While the original Pokemon Snap wasn’t particularly well executed, the idea it brought to the table was at least a novel one. Perhaps somewhat fittingly released roughly in the same window of time as the newest title in that series, we have a more budget-minded outing in the same vein in the form of Beasts of Maravilla Island. Drawn to this mysterious place by the passing and encouragement in letters from your grandfather your character has set out to explore this magical space and to try to capture its unique flora and fauna on film to share with the world. While I appreciate the fact that this take on this style of play isn’t fully on rails and allows for an element of exploration, for the most part outside of that distinction it just plays as a less polished and compelling version of the Nintendo franchise. If you’re into photography and composing your shots perhaps there’s an angle for enjoyment to be had here but otherwise it’s just a pretty linear walk through the forest photographing everything you can but with no real spark to make it memorable or exciting.
Justin Nation, Score: