Though Valentine’s Day may be behind us, we can still look forward to the arrival of LOVE – A Puzzle Box Filled with Stories. The upcoming adventure by Rocketship Park is being designed to hone in on specific player emotions, a hallmark the indie Canadian developer tries to instill in all its games. Despite its title, however, it isn't love itself the team wishes to focus on, but rather the cathartic sadness that replaces it after it is lost.
LOVE is set within a mid-size apartment building diorama whose inhabitants each have their own stories. Rather than guide characters around, players will be able to manipulate the various floors of the complex directly, twisting and turning them like a life-sized Rubik’s Cube, and in the process sending floors back and forth through time. In this way the tales of the various families – the relationships they’ve lived and lost – will slowly be revealed, with all the emotional impact that entails. “It’s okay to feel sad – and it’s also okay to start feeling better,” explains Shane McCafferty, lead designer and studio co-founder, laying bare the player’s purpose in interacting with these characters.
The game’s trailer shows off its unique art style, utilizing stylized graphics and different color palettes for past and present timelines. Amidst all the “emotion-driven gameplay” will be “moments of classic head-scratching puzzle goodness.” As you “get to know the people that live in your building and the moments that define their lives,” you’ll then have the chance to change them for the better (if not necessarily less painful), by altering “the moments in their past that have given them cause for regret, allowing them to live a more engaged life in the present.”
LOVE – A Puzzle Box Filled with Stories is scheduled to launch on Steam later this year for Windows and Mac. Until then, the developers are inviting players to scout out the neighborhood ahead of time by playing the downloadable demo or visiting the official website for ongoing updates.