Get ready to take a whole lot of pictures
When I first loaded up Snapshot, I had zero knowledge as to what the game was about, what the aim of the game was and what made it different from being just another 2D platformer. You control Pic, a lonesome robot with only his camera to keep him company on his travels through an odd little world, consisting of 4 environments from evergreen forests to icy forests. What stood out straight away upon starting the first level was the sharp and gorgeous looking art style, which was quite the joy to look at and gave me a warm fuzzy feeling inside as if I was a 3 year old dancing along to Barney (I didn’t actually do this….I didn’t…..maybe you did). The visuals go alongside the design of the robot relatively well and doesn’t ever really make you think “Why on earth is a robot running through a forest”. The artists managed to do a tremendous job in creating high definition visuals without moving away from the obvious retro look in which they wanted to capture (rather obvious due to the developers being called ‘Retro Affect’). So as I began on my play through of the first level, I could see that Pic could jump, crouch and hang onto ledges, but what made this game different from other platformers? I was given my answer once I started the second level, as I was given the chance to test out the mechanic the game was built around; the ability to take snapshots of objects and move said object to help you navigate through each of the 100+ levels. Explains the name of the game doesn’t it? It’s a well thought out idea which I hadn’t previously seen in a platformer before. You start off by using the camera to move crates and as you traverse through the game you find more objects that can be used as part of the puzzles, including weird spikey platforms (that for some reason have eyes) to moving elephants that you can bounce off of, to moving fireballs that you can use to hit a target. Once you have an object in your possession, you even have the ability to rotate the image which certainly adds to the puzzles and can result in you having to have a really good think as to how you can tackle a problem.
Too many eggs were thrown into one basket
However the problem I started to find with it is that it’s the only real feature that Snapshot has and it begins to wear thin after around 20 to 30 levels…which does make me wonder just how many people have actually managed to go through every level in the game. And unfortunately that problem can cause your time with Snapshot to come to an end quicker than you would have liked. To go alongside each level is a collectible that is generally hidden in some way, and to capture it you have to take a snap shot of it. If you manage to get all of the collectibles within a chapter then you are rewarded with a lovely giant gold coin, which alongside collecting all the small stars scattered throughout each level signifies that you have accomplished 100% completion of a chapter. There are time trials which you can attempt to tackle in every level and while they are a nice little test to see how quickly you can complete a level, sometimes they feel borderline ridiculous to complete and can leave you fuming. While I myself didn’t have much incentive to continue on with the time trials after failing 5 or so of them, if you do find yourself mastering the camera mechanic then I could quite easily understand you attempting to conquer as many of the time trials as possible. Rather than being right up in your face, the soundtrack gives off an electronic ambient style which makes you feel relaxed as you play through the game. In doing so, the soundtrack helps pull you in to the colourful world and manages to link up with the art style very well. After hearing the first stage’s theme once, it’s likely to be stuck in your head for a good couple hours afterwards. But unfortunately too many eggs were thrown into one basket with Snapshot. The mechanic that gets the most attention isn’t a strong enough hook to keep you going for 50 levels, let alone over 100. While I would recommend the game to those that enjoy puzzle platformers and are looking for a small fun game to play, I would certainly encourage that you try to pick this up as part of a bundle rather than paying full price. One final comment I have to make is that with just a couple alterations, I believe Snapshot would be a really well received addition to the Nintendo 3DS.
The Bad: Camera mechanic may not hold your attention for very long