Game

Another indie game with a big heart

Price: $1.99 / £1.49
Version: 1.0.73
Size: 381 MB
Developer: Nanali
Platform: iPhone and iPad

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Among the army of free-to-play titles, movie tie-ins, and already established franchises, there’s a niche of games doing something different. You see, there’s an unrecognized genre out there that is, put simply, sweet. Amiable characters out there with a strong narrative, and a supporting story that makes the game more than instant satisfaction. You don’t want to complete it just to say you’ve finished the game, you wish to complete it to get the whole story.

The game marries gameplay with narrative – Sally's story unfolds as you roll through the levels

The game marries gameplay with narrative – Sally’s story unfolds as you roll through the levels

Last year we saw the likes of Lumino City, a hand-crafted world with a strong, well-written narrative. That game’s approach to whimsy and playfulness was pushed once more to the front of our minds after we picked up Sally’s Law for the first time. Sally’s Law, however, is far more simplistic and accessible in its approach, swapping puzzles for platforms.

The idea behind the name is that the main character, Sally, takes the place of Murphy in Murphy’s law: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” However, Sally’s journey through various platformed-worlds seem invariably easy; the adverse of Murphy’s Law. As she makes her way home to visit her critically-ill father, doors open for her, and little stands in her way. At the end of each journey, we return to the beginning of the level and have to complete a much trickier version of the level, playing as the spirit of Sally’s father. As the levels unfold, text fades on to the screen, unveiling first Sally’s story, and then her father’s.

Complete the level (when you're Sally, it's not hard!) then repeat as the spirit or her father

Complete the level (when you’re Sally, it’s not hard!) then repeat as the spirit or her father

Despite its simplicity, it can still be challenging – playing as Sally’s father, you have to find keys to the doors in the right order and in enough time to allow Sally to enter. If you don’t, you have to start the level again. After all, nothing must stand in Sally’s way. But the game also uses interesting mechanics. When you play as Sally’s father, the screen zooms out a little and you can see the journey you just took Sally on mirrored below. Often, you’ll be ahead of Sally and wish her to speed up a little. Press down firmly on the screen on an iPhone 6s or later, and the 3D Touch technology will speed her up. It’s a nice touch considering few games are yet to employ this tool in their games.

But, as with the rest of the game, which is punctuated by a beautiful melancholic piano-based soundtrack, even the use of 3D Touch is gentle. If you push down too hard while moving Sally’s father across the screen, it may speed Sally up too fast causing a level restart. Easy does it is the aim of the game.

Sally's Law is not a difficult game, but there's enjoyment in its gentle approach

Sally’s Law is not a difficult game, but there’s enjoyment in its gentle approach

Sally’s Law will not be for gamers looking for exhilaration, and it can often feel a little too slow. But in essence, Sally’s Law is designed as an experience, and it truly is. The story is beautiful, and the way the world’s collide and allow these two characters to learn more about their relationship shows a true attention to detail. The art style is playful and pleasant, and overall, there’s little in Sally’s Law that could possible make a player question whether they made the right choice in purchasing the game.

Having first started life on desktop computers, Sally’s Law has made a smooth transition to mobile after it won numerous indie game awards. It’s also currently on sale for $0.99 on the App Store to celebrate law. We’d highly recommend you take advantage.

Review: Sally's Law – a beautiful, ethereal platformer with heart
A great title with superb attention to detail
For
  • Great design
  • Moving narrative
  • Unique gameplay mechanics
Against
  • Not super challenging
  • Quite slow
3.9Overall Score