Fractalis – Preview
Follow Genre: Turn based, Roguelike
Developer: Revolutionary Interactive
Publisher: Revolutionary Interactive
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Fractalis – Preview

Good: Great replayability, innovative
Bad: Still needs more polish
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Fractalis is a surprisingly entertaining game in the sea of shovelware that is Steam. Despite not being a charmer due to its looks, it has some really good ideas that could work once polished. At the moment, definitely more love has been put into it than into many other games and shows great promise.

There really isn’t much of a story in Fractalis; a group named the Order of Shadows is attempting to summon demons from the shadow realm and it’s the player’s task to prevent it, though nobody will actually say it, only the loading screen. After defeating the monster summoned by the Order, the objective switches instead to cutting the link between the shadow world and the normal one.

The graphics in Fractalis are also curious, to say the least. Everything featured in it looks aged, with characters that could’ve come out of an Atari game. The areas also have strange colors and shading, which change depending on the condition of the world. Despite that, its graphics are surprisingly charming and nostalgic, obviously on purpose. There is also a huge enemy variety, more than would be expected from such a game. Even inside a single type of enemy, differences can be found.

Another surprise to come out of this game is the quite good soundtrack. It features several tracks that play in succession but without feeling out of place. The SFX are also good and interestingly enough, all open source.

Even Fractalis’ gameplay is strange; as a turn-based RPG, it includes all the expected mechanics of the genre, with some especially reminiscent of the mystery dungeon series. Despite these usual characteristics, Fractalis is really innovative, attempting to implement several unique mechanics.

For example, as the player uses a weapon more and more, they become more proficient with it, dealing more damage. While this means a single weapon can be used during the whole game, it also discourages trying out new weapons. Later on, this actually locks the player out of other types of weapon, due to them requiring levels of proficiency in that branch to use them effectively. The system is interesting and could really work, but it is very rough at the moment, with bigger cons than pros.

Another unique mechanic is inventory management. Due to the space limit, players must consider what to or not to carry, but it can be worked around thanks to the ability to stack items. This can be done whenever an item has the same name as another, regardless of its stats. By doing this, players obtain an inventory inside the inventory, allowing for more storage.

A problem that can be found with how equipment is handled in Fractalis, besides the previously mentioned specialization, is how everything has several numbers that appear meaningless. This also happens with the stats that can be selected upon level up. On every item, there are two numbers, which most likely symbolize a range of possible stats, but these make no sense or are ever explained. Most of the characters-building boils down to equipping anything with bigger numbers than the previous item.

Directly related to what has already been mentioned, the combat is pretty simple. While it can be made more complex by using magic or ranged weapons, it is not necessary at all; sticking with a type of weapon through the whole game is just as effective. If the player chooses to do so while still leveling up by slaying monsters, they will easily be able to kill anything in a few hits.

Fractalis includes several difficulty modes, which definitely live up to their name, at least at the start of the game. Once the player has leveled up a weapon and themselves enough, most of the difficulty is gone, though this doesn’t mean the game loses all fun. Thanks to the effort required to obtain power, it is quite satisfying to use it, unlike many other games where the player stays at the same power level all along.

Conclusion

Fractalis is a really good game despite what it may look like. At the moment it offers about 3 or 4 hours of gameplay, with updates coming at a steady pace adding more content. Even with what is already in the game, it stands out over other games of its price range and is definitely recommendable.

Personal Opinion

“I went into Fractalis without expecting much out of it and was surprised when I found a neat little game. It has a really good base which I hope to see expanded, hopefully with even more content added. The time I spent playing Fractalis didn’t feel like a drag at all, quite the opposite, as mentioned in the preview, it just feels good to play it.”

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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Fractalis - Preview, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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