This game was reviewed on PC.

Reviewed by:  Nikola Hristov

It's not often we get a revolutionizing mechanic in a videogame. Things like the ability to go through small pockets of space and end up in different places, just like Portal did. Viewfinder does something similarly mind-bending, and though it lacks in other aspects, the puzzles it puts your mind through will most definitely leave you with a grin.

The story is set in a dystopian future where humanity has managed to destroy the Earth due to climate change. The cities are filled with orange suffocating smoke and people are afraid to go outside. Humans are desperate to find a way to bring the planet back to its original nature and beauty. And that's where you come in – given the ability to essentially warp reality with your camera. I won't spoil much more for the story, but I will say that it's short – about 6 hours in length, which is respectable for a puzzle-adventure game, but 2 or so more hours wouldn't have hurt.

The whole premise of the gameplay is to use that camera to your advantage – by taking photos of whatever you want and pasting them wherever you want. This gives you unlimited freedom – as you can snap anything and magically place it on top of the ground, next to a wall or in between two buildings to act as a bridge. There are also paintings you can use to place on top of walls, creating a reality-warping hole through them and allowing you to pass. The puzzles are easy at the onset but will leave you desiring more from this groundbreaking new mechanic that Sad Owl studios created – and I'm happy to say that as the game progresses, you get many more options and more challenging levels.

Speaking of the levels, the art style of the game is also immaculate. For most of it, it's a combination of the black and white trick photography and colorful cartoon world. But the game never ceased to amaze me with new pictures, devices and even drawings with various differing designs such as rotoscope, 90s dungeon crawler, a child's crayon drawing and so much more. It also helps that the camera mechanic isn't just focused on puzzles and solving the levels, but instead also for pure entertainment. I also didn't experience any problems with the performance, which is impressive for how many opportunities the new mechanic had to simply break the level. The voice acting and music are decent, nothing too impressive, but they serve their purpose.

Overall, the developer team behind Viewfinder put their heart and soul into creating this mind-boggling mechanic, which makes this one of the most creative and polished experiences I've ever played. It never overstays its welcome and makes sure to always throw new things at the player, keeping you invested all the time. Though the story leaves more to be desired, this is a video game that's hard not to recommend because of its innovative and ingenious use of trick photography. Because of how fun it is, it's sure to leave a mark on your memory, despite it not being a long game at all. These are the type of indies I love the most.

Reviewed by: Nikola Hristov