Alba: A Wildlife Adventure is a Wide-Open Sandbox game by ustwo games (Monument Valley). It follows Alba Singh, a young girl of about 11, is visiting her grandparents on the Mediterranean island of Pinar del Mar, only to find that the island's wildlife reserve was damaged in a recent fire. The mayor calls the town down there to announce the reserve will be replaced by a giant luxury hotel. Alba and her friend Ines decide to save the wildlife reserve by documenting all the local animals and helping the residents - human and animal - in order to get a petition with 50 signatures that the mayor will have to listen to. However, they only have the rest of the week before Alba goes home.
The game is described by its creators as a "chillectathon", with no hard time limits and allowing the player to progress at their own pace.
Released as a timed exclusive on Apple Arcade for iOS and Microsoft Windows (via Steam and GOG.com) on December 11th, 2020, it was made available on pretty much any modern console and platform running six months later (except Android) for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5, with the Epic Games Store getting it 10th November, 2022, and it released as one of its free games of the week.
Tropes found in Alba include:
- Ability Required to Proceed: You can't get into the main part of the reserve until you talk to the carpenter and gain the toolkit, to fix the literal Broken Bridge.
- Airplane Arms: Sometimes, while running along, Alba will hold her arms out in this pose. As with Skip of Innocence, this helps show her general cheerfulness.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Saturday's subtitle is "Careful What You Wish For". Paco sets the hotel construction site on fire for the insurance money, putting the entire island in danger.
- Big "YES!": Ines is prone to exclaiming "YAS!" when she's excited or happy about something.
- Briefcase Full of Money: The Mayor receives one as compensation for pushing the hotel plan through. Alba's task is to get a picture of it.
- Character Catchphrase: Ines's catchphrase might be "YAS!", given how she says it quite often.
- Com Mons: House sparrows, domestic cats, red squirrels, and several varieties of gull. (This is pretty much accurate to real life.)
- Cunning Like a Fox: A fox stealing chickens manages to briefly convince the humans that it's a lynx. The main characters only realize otherwise after finding its den and photographing it.
- Distant Prologue: The prologue is set ten years earlier, complete with "Ten Years Later" caption when it ends.
- Door to Before: Around the nature reserve and (to a lesser degree) the castle, Alba can often open a door or build a bridge or ramp that gives her access to an area that she had to walk around the long way to get to.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The mayor was willing to be bribed to build the hotel, but got in over his head. Attacking the two little girls who saw - and photographed - the handover is much too far for him.
- Fiery Cover Up: Paco burns the petition. After the mayor is arrested, Paco attempts to burn down the hotel for the insurance money.
- First-Person Snapshooter: Third-person for getting around, but the photography is first-person. It's the entire point of the game.
- Fauxshadow: The woods north of town have 'no fire' signs around them, and the police officer warns that they could go up in flames at the slightest spark. While there is a fire, it's at the construction site for the new hotel, and the woods remain unburnt through the valiant efforts of the townsfolk.
- Free-Range Children: Alba and Ines have the run of Pinar del Mar and can catch the ferry to La Roqueta as well.
- Friendly, Playful Dolphin: A dolphin gets trapped in a fishing net and beached early in the game, and Alba has to collect people to help; when a dolphin comes to the beach a few days later, everyone thinks it's the same one trying to thank Alba for helping it.
- Genki Girl: Ines, who is very enthusiastic and outgoing.
- Girlish Pigtails: Alba has pigtails, showing her status as a young girl.
- Green Aesop: The core message of the game is that if we all help out a little, we can protect nature together. The credits start by suggesting that if the game moved you, you should look into supporting organizations like the World Wildlife Fund.
- Idle Animation: Among other things, Alba will often lean down to tie her shoe.
- Jive Turkey: Ines could be considered this, given her frequent use of modern slang.
- Kiddie Kid: The "ten years later" narration after the opening sequence in which Alba is a baby or toddler, implies that she is ten or eleven years old. However, she acts very much like she's closer to four. She has a small child's book of animals which has buttons that play their sounds, answers questions by shaking her head no or nodding yes, and her best friend Ines has very simple dialog.
- Missing Child: When Alba runs away from her grandfather during the wildfire to find the lynx.
- New Weapon Target Range: When you get a new tool (the first aid kit, toolkit, trash bag, etc.) you immediately end up with a task that requires you to use that tool a lot.
- Noble Bird of Prey: In-universe - everyone is very impressed by the Spanish imperial eagle nesting on the island. The eagle doesn't actually do much, though.
- Playable Epilogue: After the end credits, you're let loose on the island for your last day with no time limit, allowing you to talk to everyone, finish off any remaining quests, and find those last few animals.
- Puppy Love: Juanito appears to have a crush on Alba, but has no idea what to do about it."Uhm... anyway, it's a great beach, and if you ever... wanted to take a relaxing walk, we... er... you should do that."
- Totally Radical: Ines seems to be extremely Internet savvy and it shows in her dialogue with her frequent use of the slang word "Yass!".
- The Quiet One: Alba rarely says anything and mostly communicates through nods or head shakes. She only says one line in the game, after she's finally found the lynx.
- Saving the Orphanage: Alba and Ines want to save the wildlife reserve, by getting fifty people to sign a petition.
- Skip of Innocence: Alba often skips when running for prolonged periods, showing her cheerfulness and earnestness. Ines does it, too.
- Spinning Paper: When you complete a major quest, a newspaper spins onto the screen showing what you've done.
- Stalking Mission: Downplayed. You need to follow the mayor after he turns down your petition but if he sees you, he just tells you to go away.
- Take Your Time: The days last as long as you need them to, with time only progressing when you trigger events. After Ines tells you she's done for the day, and your grandparents tell you to come home when you want dinner, the day will remain at sunset until you decide to go home.
- Worst News Judgement Ever: When Alba completes a quest, the newspaper (El Pinar Diario) will show large headlines like "Birdwatchers seen at beach".