Love You To Bits is an old-school point-and-click adventure reimagined for a world of touchscreens.
It features rookie space explorer Kosmo and the component parts of robot girlfriend (don’t think too hard about that) Nova, who’s been scattered across outer space after getting on the wrong side of a large explosion caused by a deluge of lasers.
Kosmo, now armed only with Nova’s lifeless head, must travel to planets where her other bits have been tracked, and figure out how to get them back.
Just your average weekend then, eh?
This charming game
From the off, Love You To Bits hits you with a charm offensive that’s impossible to escape from.
It’s visually stunning and relentlessly inventive, peppering puzzle-based challenges with all manner of game and pop-culture references. Early on, you end up in a 2D Monument Valley, flipping floors and walls to make your way to a piece of Nova. Elsewhere, there are hints of Super Mario Sunshine (or perhaps classic iOS title Soosiz) on a spinning 2D planetoid. A scene of comic-book capers evokes Framed, and Limbo’s silhouette stylings make an appearance. The game never lets up. There’s a cantina from a certain blockbuster set long, long ago, an arcade full of retro games, and a planet of apes.
Yet these never feel like anything other than warm tributes rather than knock-offs; more importantly, Love You To Bits very much has its own flavour throughout, whatever skin it’s wearing. As you’d expect from a point-and-click — or, rather, point-and-tap — said flavour mostly tastes of tapping the screen, moving Kosmo about, discovering items, and using them in the correct location.
Brains not brawn
There’s no inventory — the game flags when the right object in your mitts is to be used. And there are some pretty crazy leaps of logic at times that’ll see you marching back and forth in a game of tappy trial-and-error rather than using sheer brainpower to win the day.
Such incidents rarely irk. In part, this is because the game actively rewards exploration by giving up a couple of very hidden momentos to collect in each level. These later trigger heart-tugging animations of Nova’s memories.
Mostly, though, it’s because the rest of the game is ceaselessly clever. The interface might be simple, but you’ll at one point find yourself immersed in what appears to be a marriage of Simogo puzzlers and The Room, reworked as a 2D brain-thumper.
Multi-room challenges with labyrinthine routes and time travel further complicate matters as you progress, throwing a spanner in the works of what was previously very linear adventuring.
Love You To Bits: verdict
So Love You To Bits isn’t perfect, with backtracking aplenty, some arbitrary rules, and the odd difficulty spike. But it’s so warm, fuzzy and charming that it will melt the iciest heart and crack the sternest visage.
After playing through the game over a few days, we felt like we were full of sugar and puppies. It’s a long way from grim ‘bang bang shooty guns argh’ gaming, and we’re happy to say we loved it to bits.