Originally known as Tetropolis, newly titled Refractor is a platforming puzzle game developed by NextGen Pants and will be released early next year in 2017, available for PC with full gamepad support. It allows you to easily re-map keys so you are in full control and can play in comfort! Check out their trailer!
Refractor was born from a love of Metroid Mania, Tetris, and a spot of Castlevania all merged into one but now with the ability to literally turn your world upside down (or any increment of 90 degrees) as you and your fellow imperfect Tetris pals stir a rebellion. My biggest concern being inspired from the Metroid games was the amount of backtracking that would be involved. However, that was quickly dashed as you are able to save your progress in any control room you come across and can teleport back at any time, which includes after hitting a switch or button that both helps you progress and then traps you. All in all, the mechanics are very well flushed out since everything in the environment and each room is reachable unless intentionally designed to be a trap.
You unlock abilities as you progress, which includes rotating the rooms when you are editing the level. The map is easy to read and there are numerous ways to reach your destination so feel free to explore! The way Refractor is designed allows you to explore all avenues with minimal backtracking and can even be done in a speed run.
The controls are very responsive; the jump is very easy to control without feeling too floaty (which can spell disaster for any game, but especially platformers) and momentum is translated extremely well which makes it easy to plan your path with maximum speed. During the demo, you are only introduced to the stomp ability but more will be unlocked as you progress as well as piece manipulation which you will utilize to help solve certain rooms. In that regard, the level of conveyance is perfect where you learn to navigate easily as you go and boss fights are designed in a way that will not defeat you through frustration yet challenging enough to really give you a sense of accomplishment for beating it.
The level design and graphics go hand-in-hand and are just stunning with the color choices. The first area starts in the main factor, which is dark in atmosphere to reflect the story of rebellion and uprising of those deemed imperfect in an established system. Although the pieces you play as and work with do not fit the norm, they glow just as bright, if not brighter, than the conformed ones and really stands out against the background.
Visual effects like fire, lasers, and electricity all bring the environment to life with grace and subtlety. There are numerous mechanics to explore and enemies to fight (or avoid) that you can play this game again and again.
Easy to pick up, hard to put down, Refractor is definitely worth checking out and adding to your gaming library.
See you next game! -DecoyEC has logged out.