Wednesday, July 15, 2015

FRACT OSC - Thoughts

A certain strangeness pervades FRACT OSC. It's not bizarre in the way the desolate, grim landscapes of Kairo are, but it remains a bit of an acquired taste due to its design. Contained within is a robust sequencer that—to use said program to its fullest—requires you to complete the game hidden quite literally beneath it. I'm not entirely sure whether the main draw is the music, puzzles, or the sequencer, but the experience remains a short and entertaining journey that even the non-musically inclined can enjoy (and complete).

FRACT OSC is a very clean looking game. You won't find any ugly textures or questionable character models here as everything possesses a sterilized sheen, allowing you to focus on each object's shape and size. Solid, unembellished colors pulse and throb to the freeform beat of each section, bringing the setting to life after you solve each puzzle. It's a visually pleasing game as long as you dig the minimalist vibe it's going for; even while lost, I still felt intrigued and drawn into the world around me, curious as to what secrets remain hidden beneath its plastic surface.

The puzzles on the other hand are decent; what really makes them engaging is the sporadic music. Slowly piecing together the bass, lead, or synth as you work on the sequencer riddles was a lot of fun, though none of the tunes in the game were particularly captivating—the catharsis came from hearing all of the instruments fuse together as soon as you finished a puzzle. Sadly some of the sequencer bits can be a bit aggravating as you fiddle with each beat individually, unsure of what you're doing wrong, and to my disappointment the game doesn't really prepare you for using the main sequencer located before the game's hub. To be fair though, the game doesn't necessarily need to, but as someone that gets easily confounded by music programs, it was clear that the credits signaled the end of my time with FRACT OSC.

I'd recommend this game to people that are interested in wandering around an alien world littered with strange tunes. It's not a game you play for the music, but rather a curious title where the music is infused into every bit of progress you make. It's likely my favorite first-person puzzle (FPP?) world due to its vibrant style and curious structure, and although the sequencer included isn't for me, it's an awesome addition nevertheless.

FRACT OSC is the kind of strange I wouldn't mind seeing more of.

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