Genre: Adventure game with photography ala Pokemon Snap
Ever wonder what it’s like to be a photojournalist, taking pictures of seemingly-innocuous events and then thrust into a unique situation? Being an important bystander to chronicle life events for a generation? That’s Umuragi Generation’s main gameplay in a nutshell: taking awesome photos and watching sci-fi events unfurl.
You basically play a photographer thrust in a cyberpunk-esque “shitty” future. You gain money by taking photos with good content, colour, or composition, or all of the above. To complete a phot-shoot, you need to take pics of specific objects and landscapes in different angles & range. As you gain more money, you gain access to more lenses to take better and wider photos with, as well as filters to customize whatever you’ve taken. It’s simple, really, to the point where you can exploit the photography system later in a few levels for a better score.
However, the points and cash system isn’t the main focus. That honour goes to the cityscape and urban areas Umuragi Generation is set in. The multiple locations you’re shooting at all take place chronologically. What starts out as a typical rooftop pad photoshoot of an anti-army group slowly reveals its chaos and disruptive scenarios layer by layer. And you’re doing it as an observer whose goal is to just point, shoot, and get great photos. All the while, you’re seeing a story of a degrading cyberpunk society and an outside force affecting all of it. Umurangi Generation is laying out its story blocks and narrative highlights for you to discover and unravel.
Its only sin is being incredibly brief. You can finish this game in a single afternoon, so if you’re looking for an in-depth photography adventure game, this may not be for you. But its unfolding story, unnerving setting and atmosphere, hip soundtrack, and simple breezy gameplay are enough to make this an adventure that stands out amidst its indie peers.
Final Score: 80/100