Games of 2010: Fractal

Honestly, when I first tried the Fractal demo, it didn’t really do much for me. The basic mechanic of the game is kinda neat, but when I first played I had no intuition about what the results of my moves would be, and the chain-reaction heavy design of early levels made the game feel arbitrary. It wasn’t until I saw it again at Indiecade (where it was a finalist, and runner up for Best Sound) that I gave it a proper look. As it turns out, it’s actually an incredibly clever and well designed little game, and I’ve been totally hooked on it for the last few months.

What won me over is the brilliant “puzzle” mode (which is sadly not part of the demo). It starts with simple instructive levels, demonstrating the game’s main concepts with puzzles built around a few neat realisations. By the time you’re half way through the puzzle mode, you’ve developed that necessary intuition you need, and the main campaign mode becomes something far more enjoyable.

The other thing that won me over; the amazing soundtrack, which might be the best procedural music I’ve ever heard in a game.

Fractal costs $9.99, and is available at http://playfractal.com/.

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