Snapshot tells the story of a clumsy robot who finds himself lost and alone, left nothing but an abandoned world full of dangers and his trusty camera. His camera provides him the ability to photograph objects, removing them from the world completely and pasting them back into the world via that very same camera.
This ability in turn affords you the opportunity to solve Snapshot’s collection of increasingly difficult puzzles. Along the way you’ll encounter and interact with a number of objects both helpful and harmful, everything from dangerous spikes to bouncy elephants. If these adventures sound like a challenge you’re ready to take on, stick with me to learn more about Snapshot.
When you start a game of Snapshot, you’re placed in a seemingly idyllic world. Pastel colors, soft landscapes and an adorable robot? It seems too easy and the initial training levels certainly persuade you to continue thinking in this manner of simplicity. Over the first few levels you undergo nothing more than an interactive explanation of the concepts which comprise the basis of Snapshot.
The game appears at first to be more along the lines of a 2D platformed, as opposed to the puzzle game it is categorized as. The controls lend themselves to this belief and are appropriately rudimentary, offering simply options to move sideways and to jump. You also learn to take pictures of boxes (and later other objects) and then use the snapshots to paste the box into strategically optimal locations.
In the first few levels the puzzles you are called to solve test no more than your ability to successfully navigate the levels, using the boxes to provide a boost when you’re not tall enough to reach a certain location. As the first levels progress, you learn to navigate with the boxes to avoid death due to dangerously large spikes. The boxes continue to teach you as you use them to solve puzzles involving stacking, climbing and even “photo-free” zones.
As you progress through the levels, you quickly realize that what once seemed a cute and light-hearted adventure is now a world full of challenges that can push you to the brink. To start, let’s revisit some of the levels you’ve already solved. You may have noticed the presences of badges, awarded based upon your performance in the three-level groupings. You likely already earned at least most of the star badges, but there are others available to win as well, for achievements like beating a certain time or taking snapshots of the collectible items.
If the challenge of earning badges (especially the pesky time badges) isn’t enough for you, the levels quickly become more difficult as you progress. While techniques are simple in the beginning (no more than moving a few boxes for height or protection), the difficulty compounds rather quickly. New levels require the use of additional objects, precise timing and a great deal of patience. You might find yourself balancing on a small point, attempting to snap an impossible angled photograph or learn to time your movements precisely, jumping and placing an object underneath yourself, all in the split second before you land. The puzzles are always possible, frustratingly difficult as they might seem at times.
The Final Shots
Snapshot has treated me fairly well, especially given the fact that I acquired it in the Humble Bundle, thus for a more than decent price. The game has been quite entertaining, the graphics are whimsical and the music always heightens whatever the mood happens to be. The difficulty of obstacles and puzzles increase at a fairly well-planned pace, never too much but always enough to frustrate you.
Of course, Snapshot is not without its faults. While the game itself is well thought out and the puzzles certainly challenge you to think and solve in new ways, the controls and in-game physics certainly deserve some initial consideration. While I absolutely adore many aspects of Snapshot, I’ve found my relationship as a whole to be rather hot and cold. At times, I’m so drawn into the game that forcing myself to stop playing is quite a chore. At other times, the control problems drive me to the edge, filling me with a desire to delete Snapshot and never have to open it again.
The good certainly outweighs the bad a majority of the time (or I wouldn’t bother telling you about Snapshot), but it’s definitely worth keeping in mind. What’s your patience like? Are you willing to sacrifice some of the good control options in favor of all the other benefits Snapshot has? These are questions to keep in mind as you contemplate a purchase of Snapshot.
As always, I’m excited to hear your thoughts on the game. Have you had a chance to try it out? Did you love it or hate it? Were the control issues tolerable or did they prevent you from enjoying the game? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.