Game: FRAMED v1.3.2
Developer: Noodlecake Studios Inc.
Price: $2.15 (Google) / $0.99 (Amazon)
FRAMED is a comic book/noir-styled puzzle game. The game plays like reading a comic book page by page, as the character in the comic book is seemingly a spy type carrying a briefcase with unknown contents and trying to elude the parties interested in said briefcase. The game's central gameplay concept is hinted at by the title, each section of the game is portrayed like frames of a comic book, and as the player you have to adjust the frames that can be adjusted on the page shown so that the spy character can escape to the next page. For example, if in one frame the character is running to the right and then the next there's a guard facing his direction, the guard will catch the character. However, if you rearrange the frames available, you can make it so the spy gets behind the guard and knocks him out or simply quietly goes by him. Without spoiling how it changes, I'll say that the game starts out simply with the concept to warm the player up, then expands upon it as you go to keep it fresh and challenging. The game allows you to change up the frames on the fly or in a paused state before the "action" occurs on the page, so you can think through the changes you wish to make without being under pressure by any time constraints.
Graphically, FRAMED has a very appealing style with bold lines and strong contrasting colors to establish the comic book/noir motif. The character animation within the game is done very well, as you'll see the spy moving through the environment and navigating obstacles (successfully or not) smoothly. The game has minimal sound effects, opting to rely on a nice jazz soundtrack in the background to help set the mood. Performance-wise, I played through the game on both my Galaxy Note 5 and Note 2, and it was predictably silky smooth on the Note 5, with minimal load times and seamlessly going from scene to scene with no hitches. The Note 2 was not quite as smooth, as it took a bit longer to load and I noticed the framerate dropping slightly at times during the playthrough, but it was very playable, so the game can be enjoyed on older Android devices as well as long as the device is capable of running KitKat(4.0) or higher. For reference, the game does support the S-Pen which a good little feature if you have a Note series phone and like to use the S-Pen.
The game's biggest weakness is that it is a relatively short game, for most gamers I would expect about two hours worth of playthrough on it and it could be beaten in less than an hour if the gamer is particularly proficient. Once you beat the game, there's not much incentive to go back and play through it except to admire the style. FRAMED is also very much a one concept game so if you don't like the style and gameplay from the start you won't like the game. However, in my view, FRAMED is a very unique, high-quality puzzle game that is certainly worth the money.
- Good jazz soundtrack.
- Runs well on older devices.
- Very appealing art style and animation.
- Unique gameplay concept that is expanded upon as you go.
- A fairly short game.
- Very limited replay value.
Device/OS used: Samsung Galaxy Note 5/Lollipop 5.1.1, Samsung Galaxy Note 2/Kitkat 4.4.2
Purchase at Google Play
Purchase at Amazon
Mobilism: FRAMED v1.3.2