In a world where the game developers are competing to develop the most realistic looking game. In a world of Activation’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Capcom’s Resident Evil 3 Remake, Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto Five and Electronic Art’s Need for Speed Heat. All of them, a graphical masterpiece, pushing your gaming machines to their limits. In a world where every game developer is trying to produce the most intense gameplay, a gameplay that sends streams of sweat down your palms, the Lightning Rod Studios have taken a very bold step and come out with the “A Fold Apart”. A Fold Apart is one of the very few modern-day simplistic games and it hit the stores on 17th April, this year.
A Fold Apart is available for PC, Nintendo Apple Arcade at the moment, however, it will be introduced for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, sometime in the future. Digging into minor technical details to justify the simplicity of the game, it requires only ten gigs of space on PC and under two gigs on the other two platforms.
Based on a True Story!
Developing a game about long-distance relationships out of the blue is no coincidence. The basic idea came from the fact that the co-founder of the Lightning Rod Studios was forced to live miles apart from his life partner because of his job. He had a job at Disney, in Florida, while his other half lived fifteen hundred miles away, in Ontario.
The actual process of developing the game began back in 2014. Both of the co-founders wanted to develop a game based on an idea that no one had ever heard of before. While brainstorming, one of them came up with the idea of folding a paper. This idea at the time seemed outrageous and impractical, hence, for the time being, this idea was dropped. Later, the same co-founder came up with another idea: he drew two stick figures on two sides of the paper, and then he folded the paper in such a way that the two figures came next to each other. This way, the idea behind the game was developed.
There are games that use similar papercraft graphics, such as tearaway, but still it is nowhere close to what A Fold Apart is, and the storyline of the two games are completely different.
AMore Challenging Puzzle
The underlying principle of the game is its puzzle. Puzzles pop up when a character goes into a disagreement with its significant other, and to solve the disagreement and to get the relationship back into flow, the player needs to solve some puzzles. The puzzles start off really easy. There are only a few options available for the player and the paper can be folded only in certain ways, hence it is easier to figure out how to solve the puzzle. As you progress through the game, the puzzles keep becoming more and more challenging. The number of ways the paper can be folded, to solve a problem, increase and there comes a point where the paper can be folded in every possible way. Not only this, but at times the paper can even be flipped over. This way, the developers have made sure that the player does not get bored of easy puzzles and they keep challenging him consistently. Even though the puzzles are difficult to solve, later on, the developers have given you a slight relief and added the hint function in the game. If you get stuck at a puzzle for way too long, you can always use the hint to make it through. I might suggest that you take your time, keep the pace of your gameplay slow, and finish the game using your own mind and without the help of hints. Using hints might spoil the gist of the game.
And it GetsPersonal…
The game was developed to have the players get emotionally attached to it and relate to it on a personal level. This is the tactic the developers have used to increase their sales. The very first step the developers have taken to increase the players’ attachment to the game is to have them choose their own couple. They can decide the gender of their characters, and it does not necessarily mean that the characters chosen have to be of two different genders. The developers have increased the versatility of the game and allowed the player to choose the same gender couple as well.
The next thing to notice is that a lot of real-life scenarios are given. The storyline of the game proceeds through a series of text messages, and these text messages are what form the basis of the long-distance relationships in real life.
The music used in the game is also to increase a player’s interest in the game. Music changes according to the mood of the game. If the couple is happy and the life is proceeding as it is supposed to proceed, the music in the game would be calm and promote optimism, but as the things start to fall apart, the music will also change accordingly and become more intense. This solidifies the feeling that things are not good anymore. The change in the music changes the player’s mood as well, making him connect to the game a little more.
The beginning of the game has also been kept very realistic. The story begins when the two of the characters meet, and they meet through the folding of the paper. Further on, it is shown that the two of them become good friends and get attached to each other. Meanwhile, the architect finds a new job in a separate city and has to move away, this breaks his significant other who does not show that to his face, but cries later on.
The scenarios used later on in the game are also very close to reality. They promote the objective that there are always two sides to the story and one should know both of those sides before jumping to a conclusion. If one jumps to a conclusion without putting himself in someone else’s shoes, the relationship is bound to fail. So, the game also teaches a lot to the player and makes sure he knows both sides of a story before proceeding forward.
The graphicslight up your mood
The graphics may not be the most realistic ones out there, and giving one glance at the game, you realize that not once did the developers thought of making the characters resemble a real-life human. Instead, the characters seem to be out of some Disney movie, which completely makes sense since one of the developers had worked in Disney before. The architect looks something of a character from the movie UP. Combining the characters and the surroundings, the whole game feels like a Disney movie. The colors that have been used throughout the game are very bright and give a positive outlook to the game. The graphics are 3D, and since this is a papercraft game, the graphics have been made to look like a homemade paper.
What are you missing out?
A Fall Apart is an amazing, yet less demanding game. It will not require a lot of space on your hard drive, nor will it require your PC to have any high-end specifications unlike most of the games out there that offer a good player experience.The game is also not very expensive and is available for under twenty dollars.
The total game time for finishing the game is about three hours, hence it can fit in easily with your busy routine. you will not have to wait for endless gaming hours to fill your thirst for curiosity as to how the game ends.
As a plus point for all the beginners out there, you lot do not require any above-average skillsets or quick reflexes to enjoy the game.This means that anyone can play the game, and there are no prior skills required. One cannot play a fast action game if they don’t possess the required skillset or reflexes, or else…they’ll just keep dying really.To play A Fold Apart, all you need is patience, which I, for one, do not have at all, and most definitely a calm mind to solve the puzzle at hand.
The dialogues that appear within the game are very well written. They suit the purpose of the game, help the player in keeping his interest in the game and are perfectly placed according to the story plot at different stages in the game.
A Final Thought
The timing for this game to come out could not have been more perfect. People have been shut away in their homes and isolated from the rest of the world. Some of them are even separated from their loved ones, and do not know for sure how long it is before they see them. The game provides a perfect past time for them. the game is also suited for almost all ages above 18. Long-distance relationships are something that a person of all ages can experience. What I believe is that this game is meant to be played at bedtime. This is not your ordinary game. One might come home, exhausted from the day’s work, missing is another half. Playing this game might keep his night going. However, I might suggest the developers to bring the game to the android platform as well, since this feels more like a mobile game rather than a console game. A few more characters could be added to the game, rather than just a teacher and the architect. A teacher and an architect might be able to relate to the game on another level; however, long-distance relationships are faced by people of all professions and ages.
This game is an amazing initiative, by the Lightning Rod Studios, to utilize the real-life problems and put them in a form of a game. Other real-world problems could be examined similarly and put into games. Emotional attachment is something that could take the popularity of a game to a whole new level. So, head out to stores now, your origami skills are waiting to be utilized!