LOVE: A Puzzle Box Filled with Stories pretty much does what it says on the tin, and it is a tin that is absolutely jam packed full of goodies. Developed by Rocketship Park and published by Thalamus Digital, this delightful little story-driven puzzle game is available on Windows PC and Nintendo Switch. It was initially released on Windows PC in 2020 with the Nintendo Switch version following in 2021 and for this review I was playing on the Nintendo Switch.
You start and play the game in and around a large apartment block, and you can pan up and down and left to right as well as zooming in on certain apartments in the block. You can also rotate each floor left or right kind of like a Rubik's Cube. But the little added bonus here is that there is a line down the middle separating the past from the present, and while the line is static, if you rotate a floor, you can move it from the past to the present and vice-versa. As well as all of this, the main aim of the game is to collect photo memories into a little album and to do this you will need to interact with the residents of the apartments, both in the present and in the past, so the whole apartment block acts like one big giant slide puzzle.
The stories in LOVE: A Puzzle Box Filled with Stories are all connected by, yes you guessed it, LOVE! And a lot of the residents are connected to each other in one way or another, as you will find out as you play through the game. The puzzle element is really good and you will unlock further pages of the photo album as you progress more into the game. The present is depicted by colour while the past is shown in black and white. You are also free to swap and rotate the floors of the apartment block as you wish to unlock more of the story.
The controls in the game are Left thumbstick to move your cursor, Right thumbstick to move the camera view, A to interact, X to open the photo album, Y to zoom in, L and R shoulder buttons to rotate left and right, and the trigger buttons to select the floor to rotate. The options in the menus are for music and SFX, inverting the camera and adjusting sensitivity, and you can swap the sticks if you like as well. There is also a great original track by Neil White called Devils in my Head that you can hear playing through the menus and in the game itself that will absolutely get stuck in your head.
There are a good few hours here on a playthrough, and it is an enjoyable few hours. I felt the music complemented the pace of the game perfectly. I would say that it is probably suited to both the Switch and the PC screen, just down to your own preference in that regard. LOVE: A Puzzle Box Filled with Stories is also another game that I would highly recommend, if not for the unique style of the gameplay and the stories, then for the sheer addictiveness of it. g1a5w3g1an's Rating: 4.5 out of 5.