Photography and puzzling have always been popular hobbies for young and old. People love to take pictures to so they can memorize those special moments, which can range from silly photographs that were taken on a party to beautiful moments that seemed life changing at the time. Unfortunately, people take less and less time to photograph things because they are often too busy with computers and video games. But what if there was an awesome video game that involves
photography? Of course, over the past years several games have been brought out that included photography in some way. In a recently released game called Snapshot, it is essential in order to complete the game. The game has been developed by a small indie company called Retro Affect, that has not created much games before, apart from the game Depict, which is freeware and can be downloaded without paying a dime. Snapshot is a fun, innovative puzzler where you control Pic, a silly little robot that looks like it ran out the movie Wall-E, armed with a super-powered camera and pair of modified legs that any decent basketball-player would be jealous of. With Pic your objective is to walk trough the cartoonish levels of the game. Easier said then done, as this is not a ordinary platform game.
As mentioned before, photography is essential in order to go to the next level. With Pic’s special camera he can take pictures of anything on the screen and place it in front of you. This innovative gadget helps Pic get to places which at first sight seem unreachable. For example, Pic can take a picture of a crate on the other side of the screen and copy it in front of you, so you can get to that ledge that seems impossible to reach. Apart from this unique feature Pic can jump and climb. It is hard to describe Snapshot, as I’ve never played a game like this before. It seems like an odd mix between Mario, Pokemon Snap and Jigsaw, and yet is still seems to work, as the game can be quite enjoyable once you get the hang of it. The controls are quite simple. Pic can be controlled using various keys on the keyboard, and you can take control of the camera by using the mouse. The game comes with an ingame tutorial, explaining various aspects of the game while you play, although controlling Pic stays a little annoying, as he rockets at the lightest touch, making it hard to reach certain points. Also he seemed a little imprecise, but I can’t tell if that was due to the game mechanics or my lack of skill. The game is quite easy the first few levels, but gets harder soon as levels come with more tricky obstacles and enemies that can kill you. Pic can save up to 3 pictures on his camera. Objects of photographs can be combined, meaning you can create new objects in order to reach the place you need to go to a little easier. That being said, the game is full of evil forces, spikes and other things that cause havoc, making it hard to reach the point of a level, despite the fact the levels are quite small. If Pic falls into one of these traps he is dead instantly and the level will be reset. As there are no saving points in the levels it can be a bit frustrating to do the same jump over and over in order to reach the next level. Luckily you get help sometimes from elephant trampolines, crab elevators and telepathic monkeys, which is more then welcome, since every other creature in the game seems to have only one purpose: smashing you and your camera to tiny pieces.
The main goal is to reach the end of the level, but there are several other objectives you can complete. For example, Pic has to collect as many stars as possible before finishing the map. They are scattered across the whole level, but are not that hard to find, unlike the hidden objects. Each level has a hidden object that you can photograph, assuming you find the tiny little item, which can be hidden in various places, ranging from tall grass to the top of a tree. The last objective is the most annoying one as it’s a par time, which basically means you have to reach the end of a level within the specific time. With time pressure you are likely to make errors, so if you want to beat the par time you will have to pay attention, although making it trough in one run does not mean you actually beat the par time, as some times seem impossible to achieve. The graphics are done in a cartoony style and look decent. It reminded me a little of the old Kirby games. The textures are fine and I did not experience any problems with the framerate. The game runs smooth and most gamers should be able to play it. While the concept is quite original and the game is enjoyable for an hour or two, Snapshot can get a little boring and frustrating after a while. That being said it is a nice game and personally I think Retro Affect has made something they can be proud of. If you want a original puzzling game or are into platform games I would recommend the game. More hardcore gamers are probably better of with some other title.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.