Framed

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Framed App Poster Image
Cartoon violence in cool comic book crime puzzler.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about part-whole relationships and comic book-style storytelling as they practice puzzle-solving and spatial-reasoning skills.

Ease of Play

Ease of play depends on the level. No in-depth tutorial or hints.

Violence

Cartoon violence. Use of numerous weapons, including guns, bottles. Blood splatters, a character appears to fall to his death, dead bodies, and more.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Cigarette smoking, alcohol bottles, liquor stores.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Framed is an award-winning puzzle-game app with a crime/detective/comic book feel. Players move the comic book panels to rearrange getaway chase scenes and then watch the animated scenes change with each new arrangement. Find the correct order, watch the suspect escape, and then move onto the next level. There's a lot of cops-and-robbers-style cartoon violence -- guns drawn, blood splattering on a wall -- but it's very cartoon-ish. True to this app's film noir motif, there's also a lot of cigarette smoking. Note: At the time of review, there's no privacy policy available.

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What's it about?

To begin FRAMED, watch the brief intro/tutorial and start rearranging tiles by swiping (and sometimes turning) them until you're satisfied with the order. Then press play. While the scene progresses in many ways depending on how a player arranges the tiles, you know you've ordered the tiles correctly when the animated storyline plays through to the final tile (which can't be moved, unlike all others) and the story moves to the next scene. Levels get progressively more challenging as you play.

Is it any good?

This unique puzzler encourages tweens and teens to visualize the process of creative storytelling while testing their problem-solving skills. Yes, there are some weapons, crime glorification, blood, and smoking, but it's all in cartoon form. If teens don't like the film noir look and music of Framed, it may not seem worth the real effort that goes into the trial and error of solving these puzzles. But for kids who like this highly stylized setting and who enjoy trying out each panel arrangement, Framed will be fun, surprising, and rewarding.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in Framed and the difference between comic book-style violence and violence that looks real in movies and some video games. Read Common Sense Media's "How do I talk to my kids about violence on TV and in movies or video games?" parent tips.

  • If your kid gets stuck on a level, talk about ways to troubleshoot the problem. There are no tips here, so if your kid gets too frustrated, they may need to walk away from the screen and try again later.

  • Ask your kid what they think about the creative aspect of this game -- how the storyline changes as the player changes the comic book frames. Would they write and illustrate a story this way? Why, or why not?

App details

For kids who love puzzles and problem-solving

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