[Beyond PlayStation] Giraffe and Annika Review
Giraffe and Annika from NIS America is a charming 3D adventure in which you’ll explore the mysterious island of Spica. Learn more in our Giraffe and Annika review!
In Giraffe and Annika from NIS America, you’ll be taking on a charming 3D adventure in which you’ll play as the titular Annika. After having a strange dream, she wakes up on the mysterious but colorful island of Spica, with no recollection of her past. To be able to recover her memories, she’ll be helped by the witch Lily and by a boy named Giraffe. Annika must locate three very special star fragments, but the bad news is they’re guarded by bosses she must fight… in a music-based battle system!
For this 3D adventure, you’ll move Annika with the left analog stick, turning the camera with the right one, zooming in and out with the L and R buttons. She’ll be able to interact with other characters and objects with the A button, picking up items as well. These items will be sent to your bag, which you can check with the X button. As you complete the dungeons in the game, Annika will gain a pair of new abilities. The first one will be jumping, which will be mapped to the B button, with the other one being dashing, which will be set to the ZL and ZR buttons. These two buttons will also be used for diving into the water and for surfacing before your energy bar runs out.
Don’t forget to save your progress with Mrs. Save, who will remember everything you do, so that you can later continue from the last save you made. There are going to be many opportunities for you to save your progress since Mrs. Save has many sisters who look just like her – and who all share the same name. The game won’t be hard enough that you need to reload a save, but it’s always a good idea to keep a save of your progress in case you want to quit for a bit before coming back to carry on with your quest.
As mentioned before, the boss battles are of a rhythm-based nature. For these, you’ll have to move Annika left and right, pressing the A button to destroy the projectiles that are being thrown at her by the boss – projectiles that act as the notes for the musical battle. You’ll be using a magical staff for this, pressing the A button as needed in time with the beat or holding it down to take on the streams of notes that are presented in a different color so that you can know what’s coming your way. Once you beat each of these battles, you’ll be able to replay them by going into your inventory to open a special book that registers your performance.
Giraffe and Annika also features an in-game achievement system for you to work on. There are achievements for finishing each of the game’s dungeons, along with others for clearing all rhythm-based battles on normal or higher difficulty, as well as extra ones for getting an A or higher grade, for clearing them all with an S grade, for completing them without making any mistakes, and for obtaining all bonus drawings as rewards from said rhythm games. While exploring each area and dungeon, you should keep an eye out for the collectible drawings you can add to your collection – drawings that are called Meowsterpieces. There are a handful of extra achievements for finding six, twelve, eighteen, twenty-four, and all Meowsterpieces, so if you want to 100% the game, there’s a lot of things for you to do!
Giraffe and Annika is a fun, streamlined adventure and chill experience on Nintendo Switch. It’s an all-ages release with a colorful presentation, easy to understand gameplay mechanics, and an affordable $29.99 asking price, offering 6-8 hours of gameplay.
This Giraffe and Annika review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by NIS America.