You'll unlock varying equipment along the way, allowing you to take better photographs and learn new techniques.
Afrika is a fairly large game, with plenty of environments to explore and a whole host of missions to complete.
Having heard about Afrika years ago - and patiently endured the wait to try the game out for ourselves- we were initially shocked to find just how deep the game goes. In fact, we're comfortable describing Afrika as a simulator rather than a game, as the depth you can go to setting up your camera is quite astounding. In that sense, Afrika becomes a great learning tool for budding photographers. The game even goes some way to explaining real-life photography techniques.
In Afrika, you'll be assigned various clients who require your photo-taking talents. These clients contact you via email and give you a specification for the type of snaps they'd like. It's then up to you to get out in the field and deliver, earning digital money for your efforts. You'll need a lot of patience to get the right shot in Afrika. Like real photography, there is a lot of tip-toeing around and waiting. When you finally do get the chance to line up your shot though, it's quite a satisfying experience. The game even super-imposes some of your shots onto magazine covers, which is a neat extra.
On occasion, you'll get the opportunity to snap a real-time hunt. For these sections, the game switches from its typical third-person stance, and goes on rails. You'll need to capture the hunt perfectly to earn the biggest points. These sections provide the most excitement you're likely to get out of Afrika. However, it's worth noting, if you're looking for excitement then you should probably stop reading now.
Having been released in Japan many moons ago, Afrika is starting to look a little dated now. The framerate is temperamental and the textures are rough. That said, the animals in Afrika have been lovingly crafted, lacking the randomosity of real-life, but still feeling pretty alive.
Afrika is not a game for big audio backings, but with that said, there are some nice sweeping orchestral scores to complement some of the experience. These pieces of audio are subtle and infrequent, but still rather delightful.
Afrika is by no means a game for everybody. It requires limitless levels of patience. Be it the monotonous journey to your objectives (time and time again), the laborious task of getting the right photo, or simply the fact that it's a photography game in the first place. It tries very hard to provide an experience completely fresh, and in a lot of ways falls apart under the strain of its own ambition.
Strangely, Afrika has no voice acting, merely sub-titles. That can make Afrika feel like a very sterile experience. Despite being surrounded by a photography chum and the wildlife, you'll always feel very alone.
Afrika is interesting and most importantly different. Essentially a photography simulator, Afrika lacks the cohesion of ideas that could have made it a much more rewarding experience. Still, it should be acknowledged for trying so hard to do something new.