The free demo for Puzzle Fest on Steam is incredible
The Steam Puzzle Fest begins today, with steep discounts on a wide variety of puzzle games. To be honest, though, downloading the upcoming puzzle game Viewfinder’s free demo during Steam’s Puzzle Fest week is one of the best things you can do. I got a sneak glance at this by Sad Owl Studios at GDC last month, and I was completely blown away by it. Don’t be deceived by its appearance; it’s not just another Witness knockoff. I challenge you not to let out an audible “OooOOOooooOOOooooh” as you see the photographs you snap in-game come to life in complete, explorable 3D.
The preceding teaser should have given you an idea of the film’s central theme: perspective. You have a nifty polaroid camera and for whatever reason, the pictures you take may alter the scenery wherever you decide to set them down. Over the course of the demo, you’ll be slamming down images like they’re part of the level in order to solve puzzles, traverse its strange landscapes, and more.
What I enjoyed most about my experience with Viewfinder was the way in which the unique artistic style of each shot was brought to life in a fully explorable 3D environment. Applying a photo of a watercolor painting, for instance, will turn the room into a beautiful mist of intricate brushstrokes while still allowing you to move freely about the scene. You can also find the occasional 8-bit video game scenery among the collection of sketches to enjoy, which will transport you to worlds built with amazing crosshatching pencil work.
If you turn a picture upside down, whatever is in it will fall to the ground in front of you, making it easier to reach if it’s too high for you to jump. It’s all quite ingenious, and the greatest part is that you’re accompanied on your adventure by a grey, fluffy cat that appears to be constructed entirely of spaghetti. So much for The Witness.
Viewfinder’s release date in 2023 is still up in the air, but after trying the demo at GDC, I’ll be keeping a close eye on it (along with The Thaumaturge, of course). Try the Viewfinder demo “Snapshot” for yourself and see for yourself! You may put your puzzle-solving and perspective-taking talents to the test without spending a dime.
From now until May 1st, you can also enjoy the rest of Steam Puzzle Fest right here.