FRACT OSC Review

F-OSC Header from Official Presskit

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FRACT OSC* gameplay from the Video Games and the Bible YouTube channel:

FRACT OSC is an open-world puzzler/exploration game set in a fractured, musical world.

F-OSC Screenshot 7

The abstract, neon-tinged, Tron-like aesthetic suits FRACT OSC particularly well. CRT monitor-type scan lines provide a visual link to the games’ 80’s-style electronic music. Since the game is set in an oscillator (one of the most important components in an analog synthesizer) this connection is both appropriate and powerful.

F-OSC Screenshot 8

The loading screen…

FRACT OSCs open world is broken into three distinct sections (corresponding with the three main elements in electronic music): Lead, Bass, and Pad. You must navigate these areas, solving puzzles and interacting with elements of the environment to bring a musical world back to life.

F-OSC Screenshot 2 from Steam Store Page

The final structure in the Lead or “Temple” section of the world.

A puzzle in the "Bass" section of the world.

A puzzle in the Bass or “Generator” section of the world.

F-OSC Screenshot 3 from Steam Store Page

A view of the Pad or “Dam” section of the world.

FRACT OSC also includes a fast-travel system that can take you back to previously unlocked waypoints.

One of the many waypoints located throughout the game.

One of the many waypoints located throughout the game.

The fast-travel system in use.

The fast-travel system in use.

Intelligently-placed environmental cues help lead players through the world to both interesting vistas and objectives.

Glowing tabs and lit-up structures give clues to where your next objective is located.

Glowing tabs and lit-up structures give clues about where your next objective is located.

By right-clicking the screen, your view changes from that of an observer to a participant. Objects that can be interacted with are highlighted as you change both the game and the soundtrack with your actions.

Viewing a puzzle in the Bass section normally...

Viewing a puzzle in the Bass section normally…

F-OSC Screenshot 10

By right-clicking, the environment becomes an interactive tool.

I would NOT recommend using a walkthrough unless absolutely necessary. The fact that you are dropped into totally unfamiliar situations with little instruction makes every discovery and bit of forward progress rewarding.

F-OSC Screenshot 12

A Pad puzzle…

With intense concentration and a few clicks, you transform dead terrain (echoing a few meager blips and noises) into a magnificent symphony of light, color and music…

F-OSC Screenshot 9

Solving puzzles and bringing this world back to life also unlocks elements for use in a fully-featured electronic music “Studio.”

F-OSC Screenshot 4

The “Core” interactive music Studio.

After beating FRACT OSC you unlock “Advanced Controls.” This gives you full creative power over the music you make. However, you can still access the Core interface if you wish.

F-OSC Screenshot 5

The Advanced mode.

You can record your FRACT OSC creations and then share them with others through your chosen service, or directly through YouTube. There are a number of Studio tutorials available to get you started.

F-OSC Screenshot 6

Surprisingly, you can use the recordings you make in FRACT OSC for commercial purposes (in a video game, movie, etc.).

I was able to record the following in about 25 minutes:

If you want to use FRACT OSC as a music creation tool immediately (without unlocking features through gameplay), the developers have included an option to do so in the Studio Menu.

F-OSC Screenshot 3

The inclusion of this option (to jump straight into the fully-featured Studio) gives us a glimpse into the love, thought and foresight that went into FRACT OSC.

Conclusion:

FRACT OSC contains a world well worth getting lost in alongside a fully-featured music creation system. Thought-provoking puzzles and beautifully abstract visuals combine to create a memorable experience.

Potential Concerns:

The red Lead Synthesizer area is designated by the official soundtrack as the “Temple” region. This is reflected in its architecture/design:

F-OSC Screenshot 2

The “Temple” region.

As with the rest of the game, you must reactivate these structures to bring the musical world of FRACT OSC back to life.

F-OSC Screenshot 1

Reactivating the central temple.

Buy Now! (Steam)

Buy Now! (Humble Store)

Purchasing this game through the Humble Store (above) not only gives you a Steam code, but DRM-free copies of the game on every available platform.

10% of each purchase through Humble Store goes to charity.

*This title was received for review/coverage. See our statement of ethics here and game review criteria here.
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*Do you want to be saved?

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*More reviews from Video Games and the Bible.

About Nelson

Writer, amateur #gamedev, and Founder o' Video Games and the Bible. My interviews bring the boys to the yard. Featured from Kotaku to Rock Paper Shotgun. Dropsy.
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