Computer games have the unique ability to take us places we could otherwise not go. They can combine disparate elements into an intriguing gaming experience. With SNAPSHOT ADVENTURES: SECRET OF BIRD ISLAND, kids will photograph over 100 species of wild birds while traveling the country and solving a mystery. The setup is that your grandfather, a famous naturalist and bird photographer, has mysteriously disappeared, leaving you his camera, his half-empty field journal, and a map of his most recent travels. As you retrace his steps and meet many of the people he worked with, you will travel to the 50 locations around America. At each location, you are asked to take pictures of birds in exchange for information about your grandfather.
Your cursor becomes your camera viewer as you scroll through the on-screen environments looking for birds. You take a photo by clicking your left mouse-button. Each of your grandfather's cohorts teaches you something new about photographing birds. For example, Colonel Perkins explains how the game uses a point system to grade photos, based on the size of the bird in the frame, centering, orientation, if there are extra birds in the photo, and whether the bird is doing something like singing, preening, flying, or eating. The point system translates to a 5-star evaluation system that is applied to each photo at the end of your photo shoots. If you do well taking photos for others, they reward you with helpful equipment like a zoom lens.