söndag 31 oktober 2010

Review - Fetus (PC)

FETUS, an indie game by Ted Lauterbach

Since I saw the trailer to the sequel recently, I decided to talk about its the predecessor “Fetus”, a puzzle platform game to the PC:e and web browsers.

It was an entry in one of GameJolts competition, the theme at that occasion was “Minimal” something that T.Lauterbach interpreted as “Minimal amount of sense and colors”

Let’s summarize the story real quick.
The game is about the blue creature named Aramas, which is trapped in “nether-regions of the abyss” by a fetus, and Aramas can’t wait to give the fetus some payback. The only trouble is that the Fetus can only be harmed by the hand of the undead.
So Aramas builds a time traveling device to transport himself back when he is dead. You play as Aramas before he dies and along the way you will meet your own ghost that has traveled back in time to kill Fetus.
Pretty brain boggling stuff, but it certainly remains true to the creator’s intention

The story is never told in game, so you have to either use your imagination and build something by vague clues or read the story separately online, in that old school kind of way.
But the story aren’t necessary to enjoy the game, all you need to know is that you are trapped and need to solve some puzzles.

Game play
Your goal is to get to the big screen television that show statics to get to the next level, but the hitch is that it can be kind of hard to reach since your character can’t jump, but do not worry the “Abyss” don’t play by the rules of physics.
If you walk off-screen you appear on the opposite side, so if you jump down a pit you can fall down on the platform above you, you can also get stuck in a never ending fall if you aren’t careful.

In some of the later levels is the big television inactive, but small television scattered over the room are showings statics instead. If you turn all of them of, it will activate the large one so that you can continue.

The only real obstacles are some laser that instantly kills you, witch you need to bypass with the help of various tools. To your disposal you have Boxes, Gravitation switches, buttons.

The box is just a box, but the laser can’t penetrate them and they are kind of heavy, which comes in handy if you need to press a button that won’t stay put.

The button summons a box in a designated advantageous position as long as it’s pressed.

The Gravitation switch, does exactly what its name implies but it only affect the object or individual that touches it, which can lead to some odd sights, such as boxes in the ceiling.

It’s not very challenging, you can breeze through most of the puzzle even if you only have a half a brain (not literary since corpses are bad players).

Graphics and sound
“It’s just one of those rare occasions when a game is actually better off without music”

Personally I don’t like the bleak atmosphere, but I like the visuals, very sparse and to the point but the sound ruins that somewhat for me, statics and silence aren’t the greatest ear candy.
I like to have something to listen to when I think, it may not improve my thinking abilities but its makes it more relaxing.
But that’s just me, quit a few people like this kind of atmosphere as the quotation above shows.

It’s a very short game but since it was made for a compo it’s understandable.

Gameplay switching gravity is always interesting mechanic but combined with a wrap around screen? Good fun.
Graphics as I mentioned early I like the graphics but they lack polish.
Sound yeah, it’s pretty silent, something that you either hate or love.
Replay value, none, the bane of most puzzle games.

Go and grab the game at Gamejolt

I have high hopes for the sequel "suteF" now that it have had a longer production time, I really want my brain to sizzle completing a hard puzzle. Take a look at the trailer, its looks grand, the graphics are overhauled and it will actually feature music to some extent.

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