Fran Bow Review
Fran Bow is a dark adventure game full of horror, fantasy, and unique puzzles to solve. Crowdfunded by Kickstarter,
At the institution, Fran is prescribed an unusual medication that causes her to see strange and terrible things, which can be switched on and off in the game to solve puzzles. The twisted imagery trapped within Fran’s psyche may initially come off as disturbing,
Set in 1944, the game progresses over five chapters, and despite its young protagonist, Fran Bow is certainly not a game for children or the faint of heart. The mystery, in addition to what happened to her parents and missing cat, is the question of what is real and what is simply part of Fran’s imagination. The line between reality and fiction becomes increasingly blurred as you cycle between the world Fran sees while on and off her medication.
Along the way, Fran will stumble across numerous characters to interact with, all of which are bizarre and charming in an Alice in Wonderland sort of way. The game’s controls are basic and straightforward, relying on the standard point-and-click style where you move between zones and interact with objects in each area by clicking on things. For instance, clicking the bloody eyeballs to the left and right sides of the screen in order to move between rooms, and clicking on various objects to pick up or learn Fran’s opinions on.
The game’s puzzles are tricky to solve, as you will often need to combine various items in your inventory and travel to and from various locations (even backtracking) in order to collect everything you need to progress. Information is delivered by way of text dialogue, with Fran typically given two different options on what to say and how to react while conversing with another character. Both options typically lead to a similar response, though some answers will allow you to learn information faster than others.
The hand-drawn art style of the game is both beautiful and dark, with Fran’s memories void of color, which serves to smoothly transition the present from the past. Furthermore, each location that Fran visits in the game is cleverly created whether it’s a darkened
- Beautiful art style
- Endearing protagonist
- Well-written story
- Puzzles may be difficult for some
- Fran's dialogue options lack depth