SwitchArcade Roundup: ‘Framed Collection’, ‘Fear Effect Sedna’, ‘Subsurface Circular’ Review and More Nintendo Switch News

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Welcome to the latest SwitchArcade Roundup! We have a bunch of news pieces on the Framed Collection, some changes to the Nintendo points system, and a resolution to the play time bug. We’re also gonna run down why you should consider Subsurface Circular, and rundown the new releases, including Fear Effect Sedna, an unlikely revival of a 2000 PlayStation game that you probably forgot about until now. I know I hadn’t thought about Fear Effect in years, vaguely remembering it from video game magazines of the time. Remember those?

News

Framed Collection

Loveshack is bringing both Framed games to the Switch this spring as the Framed Collection. You rearrange comic book panels in order to help advance the narrative, and utilizing time loops in order to solve the puzzles presented. It’s a unique concept, and I think the Collection will be the ideal way to experience Framed. The first game came off to me as the first half of a larger whole, and the second Framed really made these ideas into a fully-formed experience. Switch owners should be excited for this one when it hits later this spring.

Diablo 3 actually coming to the Switch?

After Blizzard denied that Diablo 3 was coming to the Switch, the reliable Eurogamer’s sources say that no, it’s totally in development. Be optimistic, or who knows, maybe we’ll actually get a port of the PlayStation 1 version of Diablo. Blizzard’s out here keeping us on our toes.

Nintendo Points Update

Nintendo updated their My Nintendo Points scheme to make it so that you can earn points on digital purchases and then spend them on digital games. Game purchases earn points a 5% value of the purchase price, so a $ 13 game earns 65 coins, and each coin is worth about a penny. So you’d need to spend about $ 1200 in purchases to earn one free game. Also, points expire 12 months after you earn them, so this isn’t like Starbucks where points expire, but you at least have the ability to quickly earn a free drink. Instead, you can maybe pick up a lower-priced title for free every now and then. Nintendo might have special deals for gold coins: for example, there are some 3DS games available for a smaller number of coins than their retail value, and this could come to the Switch as well. You do have the ability to spend the coins on anything you want.

While there is some outrage over the perceived value of the program, the glass half-full interpretation is that other stores aren’t exactly giving you 5% back on all of your purchases and letting you then spend those on free games. If Nintendo is generous about giving players the opportunity to get gold coins outside of purchases, then this system might work out really well as a way to min-max game purchases on the Switch for those who don’t necessarily want to spend a lot of money.

Nintendo play activity bug

With the Switch’s first anniversary, some players noticed that the Switch stopped tracking their play time after one year of play. Nintendo recently clarified that this is just a display glitch, and the system is still accurately recording play data. A future system update will resolve this issue. So, if you lost your Breath of the Wild playtime, don’t worry…you can soon be reminded of just how many hours you’ve sunk into the game. Then you might beg to have the play time erased once more!

Game Spotlight: Subsurface Circular

If you’re looking for an interesting interactive fiction experience to play, check out Subsurface Circular. Developed by Mike Bithell, you play as a detective “Tek” robot, who has to investigate the disappearance of another Tek, all from their subway seat. See, this Tek is a detective whose purpose is to only ride the eponymous subway, and get to the bottom of anything strange going on with the subway. So as passengers come and go, you investigate their inquiries and find out just what is going on.

Subsurface Circular is a conversation-driven interactive fiction game that could’ve also been made in Twine, but it uses its visuals for the purpose of creating atmosphere. Characters that just play music loudly through their headphones wind up providing a very subtle soundtrack to the game. Plus, they accurately represent the experience of hearing people blasting music through their headphones. Use in-ear monitors, people – they’re smaller, isolate better, and don’t disturb your fellow subway riders. But the text and characterization goes a long way toward telling a story and creating a larger world despite your character never leaving their seat.

The best way to experience Subsurface Circular is like a movie, where you sit down to play through the entire thing in one go. It takes about an hour and a half or so, maybe longer if you struggle with some of the puzzles, though the game includes helpful hint options. It’s the kind of experience that felt like it was a lot lengthier than it actually was, and in a good way! It’s an incredibly engrossing experience. It’s well worth checking out.

New Releases

Fear Effect Sedna

The 2000 PlayStation horror-styled stealth-action series is back with a third game in the series. This is kind of a reboot as the series shifts from Chinese mythology to Inuit mythology, though it serves a sequel to an unreleased third title in the franchise. While the game’s new isometric perspective means that it’s quite different from the survival-horror perspective of the original titles, it’s not hard to believe that most people checking this out are new to the series, and are just looking for an interesting new title.

