Alekon review for Nintendo Switch, PC

Platform: Switch
Also on: PC
Publisher: Forever Entertainment
Developer: The Alekon Company
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

It’s interesting to see how Pokémon Snap has turned into an important touchstone for a small-but-growing niche of first-person photography games. In recent years you can see how its influence has made itself felt in games like Beasts of Maravilla Island, Penko Park, and, now, Alekon.

Admittedly, fewer than half a dozen games hardly constitutes a major movement (even accounting for the fact that I’m probably missing a couple of other examples). Still, there’s no denying that these games clearly owe their existence to Pokémon Snap.

And Alekon might be more indebted than most. In fact, you don’t even need to look at the gameplay to tell this (though it comes through loud and clear there, too). Just look at the name of the developer: The Alekon Company. If that’s not a nod to the fact The Pokémon Company develops Pokémon games, I don’t know what is.

Obviously, though, the influences are even more obvious when you get to the game itself. Alekon mostly plays exactly like you’d expect a game influenced by Pokémon Snap to play: you roll through a world full of interesting animals, taking pictures, and then when you reach the end of the ride your photos are judged. The better the photos, the more points you get, and the more points you get the more areas you unlock. Along the way, you also unlock new skills and new paths, giving you more opportunities to snap pictures of new animals.

As I wrote: Alekon really owes its existence to Pokémon Snap.

The one twist in Alekon that differentiates it from Pokémon Snap is that once you photograph new creatures, they get added to a hub world, where you can talk to them and take on small quests to make the hub more interesting. None of the quests are that challenging, and generally they feel like filler to kill time between heading out on rides to snap photos, but they at least show that the game isn’t just a Pokémon Snap clone.

But Alekon is certainly about as close to a Pokémon Snap clone as you can get without breaking some copyright laws. It adheres closely enough to the original that it can?t help but do exactly what it sets out to do, and it’s polished enough that it doesn?t disgrace its influence, but it’s about as far from original as you can get.

Forever Entertainment provided us with an Alekon Nintendo Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B-