Cheap PC Gaming: FRACT

Fract is an interesting game. The game is actually still in development and the build that’s available to play is a two two year old beta that’s freely available from the game’s website. I wouldn’t be recommending said beta if it wasn’t worth playing though, so do continue reading whilst I explain what this unique experience is exactly.

[drop]The game is as a first person puzzle adventure game that’s set in an abstract world built from basic, vibrantly coloured shapes. The neon lines and glowing hues bring the Tron movies to mind and look utterly gorgeous. The world is a vast area that seems to be in a cavern of some description, the walls and ceiling of which are made of shards of stone that overlap each other all around. The puzzles you encounter are based around machinery that you will need to unravel in order to progress.

And that’s, ultimately, what I found most mystifying. You start in a large, circular room that is, in and of itself, a puzzle you must solve, right there at the beginning. It’s pretty simple if you’ve played games before, you need only pay attention to find the answer, but the lack of any real guidance is what drew me into the experience.

After you make your way through that initial puzzle you’re taken on a platform for a bit of a float around before, again, being dropped without being told where to go. Exploration is key, and a curiosity about the your surroundings will, ultimately, direct you to the correct areas.

It’s difficult to say too much about FRACT’s beta without giving much away. The puzzles are clever, one particularly impressive trial used perspective in a way I haven’t seen before in a game, but all of them essentially consist of you fixing what seems to be machinery in order to unlock the path forwards. Again, the thing that drew me in was the lack of instruction, just being dropped into this neon-lit area in which I could go and discover things on my own.

[drop2]As previously mentioned, the playable build is a beta of a game that’s still in development even now, years later. The final version will be a more fleshed out game, whenever it releases, with you essentially unlocking a way to create your own electro music; each area or puzzle unlocking new tools for you to experiment with when you return to your ‘hub’ – essentially your music studio. The integration of this studio and music is what the developer, Phosfiend Systems, wished for the ‘old FRACT beta’, but was not technically achievable at the time. FRACT OSC, which is detailed in this very recent dev diary, is a new direction meant to realise that which was not possible before.

FRACT OSC, however, is not available for play, though you can register interest in testing it in the future on their website. Until then, the current FRACT beta is something you should probably experience if you’re at all interested in puzzle-based first person games and gorgeous, artsy indie games.

FRACT beta is available for Windows and OSx from the official site, here.


  1. This Game looks like a lot of fun, i’m downloading it now. Thanks for suggesting it Gareth

  2. “The neon lines and glowing hues bring the Tron movies to mind and look utterly gorgeous”
    – Really can’t see that from the screens.

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