I used to love Pokémon Snap for the N64 to bits but eventually, as I played more and more games on PC, I was a bit bummed out that there aren’t too many wholesome rail shooters like that for PC. I mean, sure, there are some, but none of the ones I played really caught my eye and none of those titles seemed to have that little something that made Pokémon Snap so special for me… Well, today, I found a title called Alekon that really does what Pokémon Snap does but better? Here are my thoughts!
Developer: The Alekon Company Publisher: The Alekon Company Genre: Relaxing, Rail Shooter, Indie, Creature Collector, Photo Editing Release Date: June 12th, 2021 Reviewed on: PC Available on: PC
So, in Alekon, you’re a human that is tasked with taking photographs of so-called “Fictions” to remove the dullness of the world and help a creature of sorts called “Alekon” in its quest to fill the world with Creativity. Alekon, however, is in the fourth area, which is why you need to gather a lot of creativity… and to do that you need to take lots of photos of dozens of whimsical creatures, solve puzzles to get them to strike collectable poses. On your quest, you also need to befriend them through unique quests and minigames, as well as other activities.
I also have heard of this title on the Wholesome Direct. But I wasn’t really too aware of it already launching on Steam until today. Either way, it’s very cosy, lots of fun and quite wholesome.
On your journey of filling the world with creativity, you meet plenty of different species found in four different biomes/areas that each have a few sub-areas. Because this is a rail shooter, you don’t really have the time to take the perfect pictures of the whimsical inhabitants that you want to take, so it’s kind of about efficiency over quality at times but you can do these photo tours on rails quite often and you often find new secrets or puzzles. At times, you may throw doughnuts at creatures or you have to move rocks and other objects around to get a good view in… but once you made enough progress in an area, you can also wander about freely and take your time with each of the creatures, explore the area, and find secrets.
Speaking of secrets, there are plenty to be found. The demo lets you play through the first whole area and you get to explore the first sub-area of the second biome, which is quite nice. It honestly felt quite good so far and I really like the metrics at which your photos get judged: Visibility, Angle, Center, and Size are fair points to judge photos of creatures, I would say, right?
The quests that you take vary a lot. There is one where you need to answer deep questions with equally deep counter-questions and it’s hilarious. In another, you need to do a rhythm game like minigame to bring some happiness to a grumpy critter… and then there are other sorts of little jobs you do and it really gave me that Stardew Valley vibe, almost, of getting to know villagers/critters that now inhabit your valley and having a generally good time.
Overall, the cute art style, the wholesome vibes, the great music, and the sense of nostalgia I felt with this game… It’s all rather great. I really had a lot of fun with Alekon and I feel like more people should know about it! Hence, make sure to check it out, play the demo yourself, wishlist it or get it.