Forget jumping into portals or manipulating blocks with a special gun. Viewfinder is all about finding photographs and drawings and walking into them. It’s clever, it’s fiendish, and if you’re a puzzle fan, we think you’re going to love it.
Coming out at some point this year, Viewfinder throws you into a beautiful world which can be manipulated with the use of photographs. Place down a photograph, and it becomes a three-dimensional extension of the world you’re already in, allowing you to step right into the photo. Sometimes that’s all you need to do; other times, you might need to rotate a photo to create a new pathway or to help you get somewhere else in the environment.
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It’s incredibly clever and, after the first few levels that ease you into Viewfinder’s mechanics gently, it gets rather tricky indeed. Viewfinder forces you to think outside of the box, and we’ve revelled in the challenge that this preview build of the game has given us. Occasionally we’ve felt like we’ve perhaps cheesed our way through a level, bastardising the solution developer Sad Owl Studios expected us to use. But if we got to the end goal, does it really matter?
As you progress through Viewfinder, you’ll unlock new mechanics, such as the ability to photocopy photographs so you can use them more than once. Later – although we’ve yet to try this ourselves – you’ll also be able to take photos using an instant camera. It’s not all about photographs, either: we’ve stepped into a child’s drawing, a pixel art screenshot and a watercolour painting. This is a beautiful and creative game, and we can’t wait to see where else it takes us.
In truth, we don’t want to say too much about Viewfinder, because we feel like much of the joy of this game is experiencing it yourself. But if you’re a fan of first person puzzle games like Portal, QUBE and The Talos Principle, you definitely need to keep your eye on it. We think this could be something rather special.
Viewfinder is releasing in 2023 on PC and PS5. We’ll have more information about its launch in due course.