Behind the Frame LadiesGamers

Behind the Frame: The Finest Scenery Review

Game: Behind the Frame: The Finest Scenery
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle, Simulation
System: Nintendo Switch (also available on Steam (Windows & macOS), Playstation and mobile)
Developer|Publisher: Silver Lining Studio | Akupara Games
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US E
Price: US $12.99 | UK £10.29 | EU € 10,79
Release Date: June 2nd, 2022

Review code provided with many thanks to Akupara Games

Every time the name Studio Ghibli is mentioned as an inspiration, I’m curious about the result. So when Behind the Frame: The Finest Scenery dropped in our mailbox accompanied by words like “beautiful panoramic, hand-animated worlds inspired by Studio Ghibli visuals” I was happy to review it.

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Ghibli inspired visuals

Behind the Frame is the debut release from Taiwan-based developer Silver Lining Studio, and I read online there’s a reason for that name. They hope that “the light in their games can pierce through sombre clouds looming over player’s hearts, and reveal the beauty and sunshine in the world” (source App Store). That’s a tall order, let’s see how they did!

A Painters Studio

In the game, you meet the painter who is hard at work in her studio making her new art piece. She is getting ready with her paintings for a gallery showing in New York, and her day is made up of a comfortable routine. Put on some music in the old cassette player, make breakfast, brew coffee and drink the coffee while getting on with the painting at hand.

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A cassette deck from the last century!

The room is full of paintings and has a cozy feel to it. It has some old objects that take you back in time, like that cassette player. When I saw how you had to actually open de deck, put the cassette in and close is again before pressing play, I honestly wondered how teenagers would do with this task. It must seem alien to them! It set the mood, however, giving the game a distinctly nostalgic feel.

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A cup of coffee to start the day

Across from the window, when the painter is sitting down to paint, she sees an old man and his cat, also painting. But no matter how she tries to hail him, he doesn’t seem to hear her. But the paintings he has in his room seem familiar somehow! Paintings that show a young man with a yellow umbrella, and a young girl with a read one.

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Meeting due to the rain

Six Chapters of Puzzles

The painting the painter is currently working on is still missing some colours, and little puzzles help you find them. Somehow, some paintings you see in the old man’s room are in the painter’s room as well, and the puzzles revolving around them also help to unravel the story behind what we are seeing.

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The portfolio holds all the clues you want to save

Every clue is saved to your portfolio, some are ” find the difference” kind of puzzles, others involve cracking a password, or sliding pieces of paper in the right place to reveal a document and there’s the matter of putting the right colour in the painting at hand. The puzzles aren’t very difficult but they do a nice job of moving the story along.

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Found yellow! Now on to the painting that needs help

There are six chapters in Behind the Frame and about halfway through, the story takes a turn and I was getting really curious about how the story would end. I didn’t have long to wait, as it’s a short game. Some two hours of gameplay I think.

Wholesomeness in Artwork and Soundtrack

The artwork of the game is really awesome. The clips during the game are gorgeous, and I love the eye for detail. Everything, from the clues to the notice that you can end the game, is printed in painting strokes. Everything is controlled by the touchscreen, which works flawlessly and you can look around the room without a problem. Somehow it feels like you are in an anime movie yourself with you making the choices.

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Everything is set in brush strokes, even this mundane screen

It’s no exaggeration when they say it’s Ghibli inspired. Not just in the graphics, but also in the way of storytelling. One of my favourite Ghibli movies is Howl’s Moving Castle, and just like in that movie, there’s a constant laid back feeling to Behind the Frame. Things happen to the painter that would have someone worried (and would put some of us in a mild panic attack) but our painter takes it all in stride. And just like with Howl’s, I came away from the game with a sense of confusion and wonder at what the developer had actually been trying to say with his game. Leaving me to make my own impression of the ending in my head.

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The soundtrack by Yuchain Wang van Sung-Yueh Chou is spot on. Relaxing, catching the perfect atmosphere. I was glad to see it’s available on Spotify, that’s going to my playlist!


I have pondered the rating I was going to give Behind the Frame. I enjoyed playing it immensely, I love the whimsical atmosphere and the intriguing storyline. The puzzles aren’t overly difficult but I don’t mind, it made it feel wholesome to me. The game is short, but when it ends I really wanted more because of the story behind the painter and the old man. It certainly challenged my creative mind, as I keep thinking about what exactly I had been witnessing.

The price tag on Switch for Behind the Frame is along the lines of the Steam price, but you should know that the mobile version is about half the price. Due to the fact that it’s a touchscreen game, I do wonder if that wouldn’t be the best version to go with. This is a game for fans of wholesome games with a whimsical and nostalgic feeling.

Final Verdict: Two Thumbs Up Two thumbs up

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