The Framed Collection combines both games in the series into one excellent package. Framed was critically acclaimed on release for Android and iOS as was the sequel, Framed 2.
Up until now, the only way to play these games was on your phone. Each game was only playable separately until now as both are now available on PC and Switch.
I played the Switch version for this review and although I’m sure it’s great on PC, the Switch seems like a perfect fit for the Framed Collection.
Framed Collection Review
In the Framed Collection, you need to solve a series of puzzles by moving the panels of a comic around. The protagonist is a shady, private eye type and is on the run from the law. Each puzzle requires that he get to the end of the page without getting caught.
In Framed, you can move panels as well as rotate them to change perspective. In Framed 2, you can do the same in addition to reusing panels which hugely improves and increases the puzzles’ depth and difficulty.
All of the puzzles contain some visual clues to help you solve them. For instance, in one puzzle you need to ensure that the protagonist sneaks up behind the cops to knock them out or sneaks past them undetected. The walls of the buildings behind him help you figure out which order to put them in.
If he travels down a red corridor, he’ll appear from a red corridor in the next panel and the same goes for blue. By switching the panels around, you can make it so he appears from the left, right or rear of the panel.
Framed 2’s ability to reuse panels puts it head and shoulders above the first game. The puzzles take on a whole new, multi-tiered life in Framed 2. Instead of simply travelling from A to B, you need to travel from A to B, to C, to A, to 1A, to 2B, to C and then to the end.
It’s exhilarating when you finally figure out the pattern and get your man to the end. Still present, but somewhat less heavily so is the game’s sense of trial and error.
In Framed, your character doesn’t always travel through the panels in an order you’re expecting. This means that often, you’ll think you have the perfect set-up when instead, you’re sending him into the waiting arms of the police.
In Framed 2, the action always proceeds from left to right and from top to bottom. Doing away with the confusion caused by the order of panels really helps make Framed 2 even better than the first and makes solving the puzzles far less frustrating.
The Framed Collection is a perfect addition to the Switch’s library of games and works incredibly well on the console.
The touchscreen is the best way to play, though the Joy-Cons do work in a pinch. It’s slightly more difficult and cumbersome to control Framed with a controller, but it’s still perfectly doable. However, in my experience, playing in handheld mode and using touch controls is the way to go.
Just like both Framed and Framed 2 were excellent games to play on the go, the Framed Collection is a great way to spend time with your Switch in handheld mode.
If you’re looking for a unique puzzle game with great art and a hook, the Framed Collection is perfect for you.
The Framed Collection was reviewed on Switch using a digital code provided by the publisher.
Game Title: Framed Collection
Game Description: Framed & Framed 2 together at last
The complete Framed package in one game - 9/10
Great on Switch - 8.5/10
Framed 2 makes Framed look less good by comparison - 6.5/10
Framed Collection combines both Framed and Framed 2 into one package. It feels like this is the way these games was always meant to be played.
Framed 2 is easily better than the first and has far more devious puzzles and interesting mechanics.
Unfortunately, because the sequel is so good, it makes Framed look worse by comparison. Both games are great, but the sequel easily outpaces the original.
In the end, it’s a great package filled with great gameplay.