Fans of the lighthearted fantasy puzzlers 10000000 and You Must Build a Boat may think they have a handle on developer Luca Redwood.
But based on his latest work, expect the unexpected from this creative force. The five heartbreaking stories in Redwood’s stunning Photographs get pretty dark.
It plays out like an interactive picture book. A scene unfolds, after which you zoom into relevant bits of the charming, 8-bit environment to trigger a related puzzle.
The mechanics differ in each vignette, but they’re all designed to test your brainpower and help tell the story. As you learn more about the old man and the little girl in the opening chapter, for instance, elements of their sad tale are woven into the sliding-block-like puzzles you must complete to progress.
It’s clever stuff that keeps you guessing right through to the end of the fifth chapter. Surprises are everywhere in Photographs, both in the way it toys with its puzzle design and in its gripping storytelling.
Be forewarned: Despite its cute aesthetic, Photographs deals with fairly mature themes, and its subject matter skews dark. To say much more would be straying into spoiler territory; like any great story, Photographs is best experienced firsthand.