iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux •
With 1000000 and You Must Build a Boat under his belt, Luca Redwood has become a legend around these parts. Both of those titles looked and played very simply, but had a hidden depth that you realized only once you rolled up your sleeves and delved in. Luca’s next game is called Photographs and, until now, we didn’t know much about it. That changed this morning when I was sent a preview copy that I’ve been messing around with all day. I’m pretty sure that Luca Redwood fans won’t be disappointed when Photographs hits the App Store.
Like his other titles, Photographs has hidden depth and it comes in the form of the story and world you build through a series of polaroids. You take pictures which unlock puzzles and, once solved, will add/change the scenery and add more narrative to the story that’s being told.
For example, I was told that the next picture was titled Our Dinner, so I took a picture of the kitchen. That unlocked a puzzle which, when solved, added a level to the house I was building and unlocked a story via a photograph and voice over.
The puzzles in this first level begin fairly simple and then ramp up as more obstacles are added. They’re a standard “maze” type puzzle where you’re trying to get two characters to a specific location. The issue is that when you move them in a direction, they’ll move all the way in that direction until they hit an obstacle. There have been many games that use this mechanism, the first one that came to mind was the old PopCap game, Mummy Maze. In fact, I was completely underwhelmed when I first sat down, getting that “Is this it?” vibe. Of course, it wasn’t, and soon the mazes became littered with gates, puddles, flowers, and other bits that turned them from a simple puzzle into a pure brain burner.
I don’t want to ruin any of the story I’m playing through, but I will mention that as you continue, your view of the world changes. Building evolve, people change, things grow or wither. The story is done in the pixel art we associate with other games from EightyEight Games, but are accompanied by a very well done voice over, something we haven’t seen before from Luca Redwood.
I’ve really been enjoying Photographs so far and can’t wait to see what the full game entails. We know that the full game includes 5 separate stories, each with completely different style puzzles. Thus, I’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. What else awaits us? We’ll have to wait until later this year when Photographs arrives for PC/Mac/Linux and iOS/Android.