Hidden object puzzles are some of the most popular casual games on the market. But what if, instead of being given an image and told to find the random objects scattered within, the player could instead take the picture themselves?
That is the basic premise behind Shutterbug, an upcoming PC and Mac game from Idol Minds. Players familiar with Pokemon Snap may see a conceptual resemblance between the two; Idol Minds regards their project as that game’s spiritual successor. In Shutterbug, described by its creators as “a beautiful nature photography game for fans of hidden object and collecting games,” the player is sent on a macro safari. While exploring a rain forest in the tropics, they search for elusive animals, plants, and even mythological creatures to capture with their camera.
The player is given a list of subjects to find throughout the many lavish environments, and accomplishes this through the camera’s viewfinder. Upon locating their quarry, the player must line up a shot, zoom in as needed, and take the picture before their target can flee the scene. Each photo is scored by the game, with scores being determined by the picture’s composition and how close the player was able to get. Bonus points are earned for catching the subject in an interesting pose, and upgrading the photography equipment can result in better shots and therefore better scores. After collecting individual creatures through photography, the player can then interact with them in a personal butterfly pavilion, which can be upgraded in quality as the game progresses.