Penko Park is Pokémon Snap but in an eerie abandoned wildlife reserve

There have been a handful of Pokémon Snap-style games on PC, but none like Penko Park. Instead of snapping cute puppies in baseball caps and budgies riding roombas, you'll be snapping the creepy creatures of Penko Park, a forgotten nature reserve that has long been abandoned by humans. 

Unlike Pokémon Snap's happy-go-lucky adventure, Ghostbutter's photography game is a lot more unsettling. Who knows what entities have thrived without someone watching over the park? Wide-eyed sprouts, singing bugs, and dancing sprites are all nestled into every corner of this overgrown region—and there's a darker side to this park. 

(Image credit: Ghostbutter)

With all these weird creatures scuttling about, you'll need to keep your wits about you and be prepared to take a perfectly timed snap without getting distracted. On one ride, I was happily sitting in my buggy when I saw something with six, long black legs and a malevolent smile dart into a bush, too quick for me to snap it. Another time, I took a snapshot of a seemingly peaceful creature only for it to fly into a rage and charge toward me baring all its sharp teeth.

At the end of each run, you get to paste your photographs in a guidebook which keeps track of what creatures you've seen. Similar to Pokémon Snap, each polaroid will be scored and you'll be given points to unlock special abilities. So far, I've unlocked a grappler to flip switches and the ability to change the direction of my buggy at junctions, letting me explore deeper into the park.

After playing the demo, I'm completely taken with Ghostbutter's cute but creepy take on Pokémon Snap. Penko Park's Steam page says that the game is releasing sometime this year and I'm definitely looking forward to snapping more pictures of these curious creatures—even if one or two of them give me nightmares.  

Rachel Watts

Rachel had been bouncing around different gaming websites as a freelancer and staff writer for three years before settling at PC Gamer back in 2019. She mainly writes reviews, previews, and features, but on rare occasions will switch it up with news and guides. When she's not taking hundreds of screenshots of the latest indie darling, you can find her nurturing her parsnip empire in Stardew Valley and planning an axolotl uprising in Minecraft. She loves 'stop and smell the roses' games—her proudest gaming moment being the one time she kept her virtual potted plants alive for over a year.