In space, no one can hear you control two walker robots… Or so they say…Trapped in space, on a ship with no power, it’s up to you to bring the craft back to life. Utilising two walker robots, you must guide them via a terminal through various levels of puzzles, controlling each one individually to pass each test as you go along.
You’re not alone on your adventure, however, as the last surviving member of the ship’s crew is there to guide you through, explaining each weird and wonderful invention you come across: ballast containers, buttons, vortexes, and more. It’s up to you to work out how best to use the tools at your disposal.
Initially Factotum 90 feels like its greatest influence is Portal, sporting a similar mix of buttons pushing and block moving puzzles at your own pace, without time limits or restraints. The walkers don’t have the same personality as the robotic beings of Portal, but do bring their own charm into the mix. As each walker crosses the others’ path, they’ll merrily chatter to each other, no doubt bemoaning the imbecile who controls them. They reminded me perhaps a little too much of another famous box-shaped robot, but however coincidental that may be, personally it adds to their charm.
Some of the puzzles you face are devilishly difficult, and quite often I found myself having to take a moment or two away from the game, just to gather my senses. To the less patient gamer out there, this may be a turn off, however the mix of relief and satisfaction at passing such tricky conundrums certainly pushes you on. However frustrated I became, trying to solve these levels, it never stopped me from continuing… Not sure if that’s a mix of my own persistence and personal puzzling history, but Factotum 90 certainly takes advantage of that “one more level” mentality.
There were a couple of issues I found, but mainly around the options for the game.There weren’t any. Personally I find this quite surprising that in a modern game you are not given the option to change audio levels, video settings, or even to look at the controller map. It wasn’t until I was beyond half way through the game, that I realised you could speed up the walkers, or slow them to a crawl, with the right and left triggers respectively.
Visually, Factotum 90 isn’t “beautiful”, but the art style certainly fits it splendidly. Reminiscent of the style of Xbox 360-era Fallout games, it’s utilitarian in appearance, and although a little rough around the edges, is quite charming. The paths through the level are clearly marked, even if the solution isn’t. Despite lacking in a great deal of colour, the visual style is fitting for the environment you are exploring.
The sounds of Factotum 90 are what you would expect, relaxed, almost ethereal sounds, which help you focus on the task at hand. Although not particularly memorable, the soundtrack sat perfectly with the environment of which it was based around, and served more to help you relax, than to instil a sense of urgency.
Thanks to Xbox and TACS Games for their support
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