Reviews - Updated on March 30, 2022

There are games that really fit into the seasonal mood. In winter, you are drawn to the frosty sagas about the Vikings or Lara Croft in Siberia. In the spring, you want something life-affirming, about the fact that there are chances and you need to fight, fight and survive, even if a vampire basketball player is chasing you. In the summer – bright, even violent adventures, with dancing, music, about vacation seas – or about zombies on a tropical island.

But for autumn, a game like Behind the Frame: The Finest Scenery is ideal – to the sound of rain and the purring of a cat, it tells how two artists met. He and she remember and draw their simultaneously sad, beautiful and mystical story, which happened, it seems, somewhere in Paris…

I draw, I draw you

She is a young illustrator and designer who is trying to finish her latest painting for an exhibition. Every day, she starts by turning on her favorite music, making scrambled eggs, drinking coffee, sending in her resume, and sitting at her easel. But there are not enough colors, and outside the window, a neighbor distracts us – an old man, also an artist who draws, strokes his red cat and does not pay any attention to our heroine.

Behind the Frame: Обзор

The game is reminiscent of the work of Studio Ghibli.

After a while, the girl notices that the paintings in the old man’s room are surprisingly similar to her own, only the neighbor has them completed. And each tells about how, thanks to the missing cat, its owner, a young man, and a girl with an easel met and became friends. Or was it due to the fact that they sheltered from the rain under the sign of the store? At first it’s not very clear, but it’s interesting and beautiful – and the fact that all this is happening in the frame of an elegant painting (there are also pencil sketches) only emphasizes a sort of French melancholic atmosphere.

Behind the Frame: Обзор

The picture is great, but what is it missing?

Then more strange, mystical things begin to happen, tension builds up, a taste of tragedy appears – it seems that almost horror is about to begin. But everything ends the way such stories should end – to beautiful music and with a lump in the throat. Moreover, the plot also leaves room for conjecture: what was it, how did it all end between them? No, the general outline is already clear by the middle of this short story, but there is symbolism and such details that I want to realize.

Behind the Frame: Обзор

Who blurred the paintings and why?

Drawing is easy (no)

There are also puzzles in the gameplay, but of a different nature. In general, such stories can be told in the format of a simple “walking simulator”, but the authors chose a quest. In each small chapter, we solve the same small puzzles – what actions and in what sequence the heroine must perform before getting down to work; what color and what to draw in the pictures; how to find password for laptop; how to draw lines with a pencil, focusing on the clues left to us. There is, of course, the collection of fragments of the picture into a single whole, and the situation when you need to press the buttons in the correct sequence. And all this in order to get a new paint for the picture that the girl is trying to finish.

Behind the Frame: Обзор

There are hints for two puzzles at once.

At some point, all this begins to seem quite artificial, far-fetched. But when you understand what is really happening, everything falls into place. Unless there is a regret that the riddles turned out to be too simple. Questions and doubts throughout all six chapters do not arise – well, almost. Although the situations themselves are almost always arranged in an interesting way – I especially liked the way the artist calculated the password from the laptop using the clues left.

Behind the Frame: Обзор

Throughout the game, the girl forgets and remembers something.

It seemed to me that the authors could more deeply reveal and reflect in the gameplay precisely painting, the features of the artist’s work – make us mix paints correctly, take into account some other nuances. And so, by and large, everything boils down to painting over something with the right color (sometimes this needs to be done very carefully) or drawing in the right place. It seems to train memory, but we always have a very convenient girl’s album at hand, where you can find and remember everything.

The riddle is simple, but how beautifully it is done!

In any case, Behind the Frame: The Finest Scenery is not about puzzles and gameplay, but about a beautiful and melancholic story about love, memory and the past that is always with you. And in which we always remain young.

Pros: a heartfelt autumn story that evokes emotions and leaves room for guesswork; there are interesting puzzles; a chic audiovisual performance, saturated with an atmosphere of creativity and beauty.

Cons: riddles are simple, and the story is very short; in puzzles it would be possible to reveal a little deeper the theme of painting and the work of the artist.

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