I am no stranger to games that get weird. But with Viewfinder, things start weird and only get more unbelievable as time goes on.
If you are looking for a puzzle game to break your brain, this is it.
I’m quickly introduced to the mechanics by falling to my death. At least, it would have been my death if I didn’t have the handy ability to rewind time. Why I have this ability, where I am, and what’s going on, I have no idea. But at least for now, I’m in one piece.
Eventually, while sauntering through a sunny world filled with overgrown grass, clean architectural lines, and unsettling Greek talismans meant to ward off the evil eye, I discover an abandoned picture. Holding it up, I realize I have the ability to place the photo, and all of its contents, in the world, making it a real, life-sized part of the landscape.
Suddenly, once-impassible hurdles pose no problem. I can place a picture of an open gateway in front of a closed door to open up a path. Finding a black-and-white photo of a bridge proves the key to spanning a gap too large to jump over. Any image I lay my fingers on transforms into reality at my will.
Then things get wild. Not restricted to photography, any work of art I encounter can spring to life. Sparse line drawings, impressionistic gardens, a cartoony desert — one after the other, I walk through all of them. Soon I find a camera that allows me to twist any photo I capture into the next puzzle’s solution. The world has no boundaries.
My wandering leads me to a series of teleportation devices. Again, I don’t know why they’re there, but the game pushes me to power them up to move to the next level. The final area of the demo places batteries for the last teleportation device atop a towering pillar.
Unable to reach it through normal means, I snap an image of my objective and place the photo in such a way that the battery falls from the sky and on to the ground in front of me. But that’s not the only way to get it. On a nearby table are two screenshots, both looking like some beloved old-school titles.
One of these contains a power-up that allows me to jump noticeably higher. If I take a picture of the boost and recreate it, the effect stacks. After several helpings of the jump-increasing item, I can leap over the battery-holding pillar like it was nothing.
I can not wrap my mind around Viewfinder. Solutions to the game’s puzzles push the bounds of reality, and I feel like the only limit is my creativity. I can’t wait to play and see other, much smarter, people find their way through this incredible adventure.