A game about long-distance love may hit close too home during a time of mandated “social distancing” amid a global pandemic. A Fold Apart from Lightning Rod Games launches on April 17, and it may be just the game we need right now to better empathize with each other.
Lightning Rod Games began developing A Fold Apart back in 2015, but co-founder Mark Laframboise says,
“He never would have imagined that we’d be releasing the game in an environment where nearly all of us around the world are physically separated from loved ones and experiencing that loneliness firsthand. Whether you are self-isolating, distance learning, telecommuting, or keeping in touch online, we are all in one form of long-distance relationship or another.”
The game is about the challenges two people face in communicating while living apart, and the gameplay unfolds in a manner akin to paper folding and unfolding in and out of a puzzle that must be figured out. The light-hearted and colorful atmosphere gives it a friendly and warm aesthetic.
Our current, unprecedented, and the global crisis has been hard on a lot of people who have been stuck in their homes due to mandated curfews even on more introverted individuals who already spend most of our time in our homes. The need to be physical with another person is within every human even if it may not manifest itself until later in life; there is always at least one person with whom you would prefer to spend time. Being unable to reach out to that person with physical touch – be it a slight holding of a hand, a gentle brush of hair over the face, or a kiss – it can feel like a never-ending pain inside of you; long-distance relationships can work, but digital communication over two screens will be a constant, painful reminder of the distance between the two of you. Media that pulls at our heartstrings like this – video games, movies, or the classic spoken or written story – remind us of what is really important in our relatively short lives. A Fold Apart may help us cope with long-distance love amid social distancing.
Lightning Rod Games has worked with big-name game studios like Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive, and Ubisoft and is dedicated to making family-friendly video games designed to be creatively challenging and emotionally engaging. A Fold Apart is planning to release on Apple Arcade as well as the Nintendo Switch and Steam platforms.