Viewfinder – A Unique Perspective-Bending Puzzle Game

Viewfinder - Key Art

“The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas-covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.” – Douglas Adams


Viewfinder is an original, perspective-bending puzzle game that lets players manipulate the world around them by taking photos! There’s also a cat to pet!

Developer: Sad Owl Studios
Released: 18th July 2023
Price: £19.99

Platforms: Windows, PS5
Available on: Steam, PlayStation
Engine: Unity

Viewfinder Screenshot - Zone One


Viewfinder is a truly unique puzzle game that sees players taking photos and finding pictures that can then be placed in the world and stepped into, or otherwise used to manipulate and shape the game world. The environmental puzzles are primarily perspective and logic based and have some truly creative solutions. Often the player is required to create a path to or power a teleporter to take them to the next level. There are five zones in total each with a varying number of levels, some of which will be optional.

As well as narrative elements there is a set of collectables in each zones, the items include rubber ducks, planets and mahjong tiles. This helps encourage exploration and while it is not possible to interact with most objects there is plenty to look at and having familiarity with the landscape of each level will help to work out how to change it to solve the puzzle!

There is a definite difficulty curve to Viewfinder and the puzzles do get more tricky as the player advances and additional mechanics and concepts are introduced such as fixed cameras or those with timers. The game culminates in a timed puzzle that is especially challenging, however, the timer can be deactivated via the accessibility options if needed. Overall, the gameplay is very satisfying and engaging and keeps the player excited for the next level. There is also a lack of fall damage and a handy rewind function for when mistakes are made!

Viewfinder Screenshot - Teleporter

Narrative and Styling

Viewfinder has a futuristic, dystopian, sci-fi narrative that is delivered through communications with a disembodied character, and a charmingly cute cat named Cait, as well as through found recordings and texts such as journal entries and research notes. The story is not a main feature of the game but is intriguing and adds an extra layer of interest to the unique puzzles and curious game world.

The game has a vibrant 3D art style that gradually gets moodier as the game progresses. Each zone has a distinct look and is filled with objects and curios that make the strange environments feel lived in, invoking curiosity at first but creating an eerie effect in the later levels. There are a variety of art styles on the show via the pictures that the player creates and steps into including childlike drawings, impressionist painting, cartoons, pixelated graphics, pencil drawings and more. This is a really fun aspect of the game, especially as these areas are often hiding collectables or achievements!

Each zone in Viewfinder has its own distinct music, ranging from ethereal droning to moody jazzy numbers adding to the distinct aesthetic of each area. The soundtrack is implemented well and makes for an evocative backing track to the game without becoming repetitive or intrusive. Sound effects such as rain and other ambient or environmental noise are also used in effective ways to help immerse the player in the world. Similarly, the voice acting is of great quality and very believable, with distinct voices for each of the small selection of NPCs, none of whom the player ever sees.

Viewfinder Screenshot - Doorways


Viewfinder is a fantastically original puzzle game that lets the player bend reality in intriguing and engaging ways. The puzzles have a nice level of difficulty and are extremely satisfying to solve with creative perspective-shifting and world-shaping mechanics. The act of taking and stepping into photos is unique and refreshing as well as visually quite stunning. Likewise, the art style is vibrant and detailed and works well with sound design and narrative elements to create an immersive environment and setting. Viewfinder will take anywhere from 4 -8 hours to complete and is very accessible in terms of its difficulty whilst still providing a good challenge for its players. I thoroughly enjoyed this game and highly recommend it to puzzle fans or anyone looking for something a bit different.

If you like puzzle games you might also enjoy these reviews:
The Sojourn – Stunning New Puzzle GameDreamo – Surreal Puzzle Game Out Today!Sizeable – Explore Beautiful Dioramas in this Charming Puzzle Game!

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