PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, iOS, Macintosh operating systems, tvOS
I’ve been thinking recently how far video games have come since I’ve started playing. The medium has evolved into a place where creators can use their voice to discuss topics that were never really looked at before. Relationships are always a topic that gets discussed when it comes to games and developers are getting pretty creative in the ways they choose to look at it. I recently had the chance to experience A Fold Apart on the PS4 and saw it explore related topic that I’ve never seen a game talk about: long-distance relationships.
Created by Lightning Rod Games, A Fold Apart (which is available for every major console) looks to tackle the tough topic and see how a couple deals with being so far apart while still trying to make it work. Being a game about relationships I decided to have a co-pilot on this journey and decided to play through it with my wife. A Fold Apart concluded we decided that it might just be best if we just stay friends with it. Let’s look back on the journey and see what lead to us just remaining friends.
A Fold Apart opens up to asking players the type of relationship that they want to be in. You get to choose the gender of both characters in order to make it closer to what you would like to experience. I found this to be really nice since everyone loves differently. Once you confirm this you learn more about Orange and Blue and see their relationship develop as Blue received a job offer to in a city far away as an architect for a major project taking place. This leaves them still in love but separated. The journey that the player goes through is one of self-doubt and pain that comes along with a long-distance relationship.
A Fold Apart is at its core a unique paper themed puzzle theme. In order to navigate the self-doubt that Orange and Blue feel, the player must fold and rotate the paper playing field. This is where the game shines the most as the gameplay is unique and pretty challenging; however, I did get a little annoyed at it throwing new mechanics into the gameplay super late into the game. I’m normally not bothered when a puzzle game introduces a new aspect, but when you introduce something on the second to last level it’s a little annoying because it feels like an afterthought.
Lighting Rod Games really worked wonders with the atmosphere of A Fold Apart. The background changes and slowly goes from bright and colorful to dark and depressing. It really hit home how the characters are feeling. A full playthrough of A Fold Apart only lasts around two and a half hours and there is little replayability. I was pretty disappointed because I really wish it had a puzzle mode not connected to the story because I was craving more of the unique puzzles that it had to offer.
Where A Fold Apart lost a lot for my wife and I was in its actual story and the character’s journey or lack thereof. Anyone who has been in a long-distance relationship knows how hard it is to maintain, each person must sacrifice something in order to make it work. Some people can definitely handle it better than others; however, in order to make it work you need to communicate your feelings to your partner. This never happened in A Fold Apart. Every time Orange or Blue would either get a text they didn’t like or a depressive thought they would just seclude themselves in their thoughts and expect the worst but talk themselves out of it.
Orange took it worse than Blue but never truly communicated their feeling to Blue. Blue worked so much as they felt it was finally their time to shine as they have been looking forward to the opportunity for a long time. While in the city Blue didn’t make friends and relied on Orange to be there for them. This started less than six months of Blue being gone but only got worse when his contract was extended. At that point, Orange stated to avoid Blue instead of C-O-M-M-U-N-I-C-A-T-I-N-G their feelings to Blue. This made my wife pretty upset and made her not want to watch anymore.
In the end, nothing was solved, the characters didn’t grow as characters, they didn’t communicate with each other. It just ended with a happily ever after type of ending. It killed whatever believably it had and left me pretty upset as other games who discussed the topics of relationships have some sort of ending. It made the player chose what text message response they were going to send to the other person but that didn’t even matter. It was a wasted opportunity to truly have the player control the story and its outcome.
Overall A Fold Apart is at its base a wonderful but short puzzle game that attempts to tackle and show the effect of long-distance relationships ofits characters. Apart from the boneheaded characters who need to just communicate their problems with each other, there is little to no replayability with the lack of extra puzzle modes. I would still recommend A Fold Apart for how much fun I had with its puzzles. Just don’t expect any wonderful storytelling.
A Fold Apart Review
Orange and Blue have some growing to do
I would still recommend A Fold Apart for how much fun I had with its puzzles. Just don’t expect wonderful storytelling.