Few first-person puzzle-platformers have new mechanics as daunting as Portal, but Viewfinder deserves an equally high shelf. The game gives a creative new meaning to the term “point and click adventure” by equipping it with an old-fashioned instant film camera that can physically bend and break as well as take pictures of its surroundings. To open up new paths towards the goals of each level. It’s an ingenious perspective-based puzzle-solving tool that constantly evolves over the course of its six-hour journey, even though the story never unfolded as rapidly as his one in the fresh game. It kept me hooked until the end. A swaying Polaroid photo.
The viewfinder’s unique way of altering terrain with trick photography is so impressive that I can’t even fully explain how it exists, much less. Take a photo of just about anything you see in each level’s floating island landscape, hold that 2D image of him in front of another part of your surroundings, and magically superimpose the shots in full-scale 3D, behind them. space can be changed dramatically. . If you take a picture of an open door and slam it against the wall, you can go through to the other side in classic Looney Tunes fashion, or tilt the picture from the side of the bridge toward the outer edge. – Reach the rooftop to make a convenient ramp. It’s a clever piece of map manipulation that seems simple at first but quickly scales up to be surprisingly complex, and he’s one of those games where you never know if what you come up with is right. of solution or simply be A solution you invented. In one late-game level, I managed to reach the exit by creating a collage of seemingly impossible upside-down stairs. MC Escher may have been fiddling with his phone trying to open his Google Maps.
What’s really remarkable is how liberating and seamless the landscape-destroying photos feel, for the most part. I’ve never encountered an obtrusive “Out of Range” message, nor have shots that shatter landscapes implemented in a significantly glitchy way. There are some important restrictions. It keeps it challenging by limiting the amount of photos you can take to the number of rolls of film paper in your camera. It is also forbidden to place pictures that destroy the teleporter exit of the level and prevent the completion of the level. . Otherwise, you’re effectively free to experiment with layering shots onto the world at any angle, and this freedom, thanks to the ability to quickly rewind, makes it easy to undo any mistakes you make. further reinforced by the facts. Essentially, you can instantly step back through each level of movement, similar to pressing Ctrl+Z to step back down an added layer in a Photoshop document.
Viewfinder review screen
Viewfinder’s early puzzles were mostly concerned with reusing simple things like surrounding walls and doors to build paths to goals, but increasingly complex conundrums regarding the use of each configuration. New elements are steadily being introduced to present Copiers allow you to duplicate images, so you can duplicate any item in a frame, and are useful for duplicating batteries used to power electrical circuits. You can also use the attached camera with timer to take a selfie and use the result. Teleport yourself through crevices and cage walls. In many cases, no photography is required at all. Instead, pinpointing the way forward requires overcoming clever forced perspective tricks that disguise hidden tunnels and bridges in front of you, much like the Leap of Faith sequence in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. there is. Viewfinders rarely rely on the same optical trick for long periods of time. This healthy puzzle variety kept me glued to each task and allowed me to observe each puzzle arena from every angle.
picture in picture
Your own images aren’t the only things you can use to manipulate the world. Everything from iconic paintings to desktop screenshots can be collected to a certain level and expanded and brought to life where it sees fit. At one point, I was happy to suddenly descend into the bitmapped depths of a DOS-era dungeon crawler, while at another, I was straight out of a rotoscoped music video for ’80s pop classic Take. I found myself staggering through a landscape that looked like it had been pencil sketched. to me. (It wasn’t the sort of “okay moment” in a puzzle-based adventure I was expecting.) From asymmetrical Mondrian-esque art to crudely drawn houses made out of a child’s crayons, there’s plenty to see and do. The journey through the viewfinder can sometimes not feel like squinting. It’s like looking through the lens of a camera into a kaleidoscope of exciting and ever-changing creative ideas.
Some of these preconceived images, even though they look amusing, seem to contain something completely irrelevant. Bring a Tetris screenshot to the towering creature to watch a purely life-sized Tetronimos fall to the ground, and temporarily dazzle it by pressing a button to water the greyscale plant on the giant LCD screen. In order to distract from the , the Tamagotchi-style toy was inflated to the billboard size. screen. Still elsewhere, like jump power-ups that can be collected within a Metroid-esque screenshot diorama, they can be used elsewhere in the level to jump onto previously unreachable platforms, making problems directly can be used to resolve Whether the results were practical or purely playful, I consistently felt rewarded for nearly every found image I transplanted to terrain.
But I’ve never been so enamored with exploring the plot of The Viewfinder. The story is set in a future where climate change has reached its final stages and the Earth has turned a Blade Runner 2049-esque orange, where natural vegetation no longer seems to exist. The puzzle challenges you are asked to complete are actually virtual reality constructs based on the research of a team of climate scientists aimed at discovering the design of a machine that could reverse the decline of the Earth. is. It’s an intriguing and somewhat depressing and relatable premise, but it’s a little too vague, as the plot is effectively told by out-of-order audio logs and odd diary pages here and there. cling to. And thematically, there’s nothing in this photography-themed game that really resonates with the idea of a post-climate post-apocalyptic world.
There are also the odd lighthearted quips in correspondence from research partner Jesse, and the occasional words of encouragement from a Cheshire Cat-like feline friend who appears as you explore deeper into the research rabbit hole, but neither You can’t evoke the same kind of emotions. GladOS or her Wheatley or the Portal series Sentry He laughed as much as the turret, but I eventually ignored them in favor of concentrating on the next terrain-twisting task at hand. bottom.
Viewfinder’s plot may be lame, but its puzzle-solving is more than powerful enough to bear its weight, and my enthusiasm for its mind-boggling brain teasers continues from its captivating opening moments. It never faltered until the climactic timed gauntlet run. This is a fun final exam that puts all the techniques you’ve learned on your journey to the test. I also cleared some optional challenges. Some of them were very complicated and took about 30 minutes of trying, and another hour or so of thinking while washing the dishes and walking the dog before finally being able to come up with a solution. rice field. from my subconscious. (As often happens, in retrospect, the answer was bloody obvious.) Six hours is a relatively healthy running time for this type of puzzle-based adventure, but the viewfinder presents an even more outlandish conundrum. had appeared, I would have gladly continued. completion.