Meet the citizens of Bellariva and get to know them while fixing up items from their past in Assemble with Care.
Format: PC via Steam
First playthrough time: 1.5 hours
Cost: 7.99 USD
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Assemble with Care is a puzzle and story-focused game. Players take on the role of Maria, a traveling repair woman, as she reaches the small town of Bellariva. By helping to fix items from around the town, Maria learns about the lives of the locals, in particular, the internal struggles of two families. Watching the families reminds Maria of her own parents and she shares with the player her story.
The puzzles in Assemble with Care focus on Maria repairing various broken items for others. Players start by taking objects apart, often by directly unscrewing or unclasping pieces. This has a very satisfying and tactile feel. I love the feeling of picking up what appears to be a single solid object and then effortlessly pulling it apart into a bunch of small fragments. Too often in a video game is an object a solid chunk formed into a shape we can recognize instead of a thought out mechanism with its own inner parts.
Despite being a fairly short game, Assemble with Care manages to tell several short stories of emotional turmoil in familial relationships. I did find the storylines to be fairly predictable, but they were still well told. The game splits its time between the puzzles and the story and the story well, with story sections introducing each puzzle and occasional commentary with puzzle progression.
Overall, I found Assemble with Care to be an enjoyable puzzle experience. I liked the tactile feel of manipulating the objects, but I wished the game was longer. It has a decent story for the length, although it’s a bit predictable at times. I recommend Assemble with Care for fans of tactile manipulation puzzles and down-to-earth characters.