Fans of excellent puzzle games like Portal and The Witness will be glad to hear that the upcoming polaroid puzzler Viewfinder draws direct inspiration from those titles, especially in how it approaches the marriage of story and narrative. PCGamesN spoke to the team at Sad Owl Studios while at WASD 2023, and learned all about how Viewfinder could be your next puzzling obsession.
According to developers Jacob Keane and Matt Stark, Viewfinder draws key inspirations from some of the best peers in the industry, with “the big inspirations things like Portal, The Talos Principle, and The Witness,” according to Stark.
A game all about challenging your perception both in the game and out, Viewfinder sees you using a Polaroid-style camera to take pictures and use them to reshape the world around you, among many other interesting perceptive tricks.
“Viewfinder is about utopianism, looking for solutions, friendships, and sacrifices,” Stark tells us on the busy WASD show floor, adding that the puzzle game’s development has been “about trying to find new ways to link the narrative themes with the gameplay and make it feel cohesive, like the tone of the narrative is cohesive with the tone of the gameplay because a lot of it’s quite playful and light-hearted.”
Stark adds that the team wants to be “able to explore these themes without making it feel like there’s a strong contrast between what the player is doing and what’s happening in the gameplay.”
Set for release sometime this year, you can wishlist Viewfinder on Steam right now to be kept in the loop of its full release.
In the meantime, you can find plenty of games similar to Viewfinder by checking out our top picks for the best adventure games and best story games, as both these genres often have a lot in common with puzzlers.
Interview conducted by Nat Smith at WASD 2023.