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Safari Photo Africa: Wild Earth review

Photo shoot-'em-up


  • Pride taken for snapshots
  • Open world is breathtaking
  • Taking pictures is serene


  • Desire to hurt animals
  • Kinda limited in scope
  • Photos of elephant poo

How do you make children enjoy, rather than feel insulted by, edutainment games? Well, getting them to take photos of elephant poo and urinating rhinos is not a bad start.

This Animal Planet-branded FPPS (first-person photography shooter) will make your child a better person in three ways: 1) education about the animal kingdom, such as why male lions are chauvinist pigs, 2) a vague sense of how photography works, and 3) a grasp of how to navigate an open 3D environment using the WADS keys and mouselook, thus making significant progress towards becoming an accomplished gamer in later life.

For a kids' game, it's outstanding. It's rather one-note and the Spartan graphics engine makes lions look a little too Plasticine-faced, but the openness of the world, the animation (a galloping herd of giraffe is a genuinely stunning sight) and the thought behind the situations you have to photograph are all remarkable. Take a photo, whether for one of the specific objectives or just because it looks interesting, and the game will intuit a title and store it in a digital album: "nervous elephant" or "crocodile snapping," for instance. Meanwhile, a pair of invisible commentators sparkily share factoids about what you're shooting and, charmingly, at the end of each assignment, the photos you've taken will be used to illustrate an article in a fictional wildlife magazine. This caused an odd degree of pride in even this jaded hack, so it will surely enrapture the mind of a child.

More Info

DescriptionSnap photos in the African wilderness with this interactive travelogue.
US censor ratingEveryone
Release date16 November 2006 (US), 16 November 2006 (UK)
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