Attractio

Attractio releases in a window with a lot of other first-person puzzle games, a genre has never enticed me that much to play. I have heard great things about Portal and The Witness but have stayed away because I want more action in my gaming experience. Attractio has opened my eyes to how exciting playing a puzzle in first-person can be.

Attractio kicks off by informing you that this whole game is set on a reality T.V. show in the far off future. You play as one of three competitors, Mia, Keir and Dalek, each competing for a chance to win prizes to change their lives. The story itself is clever enough to keep you entertained but really it’s each chamber along the way in the gigantic spaceship that are the main focus. There is a strange twist in the plot through the middle of the game which really keeps you wondering what is about to happen. Progressing through each level tasks you to understand gravity and how it relates to each puzzle.

While each character has their own abilities, such as Mia having gravity boots or Dalek having a gravity gun, the game blends its mechanics frequently. For instance, while playing as Dalek, I found myself confused until I realized I could also use gravity boots. I would say the game telling you something and demanding something else hurts its consistency. Nonetheless, the tools and gadgets mixed with unique chamber environments leads to some impressive puzzles. It is the constraints in the environment, such as barriers and lava-pits, that determine the puzzle as much as the abilities at your disposal. 

As the game continues, subtle tweaks in the environment have you thinking about how to use all the assets in your arsenal to get through a level. For example, changing a box’s gravity while pressed against a wall allows you to use it as an elevator. There are plenty of instances just like these that give you a euphoric sense of accomplishment. Often I thought all hope was lost trying to figure out a particular puzzle, only to finally realize one adjustment gave me the solution.

The music is a highlight of the game. It is a mix between classical and techno, and sets the perfect tone for fast-paced concentration that is very unique. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to give a shout out to composer, Novelli Jurado, and suggest you listen to the soundtrack even if you do not end up playing Attractio. The graphics are good but the levels themselves do not demand a high degree of fidelity, something I appreciated because of the need to focus on solving puzzles. The style used still allowed for a number of nice touches, like caution signs that give you a slight hint at what to do.

The only real issue I had with Attractio were the load times, which were rather long, but otherwise I had a great time playing the game. While there are no groundbreaking moments, what the developers did was make a clever game with great puzzles. I believe Attractio deserves attention despite not being a AAA-blockbuster. I tend to prefer games that are a lot more actiony, but allowing yourself the opportunity for other experiences can be just as rewarding. Attractio is a good game that you can play in a weekend, share with your friends, or give your brain a complex challenge.