In The Game: Killing Time In Quarantine Part 1

In between the day job (managing SiriusXM Canada’s blog site), running Biff Bam Pop! with the help of all our writers, working on a new book (can’t say much about it other than it’s the biggest project I’ve ever taken on) and being a dad to Biff Bam Pop!’s Princess (the best job in the world), I’ve been watching movies, reading books, and playing video games. On the topic of the later, I thought I’d share some of the titles I’ve been spending time with on the Nintendo Switch.

A Fold Apart (Switch): I’ve been following the creation of this game for years now, and it was wonderful to finally see it released this past April. The unique titles created by Lightning Rod Games is described like this:

An interactive, narrative-driven puzzle displaying the emotional ups and downs of a couple’s long-distance relationship, A Fold Apart offers a beautiful acknowledgment of both the challenges and wonder that come from how we communicate with loved ones while living apart. A Fold Apart features over fifty handcrafted paper-folding puzzles — in fact, the very first versions of these puzzles were made with simple grid paper and stored in a binder — in a colourful, tactile paper aesthetic. Choose which couple to play as, and unfold both sides of their story as they navigate the complexities of (mis)communication and the emotional rollercoaster that separation brings. 

A Fold Apart is an inclusive game, allowing the player to choose whatever relationship they may want to follow – heterosexual, same-sex, etc. It’s an important and welcoming opportunity for players to feel represented. The visuals are beautiful and dreamlike as the lovers traverse their separate worlds together. Yet, while the concept of folding paper to solve puzzles is wonderful in theory, I found myself constantly feeling frustrated trying to figure out the mechanics of getting once place to another. While I appreciate the visuals, concept and writing that’s gone into creating A Fold Apart, that somewhat aggravating gameplay finds me putting it down fairly after fairly short bursts of playing. While I’ll go back to it, you’ll need an abundance of patience to play it for long periods of time.

A Fold Apart arrives on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One May 19th.

Deadly Premonition: Origin (Switch): Here’s a blast from the past in many ways. Deadly Premonition first appears on the Xbox 360 And PlayStation back in February 2010, but its genesis began even before that, when it was developed as a very Twin Peaks-inspired game titled Rainy Woods. So “inspired” was it that significant changes had to be made prior to its release. When Deadly Premonition finally became available, it became the most divisive survival horror game in history, this “accolade” even netting the game a Guinness World Record.

Recently ported over to the Switch. In Deadly Premonition: Origin, you play as Special Agent Francis York Morgan, who arrives in the town of Greenvale to solve the murder of a young woman. Sounds familiar, right? The Nintendo Switch port makes open world exploration of Greenvale feel better than it has in any other version of the game (I’ve played Deadly Premonition on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3), and its graphical limitations aren’t obvious at all on the Switch.  I also find the controls much more intuitive and enjoyable on the Switch than on any other version. There’s a great mystery to solve, with lots of quirky characters to interact with along the way.

If you haven’t played Deadly Premonition before, the game is currently on sale in advance of the release of its surprising sequel, Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing In Disguise.

 

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