Framed

Part game/part comic book!

Mac Format - - CONTENTS -

£2.99 De­vel­oper Love­shack, framed-game.com

Works with iPhone, iPod touch, iPad Ver­sion 1.0 Age 12+

With an App Store drown­ing in me-too puz­zle games (‘Fling a thing across the thing to earn things!’), it’s al­ways a joy when de­vel­op­ers do some­thing dif­fer­ent. Framed man­ages to give you some­thing unique and am­bi­tious, while also de­liv­er­ing a style of game­play that’s im­me­di­ately ac­ces­si­ble and in­tu­itive.

The ba­sic premise is to re­ar­range the pan­els of a comic book, thereby chang­ing the out­come of a story that’s play­ing out be­fore your very eyes. We’ve seen the odd puz­zler vaguely along th­ese lines on iOS be­fore, but noth­ing with any­where ap­proach­ing the same class, at­ten­tion to de­tail and smart think­ing that’s ev­i­dent all the way through Framed.

Much of this is down to clever sto­ry­telling. You’re not some generic stick­man leap­ing about plat­forms, but a spy im­mersed in es­pi­onage and on the run from the cops. Hit play and the comic comes alive, sil­hou­ette fig­ures mov­ing from panel to panel, un­til the spy is caught or es­capes. By ad­just­ing their or­der the nar­ra­tive changes, im­prov­ing the brief­case-wield­ing spy’s for­tunes.

To say much more would spoil the sur­prises, but suf­fice to say that ev­ery time Framed feels like it might soon out­stay its wel­come, it’ll do some­thing new or clever (of­ten both) to keep you en­grossed. And while you’re ef­fec­tively work­ing your way through a path-find­ing puz­zler com­pris­ing largely of static blocks of im­agery, it’s to Framed’s credit that the at­mos­phere it builds up re­sults in a pal­pa­ble sense of ur­gency and pace nonethe­less. The only snag is it’s over fairly quickly, but three quid’s a small price to pay for a gor­geous, ex­per­i­men­tal iOS gaming ex­pe­ri­ence. Craig Gran­nell

Short but very sweet, with great at­mos­phere, this part-puz­zle, part­comic is a bril­liantly re­alised iOS ex­pe­ri­ence.

Re­ar­range the pan­els and change the out­come of the spy’s for­tunes.

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