FRACT OSC is a unique, music-based, exploration puzzle game played out in the first person perspective. You’re dropped into a virtual, Tron-esque world devoid of music and life. Your charge is to move about the odd landscape seeking out puzzles, solving them and bringing music back to the world.
The nature of the game, though, is exploration without handholding. As you move around, you’re given visual cues regarding paths and a sense of, maybe, where to go. Interacting with things in order to solve puzzles is expressed initially through hovering input images. After that? You’re on your own.
The developers clearly recognized that the base of players who’d engage with FRACT OSC were smart enough to be dropped into this space and solve the world around them. That absence of handholding is what makes FRACT so magical. You’re alone, you’re given the chance to understand music and you must figure it out on your own.
It’s charming, in that way. It’s also challenging and a little unnerving.
Music, of course, plays an incredible role in this game. Solving puzzles might require sprinkling beats on a meter or moving blocks according to an aural pattern. As you line things up, the world comes to life with sound. The sounds you create produce music, but then filler tunes occupy the spaces in between.
The result is an aural delight, and the tunes you make and hear will push you to explore and tweak a little further.
FRACT OSC is launching on April 22 for PC and Mac. Since the release date is so close, the folks at the FRACT booth handed me a Steam key to check out the game in full once I got home. You can pick the game up for yourself here. There’s even a pre-order discount if you do it through the Humble Widget on the game’s official site.
This morning, my first day in front of my own computer since PAX East, I sat down in front of FRACT OSC with a cup of coffee in my hand and my fancy headphones over my ears. I relaxed, I explored and I brought music to a virtual world. It was exactly what I needed, and I can’t wait to do it again tomorrow.
That sort of enjoyment, in my mind, is high praise for a game.