• FRAMED Collection

    2 hours playtime

    8 of 18 achievements

These had potential to be good puzzle games, but it can be a bit too ambiguous how scenes will play out until after you test them. This goes both for how your character will interact with a scene and which order the panels will play out. For example, not long into the first game, rotating panels are introduced, and some of them are twice as tall/long as ordinary panels; if aligned horizontally, the panels will play out horizontally until the row is done, but if one is aligned vertically, all the panels to the left of it will play out first, then the vertical one, then back to the top row.

Halfway through the first game, timed panels are introduced. Until now, you just arranged the panels and watched them play out; now, you have to start the sequence, then reorder panels when the protagonist reaches certain points (luckily, this pauses the scene until you place a panel back down). Ultimately, it bogs the game down since you’re having to replay the same panels just to get your character to the right spots.

Also, the last 1/3rd-ish of the first game is basically just recycled content (minor changes, but not changed enough).

The second game is worse because it goes even further into Adventure game style “how was I supposed to know that” logic. For example, early on, your character is being chased by a dog. One panel has a wall, and one panel has a bike. Obviously, the wall will block you and let the dog catch up, while the bike lets you escape faster, right? Nope; not only does the wall only block the dog while your character jumps over, but your character also knocks some wood panels down, creating a bridge that wasn’t there before and that you need to use to complete the level. There are quite a few moments like that in the second game.

Heck, the game even throws its core mechanic out the window for a couple parts and just goes full-on into riddle territory. One part has you guess the keypad code while some numbers flash on the other side of the screen. Order them from left-to-right? Nope. Top to bottom? Nope. Turns out, it’s the order they flash. Later, there’s a spinning lock, but this is literally nothing but trial-and-error since you’re just rotating the panels and testing the scene until all the lights turn green; there aren’t even any hints on the screen.

Even parts of the game that look like they’d be ordinary puzzles can have unintuitive design choices. One scene has your character jumping around a clock tower, and one panel has the clock’s face. This panel doesn’t have defined edges, which in every other level, means it can’t be selected; but here, it’s a rotatable panel, and yeah, you have to rotate it to get past this part. Another scene has you arranging the path so that your character doesn’t fall, except even with the correct solution, your character still falls; it’s just the game goes to the cut-scene of your character falling instead of making you redo the scene.

Not recommended.

  • EarthNight

    2 hours playtime

    16 of 45 achievements

I admit I’m not a big fan of auto-runners, but this is bad even by auto-runner standards. Besides jumping, controls are delayed; want to increase speed? Hold forward for a second, and it only works on ground. Want to stomp? Hold down, but wait a second while your character’s forward momentum slows down.

You can choose between two characters, but no matter who you pick, the other one will also be in the level, AI controlled. You might try to bounce on an enemy only for the other character to kill it first; then, you fall down and get damaged by an enemy below.

Even without that, the game is filled with cheap hits, and the game only gets cheaper the further you get. In world 2, there are yellow bird heads that hover in front of you before homing in on you. In world 3, there’s a giant bird head that’ll just suddenly slide in from off-screen. In world 4, not only are there swarms of bullet-shooting enemies that’ll hover just in front of you, but there’s also a giant enemy on a cloud that can move so blindingly fast that you have to get lucky and already be on the right trajectory to have any hope of avoiding it (no way you can react to it). Worse still, the final (?) level has a lava floor and is so full of exploding balloons and sudden unavoidable cheap shots by the final boss that even with the extra life at the beginning and even when I switched to the character who can double-jump natively, I still never made it to the end.

Not recommended.