FRACT first teased our eyes and ears back at the beginning of 2011. It's been a few years, but the full release is finally upon us in the form of FRACT OSC, an abstract first person puzzle game steeped in mystery and musical riddles. It's the kind of game that rewards you for jotting down notes on a piece of paper, as you never know what odd shape/color combination might be used to solve a puzzle later on.
FRACT controls like most first person games. Use the mouse to look around and the [WASD] keys to move. No jumping or shooting, but you do have a handy still-screen puzzle mode activated with a right click. Switching this on allows you to see puzzle items that would normally be invisible. From here you'll interact with holographic-type things that will move light, shape and sound around the game's massive caverns.
You're going to feel completely lost when you first start FRACT. The good kind of lost. The Myst kind of lost. The more you play the more things start to fit together in your head. Eventually you'll know what you need to do to progress. Getting it done is a completely different challenge, but that feeling of satisfaction you know you'll get when you charge through the puzzle is totally worth it.
FRACT OSC perfectly captures that sense of confusion mixed with exploration. It asks you to simultaneously consider the shapes in front of your face as well as the world at large, creating this truly epic sense of freedom and discovery.
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Finished. (By the way, you haven't finished until you can see the credits.)
A text walkthrough for this game would be impossible. You could list the solutions to the sound puzzles and a few more things but even just explaining clearly where to find each thing to do would take a book the size of a novel.
You can get through the game in 12 hours or so if you're clever. That's not very long, but the game isn't very expensive. I think it's worth the (very cheap) price just for how unusual it is, and for the feeling you get walking around the bizarre abstract art scenery.
If you like this game then you'll like Kairo, which is similar but without the emphasis on sound and 1/10th as complicated.
Some people are currently experiencing crashing issues with this game, so you might want to wait a bit before picking it up.
I love this game. By the way more portals look, I can tell that I'm about half way done. It's perfect for somebody like me (who only has an hour or two for game play) in that you get to points where it is easy to set the game aside. I love that it is just one huge puzzle. The game has no text nor a hint system, but it does a wonderful job of casually pointing you in a general direction. The graphics and game play remind me of Kairo, which was one of the best games I had played since Myst, Riven, and Exile.