Finding Teddy is one of those games in which I walked in not expecting anything at all, and came out completely awed by what the developers were able to accomplish with this little adventure game. There's a saying that simplicity is the key to brilliance, and that completely applies here. Everything from the story and gameplay to graphics and music is very minimal, but it all comes together to create something more magical than flashier games are able to achieve.
Our story is fairly basic, a little girl sleeps soundly in her room when a monstrous spider sneaks in through the wardrobe and steals her teddy bear. Venturing into the wardrobe to a dream-like world full of dangerous creatures and beautiful landscapes, she must find the spider and rescue teddy. That's all we are given to lead us through the game, and despite the very simple premise, it works.
The mechanics is your basic adventure puzzle fair of finding items and using them on objects and creatures to further your progression through the game world. There is no written dialogue or item descriptions, so a bit of trial and error willl be needed for some puzzles. Despite not having anything spelled out for you, there is a logic at play in specifically the music puzzles; as you slowly figure out the method, everything begins to make sense and the dream world in which you're lost doesn't seem quite as enigmatic as before. This unveiling is accomplished so deftly, it's difficult to explain without destroying the sense of discovery in figuring it out yourself, so I will just leave the point here.
Musically, the soundscape is atmospherically ambient with subdued melodies that resonate an ethereal, dream-like quality. This compliments the strange and mysterious game world and creates a base for the melodies in the music puzzles.
Hand-made pixel graphics make up the world you explore. Knowing that the artists designed every image pixel by pixel is awe inspiring. The colorful palette and gorgeous visual style incorporates impressionistic geometrical elements that give off an otherworldly feel. Everything from the landscapes to character and creature designs are imaginatively conceived, with the final world featuring some of the most creative imagery I've seen from pixel graphics. And to think this game was developed in only 4 months time...
I have very little to complain about as I feel the design is perfect for what it accomplishes. Some may find the lack of instruction or direction to be frustrating, but I believe this was a design choice meant to enhance gameplay and impress upon the player a sense of being lost in a strange world. I came across a few bugs in which the game froze or crashed, but didn't seem to be able to recreate those situations after coming back to it later. Outside of those few bugs, there's not much I consider at fault with the game.
All said, I feel every element of Finding Teddy comes together so perfectly that it elevates the game to a digital work of art. $6.99 for 3+ hours of immense enjoyment seems very fair to me, although it has been featured in numerous bundles for a fraction of that cost and sees frequent sales. Either way, if you are looking for a beautiful game with a simple yet unique take on the adventure genre, I highly recommend picking this one up.