FRAMED: Review

FRAMED
By: Loveshack

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I’d been following the development of FRAMED by Loveshack for quite some time now, ever since I saw a little video of it. It’s definitely been one of my most-anticipated games in a long time.

The concept behind FRAMED is a unique one. You play a part in a gorgeous noir-style comic strip. Each scene consists of several panels, some of which can be swapped around. Some can also be rotated. By changing the order of the panels, you change the outcome of the scene. Once you are satisfied with the order, you press “play” and watch the scene unfold. Later on, you’ll also have to swap some panels while the scene is already playing out, and that’s where it gets the trickiest.

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The objective in each scene is to make it to the last panel without being caught. You spend most of your time out-running the police and bopping them on the head when necessary. (I think the game may need a disclaimer stating, “We do not endorse hitting cops on the head with a briefcase.”) There are also several characters you end up controlling throughout the game, as they swap the briefcase that everyone seems to want.

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A big part of the game’s charm is the various outcomes a scene can have. It’s fun to play around and see what kind of deaths you can encounter. One of my favorites is making my character go face-first into a wall.

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Not every scene is a challenging puzzle. Some only give you two panels to swap, doing little more than offering interactive cutscenes. Some levels did have me stumped for a bit before I figured out the solution, and those were my favorite parts. Even though the game is a piece of art, it really shines when it takes full advantage of its puzzle mechanics.

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One thing that is both a positive and a negative, is that there’s no menu in the game, no start-up screen once you’re already in middle of it. When you open the app, the game instantly picks up where you left off. You have no options to go back and replay scenes or even to turn off the music (not sure why you would, though). I loved the fact that I never had to wait for the game to open, but I would like to be able to go back and replay any levels that I’ve completed.

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There are no words in FRAMED, and I liked that aspect of it. Personally, I found the story a little bit hard to follow, but mostly because I was paying more attention to the puzzles. This is another reason I’d love to be able to re-play specific levels, so I can watch any story bits I may have missed.

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Like Monument Valley, another incredibly unique game, I wouldn’t mind seeing more of FRAMED. I recommend sipping it like a fine wine, rather than guzzling it like a cheap beer. Don’t rush through it, because you’ll be sad when it’s over.

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FRAMED is such a unique and jaw-dropping experience. If you spend $5 on any game, this should be the one. If you’re ready to take the plunge, you can download FRAMED here.Download

If you’re already playing the game and need some help, try my complete FRAMED walkthrough.

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14 thoughts on “FRAMED: Review

  1. Chill Bill Vol. 2

    Hi there,

    as FRAMED is in your most recommended list, did you ever play AZZL? I just found out about it when I played the two new REBUS levels which came with the update. AZZL is from the same creators and comes with a premium price w/o iap. Contrary to REBUS which is f2p (even though it has one of the few fair f2p models).

    Anyway, back to FRAMED/AZZL. From a gameplay standpoint AZZL is similar to FRAMED though the theme is much lighter (funny cartoon chars vs. FRAMED’s Film Noir style) considerably longer and 2 bucks cheaper. I’ve only played through the first four worlds (about 30 – 40 levels) but it’s been a blast so far. Maybe even a candidate for your most recommended list.

    But you be the judge of that – Afaik you’ve liked REBUS and FRAMED and if you ever should find the time, I’d recommend giving this game a try.

    Regards

    Reply
    1. AppUnwrapper Post author

      I actually was going to buy AZZL last week but decided on SPL-T instead (which I can’t stop playing). Nice to know it’s similar to FRAMED. I actually found the REBUS puzzles annoying a lot of the time (illogical), so I was a bit hesitant to try it. But maybe I’ll pick it up when I have some free time.

      Reply
      1. Chill Bill Vol. 2

        Yeah to a point you’re right about REBUS – I think they included a few illogical rebuses to make a little cash. But sometimes I also facepalmed after finally having figured out a puzzle’s solution (little out of the box thinking). Good thing of course was, you didn’t have to finish all rebuses to play the next levels.

        Played SP-T too – You’re right, it’s an addictive concept. But don’t give AZZL a pass just because of REBUS. Like I said, it’s completely premium and 2,99 is a very fair price for at least 90 levels. And the cartoon animations after solving a puzzle are really darn funny most of the time.

        Maybe you’ll give it a try one of these days. Imo the devs deserve some love for this well made, fair priced/iap free game with a rather unique concept/setting (at least when it comes to iOS games) and that’s why I also think it’d fit your site’s theme (good adventure/puzzle games preferrably w/o iap).

        Your decision of course but as an avid reader of your site and loving most of the games you recommend I think you’d like it.

        Reply
  2. Chill Bill Vol. 2

    P. S.: Only issue (fifth world out of ten) I think the game could have gotten a little harder by now. The cartoon figures/animations are still hilarious and you need a good eye for certain (quickly moving) levels but hopefully they’ll kick the difficulty up a notch for the last few worlds (although, it’s at least on the same difficulty level as FRAMED thus far which wasn’t that hard either)

    Reply
      1. Chill Bill Vol. 2

        Yeah, I know (from some other of your coments). Maybe this will help. Just finished the game within about 3 hours. It’s really fun, the cartoon animations after solving a puzzle mostly are hilarious. The puzzles are never difficult (usually on a level with FRAMED, think both are fairly easy but if I’d have to choose AZZL is easier).

        I know, we live in times where most people think they deserve week long fun for onky $ 0,99 (but often spend 100s of bucks on “free” games) but I think about one buck for an hour of quality gaming was a great bargain here.

        Imo AZZL is a nice casual game to play on the subway, you get a good money’s worth and it’s the only game which reminds me of FRAMED. But after having played through it, the initial excitement over the newish gameplay and also after realizing the levels never get harder, I’d still recommend the game but wouldn’t place it too high on my to-play list, especially when you have such a big backlog as yours.

        I still stand by my statement in my msg above though: It’s similar to FRAMED both in gameplay and difficulty but you get much more playing time and it’s two bucks cheaper.

        Reply
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