With the recent New Pokemon Snap announcement, it’s the perfect time to sing the praises of the original Pokemon Snap once more. Snap really was ahead of its time. Just look back at other games that released in 1999 and think about it.
Tomorrow Never Dies and Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation released alongside the likes of Legacy of Kain and Shenmue. There were cartoony “kids” games too, of course. Donkey Kong 64, Tarzan, and Spyro 2 all came out that year.
But they all ask something of you, want you to do something. Save A. Smack B. Accomplish C. What does Pokemon Snap want you to do? Chill out and take pictures of Pokemon doing adorable things in their natural habitats.
Yeah, you’ve got objectives to complete. Yet you’re still free to enjoy the scenery and not even worry about moving yourself around. Mock its chunky pixels if you will, but it was fresh and new at the time.
It’s the sort of alternative gaming experience Harvest Moon started pioneering, but that’s only recently gained a lot of momentum thanks in large part to indie games. It’s not really a stretch to say games like Bird Alone found their roots because of the experience Pokemon Snap pushed for.