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Africa is an exciting place. There’s a diverse mix of cultures, a vast expanse of environments and some of the most iconic wildlife this planet has to offer. However, we don’t often see the continent take center stage when it comes to video games. It’s a surprising fact considering the adventure the area has to offer, but we suspect this will change as virtual reality technology grows and becomes more widespread throughout homes worldwide. Until that point, though, we wanted to take a look at five times that video games called Africa their home.
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If you’ve ever had the privilege of playing Pokemon Snap for the Nintendo 64, chances are you’ll understand the concept of Afrika. In the game you travel around different parts of Africa and take pictures of animals as a photojournalist. The point of the game is to get the best shots of the animals, but it really shines most when you just take in the surroundings and let the imagery lull you into a state of pure contentment. The game was heavily praised for its soundtrack that aimed to really capture the essence of an African landscape. Wataru Hokoyama of moviemusicuk.com scored the album a 4.5/5 and went on to say the soundtrack leaves the player feeling refreshed and is an experience that cannot be passed up.
Resident Evil 5
As one of the more hardcore games on the list, Resident Evil 5 certainly marks its place among the rest of these games. But Africa and the safaris that are held there make appearances in a fair few places in gaming, even showing up in online slots among sites such as Lucky VIP Casino, Castle Jackpot and Betfair Casino. However, it might be a big stretch for some to go from slot machines to hordes of zombies. Even so, the fifth main installment in the Resident Evil series follows Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar as they fight their way through the African environment eventually coming to a climactic showdown with the villain of the series, Albert Wesker.
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Cabela’s African Safari
Coming back from the world of fiction, Cabela’s African Safari is like any other hunting game you’ve seen at your local bar and has a player or two going through different areas trying to hunt down different animals of the African Safari. Each animal is worth a different amount of points and the object of the game is to get the highest score. This is most often seen as an arcade experience as people constantly gun for the highest score on each machine, but this particular title also released on the PC, PlayStation Portable and Xbox 360. Out of all the experiences (with the exception of Afrika) this title shows the most African locations and has the most attention to detail when it comes to portraying the savannah.
Halo 2, while it might not spend as much time painting the majestic picture that is Africa, nevertheless takes place in the fictional location of New Mombasa, Kenya. The terrain scarcely looks like modern day Kenya but rather shows what the area might look like in the 26th century. For those not familiar with the Halo series, the storyline revolves around a cybernetically-enhanced supersoldier and his quest to save humanity from multiple threats. You’re not going to see any of the familiar wildlife to the area either, but for what the game lacks in lions and elephants it more than makes up for with freakish aliens. Halo 2 was also a stark improvement over the original game as the sequel sold nearly three million more copies than the flagship title according to VGChartz.
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Zoo Tycoon 2: African Adventure
The last entry on the list doesn’t have players shooting guns or pictures but rather tasks them with the objective of making a fun and successful theme park. If you’ve played any of the other zoo tycoons than you know what an African version might entail, but for those of you new to the series, the expansion gives players access to 20 new animals (those found in Africa) and allows players to breed animals. It is also the first game to allow feeding live animals to the creatures in each exhibit. Some of the African areas include the Atlas mountains, the Sahara desert and the Drakensberg giving the player a diverse selection of locations.
And that about covers our list of the top five games set in Africa. However, there are plenty more where that comes from. If these games interest you and you’re following the virtual reality scene, be sure to check out Rangi, a VR puzzle game inspired by African culture available on multiple headsets.