Enticingly named “More than Just Card Tricks: The Intriguing World of Where Cards Fall on AnyTimeSoftcare,” this captivating Apple Arcade creation delves deep into the realm of memories and personal growth. We all have those introspective moments, reminiscing about pivotal life experiences—the joyous occasions, heartaches, and even the cringe-worthy instances—all contributing to shaping who we are today.

In this imaginative game developed by The Game Band and published by Snowman, players accompany an unnamed protagonist on a journey through varied landscapes, constructing and demolishing card houses to progress. Each level unlocks a memory, reflecting the character’s evolution into adulthood, making the gameplay experience not only entertaining but also thought-provoking.

Recognized with an Apple Design Award earlier this year, Where Cards Fall stands out for its exceptional design and innovation among other distinguished Apple games and apps. The game’s inception, inspired by the Radiohead song “House of Cards,” showcases the creators’ genuine passion for creativity and storytelling rather than mere commercial success.

As I delved into a virtual conversation with Sam Rosenthal, the designer, and Cedric Adams, the animator, their shared narratives revealed the intertwined paths of the game and its makers, adding another layer of depth to this enchanting digital odyssey.

Embracing Tranquility: A Journey with Where Cards Fall


Where Cards Fall invites players to immerse themselves in the tranquil moments of life, offering a departure from the typical gaming experience.

During his time at the University of Southern California, Rosenthal noticed a shift in his peers’ interests away from conventional video games. Instead of following the mainstream trend of action-packed games, he delved into titles that explored deeper emotional narratives, akin to those crafted by developers like Jenova Chen. This exploration laid the foundation for Where Cards Fall.

Post-graduation, Rosenthal’s game development studio took shape, driven by a focus on authentic human experiences rather than complex storylines. By incorporating personal stories into the game’s creation, the team infused Where Cards Fall with a unique essence that resonated with a diverse audience. Upon its release on Apple Arcade, the game garnered praise for its inclusive design.

The game unfolds over a decade, following an unnamed, gender-neutral protagonist. Its narrative transcends language barriers by communicating through a distinct, Sims-like language, allowing players to project their own experiences onto the character.

Rosenthal emphasized, “We aim for players to see themselves reflected in the character.” What sets Where Cards Fall apart is its fluid nature, encouraging individual interpretations without imposing rigid guidelines.


The gameplay experience on iPad stands out, offering a tactile engagement in constructing and deconstructing card structures. As players navigate through the game, they are drawn into poignant reflections of early adolescence, encapsulating moments of growth, friendship, and self-discovery. Despite the absence of traditional dialogue, the game masterfully conveys stories through nuances like body language and silence.

At some point in our lives, we’ve all spent sleepless nights reminiscing about past experiences – from joyful birthdays to beach adventures. Not all memories are rosy; some may include cringe-worthy school moments, heartbreaks, or farewells. Despite the mixed bag of memories, each one has contributed to shaping our present selves.

“Where Cards Fall,” a captivating game available on Apple Arcade, encapsulates this idea into a narrative-driven journey. Developed by The Game Band and published by Snowman, the game follows an unnamed protagonist navigating various landscapes while constructing and demolishing card houses to progress. Unlocking memories at the end of each level unveils the protagonist’s evolution into adulthood.

The game’s excellence was acknowledged in June when it received an Apple Design Award alongside other outstanding apps for its innovation and technical achievements. The game’s inception was inspired by the Radiohead song “House of Cards,” reflecting the creators’ passion for creativity over fame or fortune.

In a heart-to-heart via video chat, the game’s designer, Sam Rosenthal, and animator, Cedric Adams, shared insights into the game’s development journey intertwined with their personal growth. “Where Cards Fall” stands out by focusing on life’s quieter moments, a departure from mainstream games that often prioritize power fantasies.

Rosenthal’s shift towards crafting emotionally resonant games led to the game’s unique narrative approach, reflecting diverse human experiences over a ten-year span through a gender-neutral main character. The game’s language-free storytelling allows players worldwide to project their own stories onto the protagonist’s journey.

“Where Cards Fall” is a testament to inclusivity in the gaming industry, challenging the status quo of hypermasculine, white protagonists. Embracing diverse characters and narratives, the game echoes a broader trend towards representation and authenticity in gaming.

Apple Arcade’s platform for indie games like “Where Cards Fall” offers a canvas for stories often overlooked by mainstream studios. By promoting diversity in characters and narratives, these games foster a more inclusive gaming landscape, inviting a wider audience to connect with unique storytelling experiences.

For those intrigued by the game’s premise, “Where Cards Fall” and a plethora of other captivating titles await on Apple Arcade. Subscribing at $4.99 a month unlocks a world of immersive gameplay experiences across various Apple devices. Embrace the diverse and innovative realm of gaming; join the Apple Arcade community today.


  1. What is the concept behind “Where Cards Fall”?

    • “Where Cards Fall” is a narrative-driven game that explores life’s defining memories through constructing and demolishing card houses to progress.
  2. Who are the developers and publishers of the game?

    • The game was developed by The Game Band and published by Snowman.
  3. What accolade did “Where Cards Fall” receive in June?

    • The game won an Apple Design Award for its outstanding app design and technical achievements.
  4. How did the Radiohead song “House of Cards” influence the creation of the game?

    • The song served as an inspiration for the game’s designer, Sam Rosenthal, propelling the game’s debut on Apple Arcade.
  5. What sets “Where Cards Fall” apart from mainstream games?

    • The game focuses on quieter, emotional themes and offers a universal player experience through a language-free narrative.
  6. How does the game portray diversity in gaming?

    • “Where Cards Fall” embraces diverse characters and narratives, challenging traditional gaming norms and championing inclusivity.
  7. Where can players access “Where Cards Fall” and similar indie games?

    • The game is available on Apple Arcade, a platform showcasing indie games with diverse storytelling and innovative gameplay.
  8. What subscription model does Apple Arcade offer?

    • Apple Arcade provides access to over 130 games for $4.99 a month, playable across various Apple devices.
  9. How does “Where Cards Fall” cater to a broad audience?

    • The game’s open narrative allows players to connect with the protagonist’s story, transcending language and cultural barriers.
  10. What role does authenticity play in the game’s storytelling?

    • “Where Cards Fall” prioritizes authentic storytelling by weaving personal experiences into the game’s development process.
  11. What message does the game convey through its diverse characters?

    • By featuring diverse characters, the game sends a powerful message of inclusivity and representation in the gaming industry.
  12. How does the game contribute to the evolution of gaming narratives?

    • “Where Cards Fall” contributes to a shift towards more diverse and emotionally resonant narratives in gaming, inviting a broader audience to engage with storytelling in games.


In a world brimming with gaming options, “Where Cards Fall” emerges as a beacon of inclusivity and authentic storytelling. The game’s narrative intricacies, coupled with its diverse character representation, challenge traditional gaming stereotypes and pave the way for a more inclusive gaming landscape. Embrace the transformative power of storytelling in gaming; join the Apple Arcade community and embark on a journey of diverse narratives and immersive gameplay experiences.