Photobomb (Milkbag Games, 2014)
The premise: everyone is supposed to be monitored everywhere, but a city square has been bombed by someone who wasn’t wearing their tracking ID. Six people there were unidentified at the time of the bombing, and we need to figure out which it was. We can wander around inside a reconstruction of the scene, replaying the last seconds before the bomb went off, watching a crowd mannequins move about and, eventually, seeing one drop the bomb.
We have no idea who that person is, but we can tag and track the unknowns by recreating photos which feature them. Everyone’s Instagramming everything nowadays, you know. Once we’ve recreated a shot, the suspects and bomb sites within them are forever painted bright colours as we rewatch events. Eventually we can find clear proof, but may not have time. With people baying for justice, we only have two minutes to identify the guilty. We might need to rely on deduction.
The photo-restaging is tricky to get the hang of, but jolly fun once you’ve figured it out. Watching the crowds buzz about is a lovely thing, as is watching bright suspects pass through them. Our one gunshot is pretty powerful and final, especially at times when we’re not certain. That’s a problem with many FPSs: shooting loses a lot of its power when we’re doing it constantly. And the mannequin shatters, not even seen as a person. Pretty harsh place, this city. It occurs to me now that I’ve never tried not firing or purposely missing at the end.
And! Being procedural means the suspects and square are different every time. Splendid.
Download page: https://milkbaggames.itch.io/photobomb
Snapdragon (Jan Orlowski, 2019)
Snapdragon is a puzzle adventure game about recreating photos on an abandoned island. Use the old photos to determine where they were taken and recreate them with your camera. The island has experienced many changes, so figuring out where the photo was taken will be a challenge.
thanks Matteo Bittanti for the tip!
Anachronox (Ion Sotorm, 2001) features a digital camera that is used in some sub-quests (“Sub-quest: Anachronox Symbols”, “Sub-quest: Yerocan And Working For The Resistance”, “Sub-quest: Dead Drug Dealer”, “Sub-quest: Speeder”, “Sub-quest: Brebulan Photographs” and “Sub-quest: Red Bippridi”, source: https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/pc/196605-anachronox/faqs/12984) to gather photographic evidence.
Escape Dead Island (Fatshark, 2014)
Russia’s Ministry of Defence has posted what it called “irrefutable proof” of the US aiding so-called Islamic State – but one of the images was actually taken from a video game.
The ministry claimed the image showed an IS convoy leaving a Syrian town last week aided by US forces.
Instead, it came from the smartphone game AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron.
The ministry said an employee had mistakenly attached the photo.
The Conflict Intelligence Team fact-checking group said the other four provided were also errors, taken from a June 2016 video which showed the Iraqi Air Force attacking IS in Iraq.
The video game image seems to be taken from a promotional video on the game’s website and YouTube channel, closely cropped to omit the game controls and on-screen information.
In the corner of the image, however, a few letters of the developer’s disclaimer can still be seen: “Development footage. This is a work in progress. All content subject to change.”
source: “Russia posts video game screenshot as ‘proof’ of US helping IS”, BBC News – 14 November 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41991012