We will never play Pokémon Snap on PC. I made peace with that sometime over the last 20 years. That doesn't mean my heart doesn't skip a beat every time I see something similarly wholesome in the works. Now that all the kids who grew up playing Pokémon Snap are adults making videogames, I've started to see a few indie games with the same Snap soul making the rounds on Twitter.
Social media has become an exhausting hellscape, but cute animals, pixelated or not, remain a salve to the endless discourse. Here are three excruciatingly adorable games about snapping pics of cute creatures for real and fake social media.
Pupperazzi (opens in new tab) is a paparazzi game for the modern age where you take candid shots of the only thing any of us actually want in our feeds: dogs doing literally anything.
"Snap photos of dogs while maintaining your social media presence. Will you hound celebrities in public, or would you rather be taken seriously as an artist? Perhaps you just want to show your friends the cute dog you saw while you were out," says Pupperazzi's Steam page (opens in new tab) (you can also find it on itch.io (opens in new tab)).
The dogs in Pupperazzi have a horrifying animatronic quality: they hop around without any real walking animation like they're wooden toys that some invisible hand is playing with. They're cute anyway. You'll take pictures of dogs skateboarding, dogs taking a float in the ocean, and dogs sleeping on the beach (sleeping, not dead, according to the trailer). Do the dogs want to be famous?
Pupperazzi is due out sometime in 2019, according to its Steam page. Until then, we'll just have to enjoy the trailer.
I don't actually like birds. They seem loud and mean and you can tell me about the bird who saved your aunt's life by calling 911 but that won't change my mind and I'm not really sorry. Somehow, Toripon makes these pixelated little sky mice look cute, even to me. The pastel colors and cheery music help a lot.
Toripon also has a social media component, both real and fake. According to its itch.io page (opens in new tab), you can share pictures of cute birds doing cute things to gain new followers in the in-game social media or on your actual, real life social media. "Unlock new birds by taking the right pictures and see what hidden secrets you can find...." says its description.
Toripon's trailer raises so many questions that I want answered. Whose apartment is this? Are these birds all mine? Why does that bird have a knife?
Toripon's announcement trailer says that it's "coming soon" which is not nearly soon enough to answer the burning questions I have about these birds. (What secrets?!)
pokemon snap 2 doesn't exis- 😮#screenshotsaturday #indiedev #gamedev #indie #games pic.twitter.com/gCGuWIiQlWJanuary 19, 2019
Photoria is the most Pokémon Snap-like project of the bunch. You ride along in a vehicle of some kind on a set path through a forest, snagging photos of creatures as you pass through. Also like Snap, you can throw what look like apples to the wildlife to attract them closer for a better shot. The creatures shown off so far are fantasy-like versions of deer, crabs, squirrels, and a very very large rainbow bird.
Photoria appears to be a small personal project with information only available on the developer's Twitter feed (opens in new tab).
We have enough games about shooting weapons of all kinds at one another, so I'm excited for a new shooting trend to take over: in-game photography solely for the sake of capturing silly animals. If you know of other pet photography games, share them with us in the comments.