Sunday, May 4, 2014

PC Spotlight #91: Fract

Title: Fract
Developer: Phosfiend Systems
Platforms: PC, Mac
Price: $14.99
Playing Fract, I keep being reminded of another game I had played this year: NaissanceE. Like NaissanceE, Fract immerses the player in an alien world, but while the former was an otherworldly place, the latter's environments are engaging in a different way
Fract is set in an expansive open world, an abstract landscape of machinery and geometric architecture. If NaissanceE compelled you to explore through tension and an unsettling atmosphere, Fract compels you deeper into its world through the desire to discover and understand how everything works. The world is a synthesizer dissected and magnified to create a sprawling landscape of weird music-driven technology and structures, a reactive world that moves and shifts in your presence. If anything, perhaps the world is too open; without hand-holding, objective markers, guidance, it's easy to get lost as you navigate areas. While I enjoyed this lack of direction, some might find it frustrating.
However Fract is more than just a musical exploration game. Complementing its world design, the game's puzzles are designed around learning and manipulating music. To bring the abandoned technology back to life, you must play with synth and bass and other musical elements, moving platforms into place and guiding light to reinvigorate the world with sound and life.  Fract eases you into these puzzle aspects, teaching you the basics of manipulated pitch and bass and melody, eventually giving you free reign to craft your own electronic music through an in-game synthesizer. I found the puzzles challenging and different, both brain-teasing and educational in a way, but I preferred exploration and discovering the world over solving Fract's puzzles.
Fract welcomes the player to discover its abstract synthesizer landscape, a world where music, puzzles, and exploration coalesce to offer a unique and visually impressive experience. You can learn more about Fract on its website and purchase the game on Steam, Humble, and GOG.

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