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Video Game / Photographs

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Five souls seek my aid
Five vistas to unfold
Five stories their proving ground
Five choices, one reclaimed.

Photographs is a hybrid Hidden Object Game with various degrees of other puzzle games thrown in. It was released on mobile devices and Steam in 2019 by Eighty Eight Games, the same developers behind 10,000,000 and You Must Build A Boat, but it has no connection to either of those titles.

Described as a "narrative puzzle game", Photographs focuses on the lives of five individuals coming to terms with events they've come to regret. Each character has a different style of puzzle to complete for their levels. In between clearing each puzzle, the landscape changes along with the story. To find each new puzzle, the player must zoom in and take a photograph of an object, with a clue on the top of the screen to guide you where to look.

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Photographs contains examples of:

  • Anthology: Each of the five stories remain mostly unconnected, but are all united by the theme of erasing one's failures.
  • Anyone Can Die: The Jailer and The Journalist are the only two of the five main characters to be explicitly killed in their stories. As for minor characters, Cleo, Melaine, the woman Atami was implied to be sleeping with, James, and the drunk driver that would have killed Gabriel are all killed throughout the game
  • The Atoner: Each of the five main characters wants to make amends for an action or actions that had led to them seeking out the mirror.
  • Magic Mirror: The main feature in the cave the five characters find themselves in, which can apparently Set Right What Once Went Wrong. If the game is allowed access to your phone's or computer's camera, your face can be displayed within it during the lead-in to the finale.
  • My Greatest Failure: Each of the five characters has one that they want to absolve themselves of:
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    • The Alchemist regrets giving Cleo the cure that made her go insane and kill herself.
    • The Athlete regrets taking the drugs that led to her being banned from the diving team.
    • The Jailer regrets not killing the settlers sooner, which led to his people being enslaved.
    • The Journalist regrets radically changing his family's newspaper from providing wholesome news to clickbaity hate pieces.
    • The Preventer getting Annie and Gabriel involved in covering up her indirectly killing the man that would have killed her son.
  • No Name Given: The Athlete and The Jailer are the only main characters that are given names: The Athlete is named Jane, and The Jailer is named Atami.
  • The Plague: The Heartstop / "Red Death" virus in the Alchemist's story. We don't know much about it, but once you're infected, your skin becomes red, and then you just die at some point.
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  • Sadistic Choice: The player must decide which of the five characters will get their redemption. To do this, you are required to pick between two of the characters at a time to take one step closer to the mirror. Whoever takes three steps is the chosen one, and you play three of their puzzles to redeem them.

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