Video games can be a very fleeting experience. You buy them, play them, hopefully complete them and then they languish at the back of your video game collection left forgotten or traded in for something else never to be played again. However, some games remain great and very playable despite how old they are. So, I’m going to look back at a game that was released all the way back in Nov 2014. Framed, the noir comic-book styled, puzzle game developed by Loveshack and available on the Switch and PC is todays subject.
So, what is Framed?
Framed is a puzzle game where you are presented with a screen, containing a number of comic book styled panels. You have to move these panels around in order for your character to get through the story. For example, if you’re running into a policeman standing in front of a door on panel one, by switching a panel with a door on it to be before it, you’ll see the protagonist of the story run into panel one, enter the door, then open the door in the second panel and knock out the cop.
The puzzles vary in size and complexity, from simple two panel switches through to 6-7 panels on the screen that not only include switching places but also rotating panels as well. If you get the story wrong, the screen resets and you can go again. It’s a very simple premise and well executed.
At the beginning of Framed, you see a trenchcoated spy-like silhouette grab a suitcase, and then make a run for it, with the police hot on his trails. As the story progresses, he escapes out of the building, and eventually passes the mysterious suitcase to a lady-spy who continues the story.
The combination of the silhouettes and simply coloured background, makes the game look stylish. The animation is smooth, and fits in perfectly with the genre. The only thing that’s missing is the large colourful ‘Kapow’ signs you’d expect from an early Batman TV show.
So, with a simple control method, an intriguing storyline all wrapped up in a great idea, and some interesting puzzle mechanics, Framed should be there on any noir puzzle fan’s gaming shelf. Sure, you may not play it many times once you’ve completed it, but you’ll likely come back it in a few month’s time.