Tale as old as time zones
I’ve done long-distance relationships before. Twice, actually. The first one didn’t work out. The second has (so far at least). But both were hard. Being physically apart from someone you love may be easier today with our current technology, but that can bring in its own complications.
That’s what A Fold Apart is all about. Two people separated by time zones, trying to stay connected through phone calls, emails, and text messages. Sometimes messages aren’t received when they should be. Sometimes they don’t come out as intended. Even with modern conveniences promising togetherness, it’s easy for a relationship to drift apart.
The main idea behind A Fold Apart‘s puzzles is that each section has two sides to it. The play area can be flipped entirely to see the back, or it can be folded from one edge to reveal only a part of it. Meanwhile the main characters can navigate any connected platforms (no jumping) to try to get to the end and connect with their partners.
Control moves between the two characters over the course of the story. The man lives in a blue-tinged city and the woman in a more orange country area, but they are able to communicate (and miscommunicate) with each other.
Frankly, the PAX South demo was too short to say if the puzzles are any good. It was just enough to teach the basic concepts and controls, then provide a single morsel of what the full game will have to offer before the “Thanks for playing” message showed up. As a proof of concept it worked fine, but we’ll have to get our hands on a more complete version to see how far that concept can go.
But what the demo did show was heart. A Fold Apart has swelling piano music and a cute papercraft style that, when taken together with the theme, had me getting a little misty-eyed just a few minutes in. Maybe it just hit close to home, but it didn’t take long to mentally insert myself into this story, comparing my lived experiences with the things happening on screen.
A Fold Apart is scheduled for a spring release on PlayStation 4, Steam, Switch, and Xbox One.