It's Youda time! Youda Safari takes time management to the carefully-controlled realm of animal photography. Failing safari businesses are being turned into hunting grounds, and as the ever-helpful Lucy, you have agreed to help a friend liven up his tours. After all, shooting animals with cameras is better than with guns.
Each level takes place on the safari grounds with animals lining a maze-like dirt path. Eager photographers come up to the gate and decide which animals they would like to see. Place visitors in the car, then click on animals in the order you want to visit them. The vehicle then drives along the road, stopping only to let the passengers take a quick picture.
No time management game would be complete without between-level upgrades. Youda Safari lets you buy bigger, faster vehicles to carry more passengers, but be warned that more simultaneous passengers greatly increases the complexity of the game. Snack stands are also available and will feed hungry visitors to earn you extra cash.
There are a number of in-game events you'll have to keep an eye out for as well. Sometimes you'll have an animal that needs to be fed, an obstacle in the road that needs to be removed, or a special mini-game style photoshoot you can participate in. There are even collectible photographs you can click when they appear, so don't take your eyes off the safarigoers for too long.
Analysis: Youda Games is well known for their time management outings, including Youda Farmer, Youda Fairy, and Youda Camper. Come to think of it, the company is also known for naming games after itself! Either way, Youda's products are always packed with simple charm and have this uncanny ability to distill time management down to its most basic (but never too rudimentary) elements.
The pacing of Youda Safari is surprisingly quick, and you have to keep a number of items stored in your short term memory when planning out your vehicle's route. The challenge comes from this quick recall, not necessarily hectic gameplay, which is an interesting change of pace from most time management games. When you've got three passengers wanting to photograph three different animals each, it can be tricky to plot an efficient course. If you stick with it, though, you'll hit the groove and receive great rewards of yummy brain chemicals.
After a few dozen levels or so, you'll realize how Youda Safari falls short of perfection. Once you learn the ropes, you've pretty much experienced all the game has to offer. Very few new things are introduced after the first chunk of the game, leaving you performing the same tasks over and over again. Sure, it gets more difficult and that challenge is incredibly satisfying, but unless the gameplay wins you over early on, you're not likely to warm up to the game afterwards.
Youda Safari can be a brain full, but it's an extremely satisfying casual time management game!