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'New Pokemon Snap' Wields A Camera Instead Of A Gun | Your Move

The Nintendo game New Pokemon Snap, like its Nintendo 64 predecessor from 1999, is a first-person shooter, but is one of the rare examples of the genre that is non-violent. Instead of wielding a firearm, you have a camera.


Each area in the game has you in an automated vehicle, moving along a predetermined path. These paths are teeming with many different Pokemon endemic to that area’s climate. There is a nature park, a jungle, a desert, a beach, and more - some during the day, and some at night - with each having their own secrets and hidden Pokemon to find.


You aren’t completely passive, though - you’re given some tools to interact with the environment, including fruit so you can feed the animals, and a musical tune to play to coax Pokemon out of their hiding spots. You also have a scanner you can activate to find alternate paths to traverse.


Now, even though this game is about photography, it probably won’t make you a good photographer. The game rewards you for having the subject smack-dab in the middle of the frame, as big and close as possible. The game isn’t an art critic, it is judging only on simplistic criteria. But even if you don’t get maximum points for photos you love, you can upload them to an online gallery, where other players can award your photo medals. You can also apply Snapchat-like filters to your photos, so you can give a Magikarp those blushing cheeks you’ve known it's always had.


The opportunity to quietly roll around in idyllic locations, taking photos of wildlife frolicking and interacting, is just the kind of escape I need right now. 

Samuel McConnell is a games enthusiast who has been playing games in one form or another since 1991. He was born in northern Maine but quickly transplanted to Wichita.