous island and discover things. It’s a game that makes me realize how much more amazing Pokemon Snap could be if you could get out of the car. You find where certain animals live and calmly find ways to get pictures of them so you can better catalog them.

The world itself is fascinating. At first, the graphics looked remarkably simple and devoid of detail until I got used to the look of things and realized how much of a living world I was in. The characters had personality, the animals move in the patterns that they should, authentic bird calls and animal noises fill the air alerting you to what’s around you and, as you pick up trash and help people fold laundry, you improve the lives of everyone on the island and you start seeing the change.

It’s a game that’s as much about environmental awareness (without being heavy-handed) as it is about learning to make a change in your community. This is absolutely worth a go.