Setting myself up with the lights dimmed, electric lounge set to recline, Siri Remote in hand, and two fingers of whisky within reach, provided the conditions for a bout of déjà-vu. The set-up for my recent experience with Brain&Brain’s excellent Burly Men at Sea was identical, although in that scenario the whisky was substituted for brandy. The noir setting of Framed seemed more suited to one poison over the other, with brandy being more of a seafaring accompaniment.
The sultry sax dripping over Framed like a warm, chocolate fondue, is perfect when expressed through decent lounge room floor speakers, and it’s the first thing to greet you on loading up Loveshack’s puzzler.
Gameplay involves comic book panels through which animations play from one to the next, depicting a silhouetted figure escaping shadowy denizens of alleys and cheap motels. The protagonist will only make it to the screen’s end panel if you shuffle them around to the correct order. Placing them in the incorrect order will see him discovered, shot, fallen to his death, or any number of untimely demises.
Framed does actually have controller support, but having tried both, I’d recommend the Siri Remote for this one, as it feels much more intuitive for the simple interactions required. The touch surface of the remote easily enables selected panels to be shuffled around, with the play button used to activate the scene.
It’s a real thrill seeing the different ways the scene plays out, depending on the order you’ve arranged, and the aaah moment when you’re anti-hero makes it through the page unscathed, usually with a little twist that you weren’t quite expecting.
This really is a one-of-a-kind experience, and on mobile the touchscreens were a perfect way in, which is why Apple’s Siri Remote translates the mechanics so intuitively to your large flatscreen. As Apple’s Free App of The Week, this is a no-brainer, and will set you up nicely for the sequel that’s on the way from this talented studio. We don’t know yet if the sequel is aiming for Apple TV, but based on the quality and originality of Framed, we live in hope.
Have a look at the trailer right here: