Part game/part comic book!
£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.