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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The story explores the trials and tribulations of long distance relationships, including communication, career goals, and personal interests. Players are rewarded for using lateral thinking to find paths through the game's mazelike world.
Positive Role Models
The two protagonists are good, loving people trying to keep their romance alive as it encounters multiple obstacles. They communicate with each other, express inner feelings, and struggle valiantly to be fair to each other with the aim of making their relationship work.
Ease of Play
The mechanics are simple: players just tap (or click) to move and drag the edges of pictures around to fold them. But the paper-based puzzles become pretty intricate over time, requiring multiple folds and flips -- all of which must be undone if you realize you made a mistake early on.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Fold Apart is a puzzle game for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Apple Arcade, and Windows PCs. The game is about a couple attempting to keep their love alive over a long distance. Players watch the pair's story unfold across a series of animated pictures set on distinct pieces of paper. When a character reaches an impasse, the player must either fold or flip over the pictures to create a new path so they can continue on their journey. These puzzles serve as a metaphor for the protagonists' relationship, which is laboring under the stress of geographical separation. The pair are kind, fair to each other, and loving, but distance and time apart makes them think about what they want from each other, what they want for themselves, and reveals the various options open to both of them. The puzzles can be tricky and the story will resonate most with older players, but the content's safe for most ages.
Is It Any Good?
We need more games with this kind of courage. A Fold Apart cuts its own path in both puzzles and storytelling, providing players with a genuine tale of two people attempting to make their relationship work despite plenty of obstacles, the most obvious of which is geographic distance. Through authentic sounding texts and poetic musings, you're taken on a tour through their thoughts, exploring all the things that are important to them about both each other and themselves. Their problems ought to ring true for anyone who has attempted to see a relationship through troubled water, though the way in which its all presented -- a mix of cartoonish graphics and whimsical typography -- helps keep things from ever growing too dark or overly dramatic.
But most interesting is how the puzzles themselves are designed to mimic the problems they're experiencing. The novel mechanic of folding and flipping pictures to create new paths for them to follow serves as a lovely metaphor for what it's like to attempt to find new ways to keep love alive amidst major life changes and evolving personalities. That said, the puzzle mechanics can feel a bit awkward at times. Folding and unfolding the paper pictures is simple enough, but making a single mistake can lead to a series of useless moves you'll be forced to undo as you search for the right one. Hints are available, but adequate guidance up front would have been useful in limiting our reliance on them. This is far from a deal-breaker, though. A Fold Apart is a brave little game with some big ideas on its mind that are bound to resonate with many players.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.