From somebody who has experience when it comes to long distance relationships, a game such as A Fold Apart embodies what it truly means to engage in this type of commitment. To illustrate this deep story Lightning Rod Games takes a unique route and decides to use the art of paper folding to tell this tale. If you can truly relate to this game like I have, you will not be disappointed with the outcome.
A Fold Apart starts off with a creation of a couple; either a red male/female or a blue male/female. The red character is a teacher and the blue is an architect. Same sex relationships are something you are able to do in this game, making it more much more inclusive. Once you have your characters, they promptly meet one another, go on dates, and eventually end up falling in love. What really sets everything in motion is when the architect is offered a contract in the big city. Willingly taking the job, they know they would soon be forced into a long distance relationship, leaving the teacher in the country while they go off into city life, in different time zones, practically in a whole other world.
The only communication the couple has is through text messaging on their phones. Players are allowed to send certain responses to their significant other, but as I found out it all ends up being an illusion of choice. You end up getting the same responses no matter what you choose, however I feel like the developers put that into the game to allow players to put a little of their own personality in, to feel more involved. It’s through this mode of communication that both the architect and teacher begin to have feelings of doubt, stress, anxiety, and overall feelings of despair due to certain words or phrases texted by one another. Once triggered they would get sent on a journey within themselves trying their best to cope with their current situations.
This is where the gameplay comes in. It’s all about folding paper, whether it’s vertical, horizontal, diagonal, rotating the paper, you name it. You have to fold the screen in those ways to attach pathways for your character to move forward. All that really matters though is that you reach the star in the level and move onto the next area until your current conflict is resolved – at least for now. The game mechanic itself is unique and interesting, but its pacing was just too slow.
The game tries to keep things fresh throughout by adding elements such as blocks you can climb and disappearing platforms, but it still manages to get pretty stale after a while. It was the story that was captivating and kept you wanting to play more. The puzzles themselves weren’t a pushover. After chapter one, the game wasn’t really holding your hand anymore, leaving you and your brain to finish the job. The game did provide hints on what to do next though if you were ever stuck, and you could even reset the whole level to get a fresh slate from all the folding you’ve done.
A Fold Apart is full of vibrant colors, whether day or night time, and the cherry on top was the paper art style used for the scenery and buildings in the background. When the characters hit their breaking points in the text conversations, the world would begin to crumble apart around them before the new level would begin, which I found to be an awesome and spot on representation. The music chosen isn’t anything upbeat or depressing but more of a melodic tune of sorts that fit in with the atmosphere. There were a few glitches where I couldn’t move onto the next area or my character would be endlessly falling while playing one of the levels. What really bummed me out though, was when I restarted my game I had to re-do a whole level over again, and they can be pretty long.
A Fold Apart was a game that hit close to home for me. Given the current circumstances in the world today I take it I won’t be alone. It is definitely a game that will tug at your heart strings. Besides a few glitches and repetitive puzzles at times, A Fold Apart has a meaningful story that many will enjoy.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by the publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.