Parents' Guide to

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

By Chris Morris, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Charming, relaxing adventure game with positive message.

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 7+

More Peril than Indicated in Review

Six year old had been totally loving this game: positive environmental messages, exploring, keeping track of different tasks, meeting friends through the island (plus natural reading practice, very motivated to figure out what was going on)... It was a weekend adventure, very sweet, and would have been five stars. Nearing the end, the story takes a seriously negative turn that was decidedly not relaxing and felt like such a different tone from all that had been leading up to that point [SPOILER]: the story line now involved a corrupt politician and nasty businessman acting threateningly towards kids, who are on their own facing them. Got through that cynical patch by looking at how speaking up triumphs. Phew. But that was promptly followed by a serious fire (likely arson) causing the main character to need to evacuate the island in the middle of the night; however, she doesn't listen to her grownup to stay put and runs back into the danger. Now instead of taking the child's perspective, you abruptly switch to the terrified grownup's point of view as he runs back into the burning island trying to find her - this was incredibly upsetting to our sensitive kid. You're even running slower due to the character being older. The icing on the cake: we could not find the main character! The anxiety built and we abandoned the game and had to do a lot of processing of all these issues. I'm sure it works out fine in the end - if you can get through this unexpected dose of dramatic tension and peril. Would have loved a warning on the nature of this peril ahead of time.
age 9+

Educational game, turns to scary/concerning

I like the nature restoration and information seeking part of this game and that the text communication of characters in the game helps support reading skills for young kids. I disliked how independent Alba is in the game without an adult or older kid along side her, and how later in the game she is tasked with problem-solving actions that are the responsibility of older individuals and unsafe for a child (e.g., an objective involves Alba spying on adults/an authority figure), she is treated in quite a harsh way by an adult (e.g., an adult man lights on fire, Alba’s petition with signatures she has collected right in front of her and uses demeaning words and a frustrated facial expression towards her), and the end of the game involves - as another parent mentioned in a review - scary elements that are not indicated on this website, the game advertising, the age rating on the App Store, or anything else in the prior gameplay elements. I had my child stop playing the game after the report came to me regarding the concerning interaction with the adult person in the game. I came to this website to see if I could get any more information, and was surprised to find out another parent had a similar experience with their child, that the game was rated here to have no violent or scary content, and that there was even more even more scary content that my child had not yet encountered. Obviously, the rating of 5 years old here make sense if the game weren’t played all the way through, because that is how the game is promoted. Towards the end of the game, Alba is doing things that are more in line with activities of a teenager and the content involves things that are more common in the narratives for teens, but she’s presented as a young kid on a safe island. The age rating on the App Store of 4 years old, is quite inappropriate. While my seven-year-old daughter was not really scared by the interaction with the adult, it was concerning for her and resulted in a lot of questions and conversation related to the interaction. She has some fears of fire, and as most kids her age, still has to do a lot of information processing when it comes to interpreting the more complex conflicts and emotional dysregulation of adults. It’s disappointing because earlier parts of the game where Alba is exploring an island in a safe community, and exploring, learning about, and restoring wildlife habitat are all things I value and think are unique for a video game.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (1 ):

The most amazing thing about this wilderness adventure isn't it's environmental focus or its gameplay -- it's the kindness. Alba and Ines, the two main characters of Alba: A Wildlife Adventure Screen, are terrific friends. Her grandparents are supportive and loving. Adults in the game speak to kids, rather than at them. And this kindness extends into the overall theme of the game -- making the world around you a better place. To further extend that, the game encourages players to progress at their own speed, without any artificial pressure. It wants you to relax on this virtual island as much as the digital residents of that property do.

That sense of calm makes the game's shortcomings much less frustrating. The camera Alba uses is flipped, meaning the controls become inverted. That makes it dizzying and aggravating when trying to line up a shot of any animal you see. Given the major role that feature plays in the gameplay, it can be jarring, but you'll be so invested in helping Alba save the nature center and clean up the island that you won't want to give up. It's a breezy, carefree game that's both empowering and educational. And it's a perfect diversion for younger kids and adults alike.

Game Details

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