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Apple Arcade: Where Cards Fall is a game about memory and change

Deal with it.

Where Cards Fall is at least two things at once: it's a puzzle game about getting from A to B, and it's a series of rather touchingly sketched-in vignettes about growing up, about isolation and memory and the predatory nature of depression. That's what I've been taking away from it, anyway. It's a lovely thing.

At the core of it are playing cards which, come to think of it, are at least two things at once too. As you wander around dreamy isometric environments you come across these piles of cards. They can be expanded to create card houses of various shapes and sizes that can allow you to cross gaps, and they can be moved around with a wonderful reptilian slither. There are rules to uncover that govern their behaviour, and pretty soon you have a bunch of lovely bite-size brain teasers to get through as you move from one scene to the next.

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There is so much to like here. My favourite thing, I think, is how those cards hint at the unstable, rickety nature of memory itself, the way it can expand and contract, the flimsiness of our recollections but also the bright magic of them, the euphoria that can come from thinking about the past - matched here by the euphoria of solving something that initially seems completely impossible.

This is a game for slow evening sessions, I think, spread over a week or so. It is astonishing to me that Apple Arcade has launched with stuff this good, and it's just lurking in there waiting to be discovered.

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