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Figment Early Impressions – “Thoughtful Tones”

Figment will take you through a wonderfully bizarre world full of music, puzzles, and nightmares. As Dusty, you and your high-flying partner Piper must explore minds to eradicate nightmares. The preview build of the game featured several levels out of order, so this made it hard to tell exactly how the story and levels will play out in the final game. However, it did provide me with a taste of the puzzles and various environments the game will have.

I was thrown into the world without much fanfare. One thing I noticed as I went along was the lack of any real tutorial. This isn’t a bad thing, as the game is simple enough that you can figure out most of it’s mechanics through experimentation. There are context sensitive prompts when you approach objects, but figuring out exactly how everything works in the world is left up to the player. This lead to not only satisfaction in solving the puzzles, but even the mere act of figuring out how to manipulate the pieces felt rewarding. There was enough variety on display here to make me excited to see them all unfold in their proper order.

The lack of tutorials means you are rewarded for experimentation.
There are a wide variety of puzzles and solutions.

The presentation is, without a doubt, the game’s strongest part, on almost every front. The environments are bright, colorful, and full of wacky architecture. There’s a purposeful juxtaposition here with land masses that have brass horns shooting out of them, and grass that looks like guitars. And this music theme isn’t an accident, as these objects emit their own tunes when you approach them. It makes the world feel lively and unique as you really have no idea what you’re going to see next. The voice acting and dialogue is also well written and delivered.

The only issue I had with the game was the combat, as it felt out of place within the context of the rest of the game. Furthermore, it isn’t particularly fun to engage with. Considering the puzzles are so great, it’s a shame that this element isn’t better executed. In it’s current state, I would rather see it totally removed because it really hurts the momentum of the game.

Figment seems to be shaping up to be a great puzzle-adventure game. The presentation is amazing with hand-drawn worlds that are brought to life through music and the characters that inhabit them. The story has potential, but is hard to evaluate in it’s current state. If the only issue the game has are a few frustrating combat bits, then Figment is a game to keep your eye on.

Figment is scheduled to launch sometime this summer on PC and consoles.

I remember playing Super Mario Bros. and Metroid on the NES with my older brother, and never being able to land on the aircraft carrier in Top Gun. I faked being sick so I could stay home from school and play Quake II once, but now I request days off from work instead of lying. Age of Empires II is still the best RTS, Half-Life is still the best FPS, and I still think the end of Mass Effect 3 was great!