Review: LOVE –A Puzzle Box Filled with Stories
‘LOVE –A Puzzle Box Filled with Stories’: on Nintendo Switch.
a review Megan Robinson.
LOVE is a puzzle game about finding the things we’ve lost in ourselves and the people who help us find them. Through interactions in both the past and the present, we get to know the people that live in our apartment building and the moments that define their lives – and change them. LOVE is stated as being ‘an experiment in storytelling that combines the rich experiences of a diorama with puzzles inspired by point-and-click adventures. LOVE creates opportunities for empathy and reflection, as well as moments of classic head-scratching puzzle goodness.’
The first thing to note about this game is that it is short. Even I who likes to take my time with games and take breaks finished this game in a couple of hours. An average person will probably be able to finish it in around 30mins – 1 hour. The actual gameplay is very easy, so anyone can get straight into it without having to worry about figuring out the controls. I liked the mechanics of the past/present. You can spin each floor of the apartment complex between the past and present to solve the necessary puzzles. The puzzles themselves are not too difficult but also not super easy; they are just right for you to have to play around for a bit to solve them, but no so hard that you feel the need to search up a tutorial. I also enjoyed each of the ‘story arcs.’ Each story is revealed by a series of photos from the past and present, and as you progress in the game you unlock more puzzles. The puzzles are finding the relevant past/present photo to reveal a timeline for a particular person. The stories for each person are emotional and personal to each character about love, loss and growth.
Something I didn’t like about the game was the art style. Although it is unique, I think the strange 3D blocky art style firstly didn’t suit the overall tone of the game and it also sometimes made solving the puzzles complicated, especially when searching in the past. The past and present are divided by the past being in entirely different shades of grey and the future in colour. With the animation and the shades of grey, sometimes objects blended together and it made it difficult to find what I was meant to be searching for. I think the game 100% should remain in 3D but perhaps in a different art style, so it still remains unique but matches but matches the emotional tone of the game and makes searching in the game significantly easier.
Overall, LOVE is enjoyable quick game that you can play in one sitting. If you are a fan of point-and-click style games and simplistic puzzle solving with an emotional storyline I think that you will enjoy this game.
Review by Megan.