We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
PC games software Reviews
15,670 Reviews PC Advisor Recommended

Snapshot review

£6.99

Manufacturer: Retro Affect

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

Photography and platforming, together at last

Puzzle-platformer Snapshot arrives quietly, having been several years in the making, and offering a high concept that sounds like it should have existed forever but actually is all its own.

Cutesy characters, jumping and traversing mini-mazes to reach an exit - these are all par for the course for platforms games old and new. Snapshot's twist is to add a perpetual camera viewfinder , a shimmering square controlled with the mouse while you make your little robot character move with the keyboard. The 'camera' can, with a left-click, capture certain parts of the level, and then with a right-click recreate them elsewhere.

At its most simple, this involves moving a crate from one spot to another so you can use it as a step to a higher platform. Simple doesn't last long - you'll quickly find yourself capturing wandering elephants to use as trampolines, snagging gigantic snowballs mid-motion and having them finish their roll elsewhere, or combining multiple parts of the scenery to create new objects.

It sounds complicated, but the beauty of Snapshot is that it always seems low-key and intuitive. Sure, some levels frustrate in the way some levels in all platformers frustrate, but that's never because the camera concept is overwhelming. Snapshot keeps a lid on things by only allowing some parts of the level to be captured, so you can't grab just any old block, and beyond that it throws in spots that prevent the capture/recreation of anything whatsoever. So you're always assembling a solution and a path from evident parts rather than wildly photographing any old thing.

 Snapshot

It is aesthetically a little uninspiring, apparently more interested in recreating a retro look than being particularly characterful in its own right (it's difficult to summon any feeling whatsoever towards its mute robotic star), but at least it's non-fussy and straightforward. It looks like it could be any old iPhone platformer, but that photography mechanic, and the precision and speed with which it often needs to be deployed, means this is a PC and console game through and through. It's far from lightweight, despite appearances, and manages to wring a generous amount of novelty from its concept: you really won't be simply teleporting blocks around the place for long.

Those who like to master rather than simply complete will be glad to hear each level houses a hidden collectible to find, and bonus points can be had by beating each level in record time, but this is entirely optional. To Snapshot's eternal credit it doesn't lose sight of the need to be elegant and accessible at the same time as being challenging. It might be (perhaps too) consciously retro, but in its ideas and in its approach it also understands what it is to be a 21st century game.

Snapshot Expert Verdict »

Console version to follow soon. PC system requirements: OS:Windows XP Processor:Intel Core 2 Duo Memory:2 GB RAM Graphics:nVidia 8800 GTS or Equivalent DirectX®:9.0c Hard Drive:500 MB HD space Sound:On Board Soundcard
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

Snapshot could be accused of trying a little to hard to look and feel like a 90s console game, but there's no denying just how great its central idea is, and just how deftly it's implemented. Charming and ingenious.

  • Retro City Rampage review

    Retro City Rampage

    Grand Theft Auto: 1992

  • Explodemon review

    Explodemon

    Explodemon is a PlayStation 3 exclusive action-platformer with a strong concept and witty writing - shame about the repetitive gameplay.

  • Granny Smith review

    Granny Smith

    Granny Smith is a physics-driven Android and iOS tablet and smartphone racing game from Mediocre, whose 36 hand-crafted levels are anything but. Read our Granny Smith review to find out more.

  • Angry Birds Space for iOS review

    Angry Birds Space for iOS

    Angry Birds Space is a proper sequel that opens up genuinely new possibilities. Not every level quite lives up to the new mechanic's promise, but there's a huge amount to like here - and no doubt there will be plenty of levels added in free updates.

  • F.E.A.R. 3 review

    F.E.A.R. 3

    F.E.A.R. 3 has its flaws, but overall it's a fantastic blend of horror and action that's armed to the teeth with extras.


IDG UK Sites

Three of the most expensive Limited Edition games ever made: Who's buying a $1,000,000 game?

IDG UK Sites

Co-op's Easter egg promo site is an Apple parody

IDG UK Sites

Best Mac: Apple Mac buyers guide for 2015: iMac, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini and...