Scribblenauts Showdown

Scribblenauts keeps progressing from what was once a clever idea for a Nintendo DS game, to a full-fledged hit franchise. You’re still trying to create objects based on dictionary words to humorous results, but head-to-head play in dozens of minigames is the style here. Up to four players can face off with custom Scribblenauts, and while the party mode is the star of the show, there’s cooperative play in the Sandbox levels to enjoy as well.

NORTH

We wrap up the week’s first set of new releases with this cyberpunk adventure game. You are a refugee applying for asylum in a futuristic mega-city, that also has monster-like creatures populating the landscape. The description says this is a straightforward game, full of “simple puzzles” and exploration, so this is more about getting engrossed in the world and its storyline rather than any kind of sizable open-world experience. It’s only $ 3, so give it a shot if you’re intrigued.

Keep an eye out every weekday for more SwitchArcade Roundups! We want to hear your feedback on Nintendo Switch coverage on TouchArcade. Comment below or tweet us with your thoughts!

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Noodlecake releases Framed 2 at a temporary 60% discount, puts original Framed on sale for $0.12

Noodlecake Studios is renowned and well-loved for some amazing games. Following up to 2014’s Framed, a noir-style puzzle game, Framed 2 is a prequel-sequel that promises to bring the same comic book-style, world-altering wonder that defined the first game.

 

To celebrate the launch, Noodlecake has discounted the new game by 60% for the next seven days (making it $ 1.99 in the U.S.). But wait, there’s more: it has placed the original Framed on a $ 0.12 sale.

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Noodlecake releases Framed 2 at a temporary 60% discount, puts original Framed on sale for $ 0.12 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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FRAMED 2 – Amped up more of the what I loved in the prequel Framed 2


Framed 2 is numbered as a sequel, yet it’s noted as a prequel. Controversy! Framed 2 is really just more of what we loved in the original — something we’ve been getting a lot of lately. Framed 2 continues to rearrange the comic tiles to change the story and progress super unique gameplay. Overall it’s safe, good, and amped up a bit from Framed. Everything seems smoother, more active, more real. Very well done puzzle game.


Available For: iOS

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New iOS Games on Our Forums: ‘Fowlst’, ‘Art of Gravity’, ‘Framed 2’, ‘Mr Future Ninja’, ‘Poly Bridge’, and More

Happy National Strawberry Shortcake Day, everyone. Sorry this Wednesday roundup is coming a little later than usual, Jared has the day off and I’ve been sort of glued to the new Brawl Stars stuff Supercell has been teasing. It’s by Supercell, so, you know it’s going to be the next big thing, and hopefully it soft launches soon.

Here’s all the new games that have been posted to our forums:

Stay tuned for our full roundup later this evening!

TouchArcade

‘Framed 2’ Review – The Second Half of a Really Good Game

When I reviewed the original Framed [Free], I said “Given the brevity and lack of progression in the concept, this really does feel like half of a larger whole stretched out to fill one game.” Holy crap was I right. Loveshack Entertainment decided to return to the concept with Framed 2 [$ 4.99] and the difference is night and day. I don’t know if I have ever played a game where the second title in the series made the first one look like utter garbage in comparison, but that’s exactly what Framed 2 does. It is exactly what the original game needed to feel like the genius title that the concept deserved.

I recommend playing Framed 1 still to a certain degree, as it is in part the tutorial to Framed 2, which throws a few easy sequences your way, before going whole hog into its concept, challenging you early on rather than feeling like one giant tutorial. The story itself is a prequel, once again involving a silhouetted man, woman, and a mustachioed man pursuing them. The woman and mustache are the same characters who appear in the first game, with the big MacGuffin briefcase playing a role here. There’s still no dialogue in the experience at all, but the game feels like it has more character. The male protagonist in particular has just enough detail and personality to keep him as the abstract character he’s supposed to be, but to make him feel like a character. And taking the world from a generic western city to a vaguely-Chinese town gives the world more of the feeling of a dynamic, lively setting. It doesn’t feel flat, or generic, and there’s good ways that the locale gets used to inspire the theme. While some people might be disappointed that the game is a prequel, like how I saw some consternation after Beyond Good and Evil 2 was revealed to be one, I will say: it pays off well.

