Quarantine got me all out of whack and I just do not feel like delving into video games much. I have looked at all of the other games that I have purchased and have not played and I cannot force myself to play them. So I did what was necessary and browsed through the newly added menu of Steam and how a cute game about how much fun it is to take shit apart and reassemble it for people who may or may not have paid me. This week it is Assemble With Care!
Assemble with care is a story driven puzzle game; developed and published by ustwo games, the same developer behind Monument Valley. It is currently on PC, for $7.99 and Apple Arcade, if you are a person to play games on phones.
You are Maria, a young antique restorer that is traveling the globe restoring items that people hold dear. She arrives in the city of Belleriva to help those in need and immediately gets sucked into their personal lives. A little girl whose tape recorder has broken, that when restored, brings about feelings of lost loved ones. Fixing a old neon sign for a restaurant owner brings back memories of times when sisters loved each other before they drifted apart. The scenarios that Maria gets herself pulled into feel real and are emotional. The two stories are the potatoes that lead the player into the meat of the game, the restoration.
You restore antiques so you LITERALLY take the item apart, replace the pieces that are broken or missing and then reassemble it. The mouse does every thing to the point that I do no think that I touched a single key on my keyboard while playing the restoring segments. You can turn the item, grab the screwdriver, swipe to the left to loosen and right to tighten, and take apart almost the entire puzzle. It is fun, honestly. From the broken knock-off Game Boy to the telephone, it felt so fun to dissemble and reassemble each of the twelve items. At the end of the day, it is incredibly simple to solve each puzzle but it is not about the depth of difficulty that matters it is the narrative that Maria is given during each of these puzzles. Assemble With Care reminds the player that there are intricate stories attached to these items and by restoring these antiques to their former glory, you are in fact helping the people in this story realize what matters truly in life. It feels really good.
The game is aesthetically pleasing THE ENTIRE TIME. I always liked impressionist style and I do believe that it fits this game perfectly. Story slides usually have small remnants of art that give the player some semblance of context when listening to every characters voice lines. When fiddling with each of the twelve objects it is hard to not just gaze at how great everything looks. This is especially true for when you have to restore a camera, just great looking.
Assemble With Care is a game that is made with an immense amount of love. Super simple and super fun. The game lasts only for a short amount of time, approximately an hour and thirty minutes, but during that time, I enjoyed every moment of it. The two coinciding stories are heart felt and well thought out. I was always interested in the moments before I had to fix something for someone.
I really wish that this game would have been longer, but it is a test to the idea that not everything needs to be long to be enjoyed. As the game ended I made sure to read a majority of the names of the people who were active in developing this game.
It is a beautiful game and I wish more developers would invest as much energy and love into their games as ustwo games has for Assemble With Care.
$8 can’t beat it, team. Just go buy it.