Fracter Nintendo Switch Review

Fracter Nintendo Switch Review

By: John C. Mayberry

“The light and dark in every heart fight to be set free. Until one wins, these warring twins at odds will ever be.” Not only one of the most gloomy and poetic lines I’ve ever read in any medium, but this one line sets the tone for Fracter, a game that, even in its simplicity, exudes mystery, bleakness, horror that will surely draw the attention old and new gamers alike. And considering the universal and thematic element on which this game is seemingly inspired by, in addition to its puzzle/adventure style of gameplay, the amount of positive attention this game has garnered is of no surprise to the gaming community whatsoever, as once you start playing it the appeal of the game becomes very clear.

 

The plot to Fracter is as basic as any indie game gets but works out very well. The player takes control of who appears to be a young girl, yet mysteriously enough this character is given no name nor is the reason for their being in this dark and nightmarish world made clear. Even simpler is the explanation of the game objective: the dissipation of the darkness residing within the character themselves. For indie games this takes things a step further since, despite the simplicity of the story, objective and gameplay, the overall theme is a universal one which will no doubt resonate with many. Solving puzzles in quick succession and avoiding enemies that could only be considered the darker aspects of the main character’s psyche, Fracter paints a basic yet metaphorically accurate picture of the darkness that has at some point lived within us all.

Although its true many indie games are known for just being quick, time-killing fun, Fracter takes that idea and shows that even indie games can be elevated to new heights in never before seen ways. Maybe it’s just a basic time-killer for some, for others however…it may be an interpretation of their struggles, their despair, and their willingness…maybe bravery, to follow the one orb of light into the bleak, monochromatic world of their inner darkness to purge themselves of all that threatens to destroy them. But then again it is in the form of something that is fast, fun, and engaging in a way that I’m sure many did not expect. Who really knows? The only way you will know those answers with absolute certainty…is to play the game…

PROS:

  • You’re thrown right into it – Aside from a brief tutorial which literally lasts seconds (due to the basic control setup), the game begins almost immediately, which no matter the generation, is something all gamers will appreciate.
  • Soundtrack – The soundtrack fits perfectly in tone with the game’s bleak atmosphere, giving the player a slight sense of dread and unease.
  • Story – Short, sweet, and straight to the point. The game’s story is a simple one which really requires no further elaboration as the game itself seems to be more visual, leaving the rest up to the player’s interpretation.
  • Graphics – Very good graphics when it comes to indie games. Although they are not intricately detailed, the 3-D effects are nonetheless impressive; certainly, a great example of how a little can go a long way.
  • Transition screens – Poetic messages akin to the works of Edgar Allen Poe appear on every transition screen in a very unique way, in that it enhances the player’s experience, progresses the story, and gives the player hints on what to do in a perfectly blended, resonating message.
  • Puzzles – The game’s puzzles are quite unique also. Starting off with something as basic as stepping on two floor tiles to having to make your way stealthily through and area to avoid your darker manifestations, these puzzles are something any fan of the puzzle/adventure genre of gaming would appreciate.
  • Horror factor – With Fracter’s darker atmosphere and levels designed with dark rooms, passageways and structures that are formed in unnatural angles, there is indeed an aura that provokes unease and maybe a slight presence of fear, albeit a small presence considering the game’s length.

CONS:

  • Glitches – Aside from Fracter having impressive graphics for being a small, indie game, there are still cases of glitching, when the character runs into a wall and seemingly phases halfway into it. Really one of the few issues I found but could still be a distraction to some.
  • Short game – Typical for any indie game initially made available for android devices, Fracter, for everything great it has going for it, unfortunately is a short game. The only replay value I can see here would be to challenge yourself to see how fast you could complete any particular levels or the game itself. But once that has been done this gem of a game could sadly be pushed to the back of one’s mind.

OVERALL RATING – 9 out of 10

A short, straight-forward and a great time for those who appreciate not only indie games but the puzzle/adventure genre as well. Though most players will undoubtedly feel that there is still much to be desired because of how short Fracter is, this is still a great experience which exudes deep and universal themes not usually seen in games like this.