The core mechanic of the game is rearranging panels in order to create the proper sequence of events, with the location of characters and items in each panel playing a role contextually to what happened in previous panels. The annoying puzzles where the rules of comic sequencing were played with are gone. For example, there were puzzles in Framed 1 where you had to rotate long panels around to solve puzzles, creating puzzles where you weren’t completely sure of how the sequencing was going to work. Those are gone. What does play a bigger role are the fun puzzles where you have to re-use panels in order to complete a sequence. So, you have more instances of where you have to utilize the different contexts, while still finding a way to use all the panels at least once, in order to solve the puzzle and advance. These puzzles now have more in the way of permanent effects, so order plays a role, too. You also have to move pieces around several times, so just the depth of these puzzles and how you focus on your approach is taken to a new level. Some new elements get thrown into the mix, such as environmental elements outside of panels that you have to manipulate. Some new puzzles at critical moments in the narrative get thrown in, too.

The photos you can collect serve two purposes in Framed 2. One is that they show how there’s some whimsy in the experience now. These Polaroid-style instant photos have cartoony representations of events in the game, and are part of how this game doesn’t take itself so seriously. There’s a few silly moments, and a couple of cool references to a famous fan of the original Framed, one of which is just a nice thrown-out reference, another playing a role in the game itself in a way that shows some of the cleverness at play in Framed 2. Additionally, these photos often require that you play through things in a slightly different way, perhaps taking an alternate sequence through the level. This is great! It shows that there might be more than one solution to challenges, and it encourages a bit of creativity in playing the game and replayability if you miss the photos.

While the police officers in the Framed universe will never be considered smart, Framed 2 does a lot of subtle work to make sure that the hazard they represent doesn’t feel extremely unrealistic. Like, these cops still don’t have a tremendous ability to see anything outside of their immediate vision, but the original Framed took this to a ridiculous degree. The way you avoid and dodge cops in Framed 2 feels far, far less ridiculous. There’s still some oddities of the rules as to when your protagonist will whack the cop from behind or not, but nothing especially egregious.

I am seriously, seriously impressed by how much better Framed 2 is compared to the original game. You’re talking about a title that left me surpremely disappointed. I specifically said it felt like the first half of what should be a really good game. There were clever ideas, but they went underutilized. And a lot of ideas that didn’t work out took up too much prominence. And the twist in Framed 1 just didn’t land as well as I think Loveshack intended; even on a recent replay, it was still just confusing instead of clever. I stand by that game as a 3 out of 5 mobile experience. Framed 2 chucks almost everything that was bad about the original Framed out the window, emphasizing what is strong about the concept, and then building on it. This is exactly what a sequel should do. And for Framed, where you had a game with a good concept but a flawed execution, Loveshack put a ton of work in to make a sequel that annihilates what the first game did. It took a few years, but finally the promise of Framed has been fulfilled with Framed 2.

TouchArcade

‘Framed’ Has Gone Free for the First Time Ever

Framed [Free] has an ingenious premise behind it; move comic book panels around to change the outcome of the scene. When it was first announced a few years back, everyone was very excited to try it out. While the game had some issues, as we noted in our review when the game came out, it’s still a fun game with great art, and it has gone free for the first time ever. This drop in price probably has to do with the recent announcement that Framed 2 is in development, which we posted about recently. Framed suffered from some very predictable puzzles—moving ladders around, rotating pathways, and so on—and a complete lack of narrative, which made players feel a bit lost and lacking an actual purpose outside escaping cops.

While there are issues, Framed‘s mechanics are definitely worth trying out, and at the price of nothing, you should go grab it if you don’t own it already.

TouchArcade

‘Framed 2’ Release Date Announced for June 14th

Loveshack Entertainment has announced that Framed 2 has a release date: June 14th. The original game was a rather creative concept where you rearranged comic panels in the proper way to advance the narrative. The sequel boasts a new Chinese locale, with the same core mechanic involving rearranging panels to form the proper sequence of events. The game starts off with a familiar-looking gentleman with sunglasses and a suit on the run from the cops, but as Framed [$ 3.99] players should expect, that might not be the only perspective you get in this game. Loveshack has released a new trailer for Framed 2 showing off the game:

While a keen-eyed viewer may notice that there is conspicuously zero mention of the game’s platform in the trailer, or on the game’s website, Framed 2 has been demoed on iOS devices, such as the big ole iPad Pro:

Framed originally released on iOS but eventually came to other platforms like Android, so it’ll be interesting to see on just which platforms you’ll be playing this on at release. I had one of the few lukewarm reviews of the original Framed, so I’m curious to see what the sequel does with the mechanic.

TouchArcade