Giraffe and Annika – Review
As a gamer we are often analyzing the value of a game by it’s length. We want the most bang for our buck, however at times games can overstay their welcome and become a fetch-quest driven chore of a time to complete. Giraffe and Annika is not that type of game, it is a charming fairy tale of an adventure game that can be beaten in 6 hours or less.
A magical, mystery-filled adventure awaits! When a young girl named Annika awakens from a strange dream, she finds herself stranded on the mysterious “Spica Island” with no memory of how she got there. Upon exploring, she meets a boy named Giraffe, who seems to know her, and is tasked with finding three special star fragments on the island in order to unravel the mysteries of her forgotten memories. While searching for the fragments, Annika meets Lily, the Witch of the Mysterious Forest, who challenges her to a battle! Fortunately, Annika emerges victorious, and uncovers a star fragment. She absorbs the fragment and is suddenly granted remarkable visions. What secrets await this unlikely trio of adventurers on the island of Spica?
The game play style is a little unique in itself, a blend of adventure game with light platforming and a combat system akin to Elite Beat Agents. As you explore the dungeons and over-world of Spica you travel the open world performing side quests and dodging enemies. When you start the game you can’t even jump, which is a little weird as a gamer to experience but that ability is gained shortly into the experience.
The game was made with a gaming beginner in mind, while no combat in the over-world you simply run around the environments dodging your opponents to get to the end goal. At no point do you really have to worry about damage as healing is plentiful throughout Spica Island. In the unlikely event you die, it’s not even that punishing as you simply go back to the latest checkpoint, a truly forgiving system at it’s core. In fact you can easily make it through most dungeons unscathed by simply observing the patterns your enemies take.
Boss battles at the end of the dungeons are done in the form of rhythm based mini-games. The witch Lily will send little fireball like things at you and you need to hit them in time to the music with your staff. As you complete them in time to the music the bosses energy meter depletes, however you do not need to beat her in order to win. Just have to survive enough of the song without missing too many beats and losing all of your energy in turn.
The game is bright and very light hearted, it is as I stated earlier a fairy tale of a video game, the cut scenes are done in a very anime fashion using comic book style panels to tell the over exaggerated expressions and stories in between gaming sections.
Overall the game is definitely not meant for everyone, but if Cat people battling it out in the form of dance with little to no difficulty set in a fantastical world of witches and ghosts with bright colors tickle your fancy, then by all means be my guest.