Humble Indie Bundle 7 ReviewGuest_Jim_* - January 2, 2013
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A second puzzle game in the bundle, Snapshot can be briefly summarized as 2D Portal where the Portal Gun is a camera and there are no self-portraits. You play as a robot with the ability to run, jump, duck, and take pictures that literally capture whatever non-environment element you focus on, but never more than three pictures. Blocks, balls, springs, and even elephants can be caught on film and released anywhere on the map that it will fit.
Obviously the camera mechanic is at the center of the puzzles, but just how well done are the puzzles? The pure puzzles are quite good and challenging, but not difficult, following the definitions I gave in Closure's segment. The non-puzzle gameplay though can be difficult, but if there must be difficult elements to a game, that is where it should be.
Along with the puzzles are a variety of side-quests such as completing the level so quickly, collecting every star on the map, and finding an item hidden somewhere. Once found you must take a picture of the item and carry that with you to the goal. Getting to the item or some stars can be quite difficult though as in at least one puzzle, if you do not perfectly execute the jump to reach them, and snap a picture of the spring that launched you, you will be stuck and forced to restart the level. For regular puzzles the only difficultly I have thus far found deals with momentum.
If an object is moving when you take a picture of it, there will be a blur effect in the picture, indicating the direction of the momentum when you release it. This can be difficult to manage though as at least I cannot read how much momentum an object will have when released. Occasionally when I released a moving object it would quickly plummet to the ground, missing what I was aiming for, because there was just not enough speed for it to move as I wanted it to.
Regardless though, the stages fairly well identify what you need to do, both in the level design itself and even the name of the level. Just don't expect an abundance of advice on how to get to the hidden items and some stars.
The soundtrack has something of a techno sound to it, which fits the robot character. Also at times it has qualities from the 8-bit and 16-bit eras of video games, which is definitely not a bad thing.
Should you pay-what-you-want for Snapshot? If you want a puzzler that offers both a straightforward gameplay experience and likely many hours of effort for the perfectionist in you, then you will very likely enjoy this game a great deal. Perhaps a good way to describe it is that a mobile version of this game would be great. The mechanic could easily be translated to a touchscreen and I personally feel that the 'pick-up, put-down' nature of a mobile device would be an ideal way to experience this game with its relatively short, but interesting puzzles.