FRACTER – Review
Follow Genre: Puzzle, Indie
Developer: 4L GAMES LTD.
Publisher: 4L GAMES LTD.,
Platform: Android, iPhone, PC
Tested on: PC

FRACTER – Review

Site Score
8.8
Good: Great atmosphere
Bad: A few bugs
User Score
7.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)

There are many puzzle games out there with each their own style. Recently a new puzzle game was released with a more eerie style; FRACTER. The game uses a mix of darkness and light to create a certain atmosphere. FRACTER was developed and published by 4L GAMES LTD. and we got a chance to try it out. From the moment we laid eyes on the style we were very curious about the game and couldn’t wait to jump in.

Story

FRACTER doesn’t tell a story in a way you would expect. The game uses poems and visuals to convey a story, which is then mostly up to the eye of the beholder to understand. You start by seeing a person walk into what looks like a room that stores some kind of magic light. You then gain control and can walk up to the light. The light seems to somehow connect to you. However, it seems like in some Indiana Jones way, that taking the light, activated a mechanism. This mechanism is a big mirror but when the person goes to look into it, it takes nearly all the light away from inside them. As you see these pieces scattered around, the person is left dim.

It is then you go and find all the parts that the person lost. Even though it is how the player interprets it, the poem and visual telling of a story have been done wonderfully.

Graphics

FRACTER looks very eerie and the more simplified style actually helps with making it look even more creepy. The game uses light and darkness to signify objects you can use or should avoid. Most of the game’s concept is about light versus dark so that is what they also used in the graphics. You are trying to collect pieces of “yourself” which are bright versions of you. However, it seems that other things also came out of the person, which are the darker versions. All the enemies and “allies” are you. As a poem says at a certain point “the maze is empty, the only things in it are the things you brought along”.

The whole game is quite dark, lighting wise, the little light you picked up at the start of the game, is often the only thing providing light. This means that your bright pieces will stand out, but your dark selves blend in quite well. Often you will only notice them last minute by the glimmer in their eyes.

Sound

The music in FRACTER is, just like the graphics, quite ominous as it makes you sit at the tip of your chair. Even the sound effect of just simply turning a block, is menacing. There aren’t a lot of different tracks in the game, however, with the music bringing mostly atmosphere it doesn’t feel necessary. The game also isn’t very long, so it’s not as disturbing to hear similar music. Your shiny self when walking around makes a happy jingling sound. Opposite of that is your dark self, who makes a macabre crawling sound when it hurries to catch you.

Gameplay

FRACTER is a puzzle indie game where you will look for the light and avoid the dark. Your Light got scattered, and if you interpret the game in a certain way, then these are pieces of yourself. The area you are in is some kind of huge dungeon. The main area where you got scattered has seven entrances which lead to different parts which are actually the levels of the game. Seven levels aren’t a lot but it certainly doesn’t feel short depending on how good you are at puzzle solving. Each time you start a level you get a poem that tells you a bit of “story” and also gives you a hint for what is up ahead.

The game uses mostly light in its puzzles. Either by lighting up control points or letting you direct light. Every level has some kind of new mechanic which first gets shown through an easier puzzle, so you know how to use it. For example, there are some kind of light poles that shine light in one direction and you can turn those around to shine in a different direction. Then there are also little cubes, if a light shines into them, they unlock something. Sometimes you will have to light up multiple cubes before the mechanism gets triggered. There is a bug in the information system and to be more precise, the hints that the game gives. The game explains that you can get hints from the little light you took with you by clicking on it with your mouse or pressing Y on the controller when it pulses. However, this doesn’t work, sometimes random hints do show up but there is no way to trigger it yourself.

Every level has some kind of “boss room” even though there isn’t an actual boss. It just combines the mechanisms you’ve learned from previous levels making you go through them. This room has one big button to open the exit, however, you will first need to use two other buttons or mechanisms to unlock that main button. Of course, the way towards those two mechanisms is scattered with puzzles using the apparatus you’ve learned about before. There are also a whole lot of evil versions of you there, who can’t wait to absorb you. It does feel like your dark self is included in the puzzle itself as a kind of mechanism. You often will have to be smart about avoiding them or destroying them with the light apparatuses.

Sometimes you will have to push things around, which can be a bit tricky since the game wants to place the object on the exact squares of the floor. So, if you go a little bit too far, it will go to the next square(s), which can be way further than you meant it to go. It seems that with pushing objects around you can also accidentally glitch through walls and get stuck.

Conclusion

FRACTER isn’t a very long game but it surely is a wonderful puzzle game with a nice and sinister atmosphere. The way of conveying the story is original and might not be for everyone. The poems mixed with visuals, can’t be compared to the kind of story game that uses conversation or a storyteller to tell its tale. In every level towards the end, the puzzles will get only harder, with at the end of the game requiring all your knowledge in order to finish. FRACTER is certainly a recommendation for people who love puzzle games and don’t like getting too many hints.

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Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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FRACTER - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Theotakutem


The one and only slowqueen! -student multimedia-

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