Photographs tells a story through (unsurprisingly) photographs, accompanied by simple, understandable puzzles that slowly increase in difficulty as the story progresses. It’s a quirky game that channels simplicity through its gameplay and artistic style. Despite this, it doesn’t take long to discover a heavier tone that lies within the simplistic guise.

The game is interesting because of this deceit. ‘The Alchemist’ is one of three stories available in the demo shown at Rezzed. This chapter introduces a sweet story about a father and daughter whose home and alchemy business grows over time, bringing them happiness.

However, the sincere voice acting, music, and warm graphic design give a false security of home and endearment, and left us completely unprepared for the dark turn in its story. Unafraid to explore sadness and themes of mistake and regret, the game boldly shifted toward darker themes while maintaining its gentle visuals, a fascinating juxtaposition. The merging of simple gameplay and art style against a paradoxically sophisticated and mature plot works wonderfully.

Photographs is another wave in the growing tide of games that go further than just entertainment. The game is coming to mobile devices and its gameplay is perfect for the platform. It is accessible, charming, simple, and dark, making for an altogether bittersweet and captivating experience.

DID YOU KNOW

The pixel art in Photographs was done by Octavi Navarro, who also worked on Forge Games favourite Thimbleweed Park.

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