Framed – Piecing Together An All New Puzzle Adventure

4.5 Overall Score
Gameplay: 4.5/5
Design: 4.5/5
Duration: 3.5/5

All new engaging game mechanic | Excellent design work | Compelling adventure

On the short side | Leaves you wanting more | Some overly simple scenes


If a picture is worth a thousands words, just imagine how many words are potentially added when you can rearrange parts of a picture. Framed is a new iOS puzzle game that offers a relatively unique mechanic that lets you drag, and drop comic panels to guide the main character forward. It’s a brand new experience that is delivered with a film-noir art style reminiscent of Third Eye Crime where the characters are dark silhouettes accented by white accessories. The game is quite a treat to see in motion, especially since each panel on the screen comes to life in sequence.
Framed lets you essentially rework a storyboard to change the outcome, and you get to see the progression of the story frame by frame. For example, there are six frames with two fixed at the beginning, and end allowing you to rearrange the four others to change the way the character enters, and exits each scene. The character may be running across a back alley with stairways, ladders, and cops, and you need the character to run up a flight of stairs to run above a cop in one scene, then take a ladder down to skirt below a cop in another. You need to be cognizant of where the character leaves one scene, and make sure it matches up with a safe entry point in the next scene. It’s not the type of puzzle game where you’re composing a seamless picture, as the frames won’t necessarily match up to the eye, but they need to link a path to safety. As you progress, you will come across fixed panels that simply rotate, panels that can be used more than once, and varying panel shapes with changing story flow.

There’s an overarching storyline included with a spy versus spy set-up that is easy to follow with all of the details in each given frame. Everything is depicted clearly without the need for dialogue, and it’s all accented with a lively Jazz soundtrack. It’s a highly engaging, and immersive experience that keeps you going from frame to frame, totally enthralled with reaching the outcome. The problem is that the conclusion comes quite quickly, at least it seems like that since you’re so invested. There’s a main arch that takes under a couple hours to complete, and there’s little incentive to replay the same puzzles. You’re definitely left wanting more because there’s so much to like with the new puzzle mechanic, seamless touch controls, and great design work.

Framed ($4.99, Universal) offers a thoroughly entertaining puzzle adventure that will keep you glued to your iOS device making it a must buy.

$4.99, Universal


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