App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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Father and Son is an adventure game with peculiar roots. Specifically, it's a game that was made possible in part by the Naples Archaeological Museum, which isn't something you can say about just about any other game. For the most part, Father and Son is a short narrative told through simple–though beautiful–2-D sidescrolling. It's not a hugely impressive game, but it does what it does well, and it absolutely worth checking out for free.
Digging up the past
In Father and Son, you play as a man who has arrived in Naples in an attempt to understand his late father's life. It's an exercise your character is going through because he was not close with his father, who seemed so invested in his excavation work that he had little time for family. All that is left of your character's father is a note he left behind and his work, which is on display in the Naples Archaeological Museum.
Throughout the game, you'll wander from your character's apartment to the museum to inspect his father's work, which leads to some pretty interesting narrative vignettes. Without giving anything away, it's safe to say that these little stories weave themselves together in unexpected ways that are pretty interesting and leave room for interpretation and player choice.
Strolling the museum
From a mechanical standpoint, Father and Son plays a lot like an extremely light adventure game. This is to say there's barely any puzzle-solving and no inventory management. Instead, players are in charge of moving their character, interacting with objects, and talking to the occasional character and making dialogue choices.
This lack of complexity allows for players to really move through Father and Son quite quickly, which I believe is an intentional move. It's main story can easily be completed in a single setting, while exploring other parts of the museum might take longer. I say “might” only because I do not currently have the means to access them. In an interesting move, the makers of Father and Son made it so accessing its additional content is only possible if you visit the Naples Archaeological Museum.
As straightforward as Father and Son might be, it makes quite an impact with its presentation. The entire game has a beautiful hand-painted style with a fantastically broad color palette that really brings the world to life. So, even if you're simply walking to and from the museum, it's almost always a pleasure to see the scenery you're scrolling past.
Another thing to note about Father and Son is just how seamless everything in it feels. Transitions between scenes happen almost instantly, and the UI design makes it so you're never pixel hunting or wondering what to do next. These are small things, for sure, but they add up to make Father and Son feel like a really slick experience.
The bottom line
There's really no reason not to check out Father and Son. It's a beautiful, free game that tells a solid story along the way. Go get it, and go visit the Naples Archaeological Museum to get more of it to play if you like it.