Vessel

A little shout out for Vessel. I got to try it out about two years ago when it got submitted to the IGF. It got through the first round and made it into the finale; it felt interesting, but still rough at that point. So, Strange Loop has been working on this for a while now, and it's looking quite neat so far. Definitely recommended for those who enjoy physics-laden platform/puzzle games. The game will get released on Steam and through their website on March 1, PS3 and X360 versions are said to follow at some point later on.

Video & trailer:

It looks interesting, but it will definitely be fighting against a lot of puzzle-platformer fatigue.

I'm all over this. Puzzle-platfomer fatigue, sure. But I still find it to be one of the richest genres in terms of new concepts and mechanics.

That looks very cool.

The day has finally arrived. About ten minutes to go.

By the way, what's up with steam lately? I didn't know strange loop put out a demo and it's not listed in the steam demo category. And no pre-load either? It's probably a small download sure, but being the most highly anticipated game of March you would think steam would be on the ball more.

Haven't installed it yet, but may get around doing so over the weekend. Keep in mind that you can buy the game directly from the developers - you'll get a DRM-free version of the game and a Steam key. Also, it's cheaper for us Euro people.

I may have screwed up. I'm just past the first big level with the many doors (being vague on purpose) and need to get to the next but the water activator is very high. I wonder if I didn't upgrade right and now I'm out of protoplasm. I really don't like that the upgrades don't have names, just vague pictures.

I figured out the trick with the next door with some help from the guys on the steam forum. I did find a bug with the reactor which is why I thought I was so stuck but the devs on the steam forum said they're going to look at it.

What a blast so far.

Played about almost 2 hours. It's a pretty decent game. The platforming can be a little janky, since there's so much your character can get stuck on, but I'm liking the aesthetic.

It seems quite a bit longer than I was expecting. I don't know if there are going to be more factories, but this first one is taking me some time. I was thinking 3, 4 hours tops, but it's starting to feel like they're pacing it for 8 hours.

That's a pretty good deal.

I've sunk about 5 hours into the game, and I have been thoroughly impressed. The art style and animations are top-notch. All the steampunk machinery and flouro creatures are a joy to watch as they move and interact with each other. The puzzles are a blast, and I really enjoy experimenting with the different liquids and flouro seeds. This was definitely worth the $13.50 I paid for it.

My only complaints are that sometime the sounds, especially the footsteps get a little repetitive, and the jumping mechanics aren't very tight, but neither of these really take away from the game.

Bought it on Friday, finished it sunday morning. I think it was just over 10 hours and I don't recall spending too much time being utterly stuck on what to do, so a pretty solid 10 hours of game.

Overall: really good, smart puzzles and lots of fun. Definitely recommend to others. The platforming is a little lacklustre but that's not too much of an issue given that it's a puzzle game and there isn't a great deal of (or any?) precision platforming required, so I'll give it a pass there.

The only thing I didn't like about it were that the engine clearly has some issues that they weren't able to fix. The physics model can lead to puzzles being stuck in un-solvable states through no fault of your own, even when you're engaged in executing the correct solution to a problem. For at least 3 puzzles I had components of the puzzle get stuck on other components or on scenery (due to the physics) in such a way that the puzzle broke. There is a "reset puzzle" option in the menu but that just feels like admitting those kinds of issues couldn't be fixed. And the final boss was pretty buggy, there are a couple of actions, that within the structure of the puzzle, should be benign but if you do them at the very end of the encounter they prevent the end animation from triggering.

Bought it today.
Broke the game about 10 minutes in
IMAGE(http://cloud.steampowered.com/ugc/470864631764266108/4E5D1084EA6ED3A4D01B3F74C226CC2DBD327638/)
I was getting something like 2 fps. Not sure why they wouldn't put a limit to the number you can put down.

DanB wrote:

The only thing I didn't like about it were that the engine clearly has some issues that they weren't able to fix. The physics model can lead to puzzles being stuck in un-solvable states through no fault of your own, even when you're engaged in executing the correct solution to a problem. For at least 3 puzzles I had components of the puzzle get stuck on other components or on scenery (due to the physics) in such a way that the puzzle broke. There is a "reset puzzle" option in the menu but that just feels like admitting those kinds of issues couldn't be fixed. And the final boss was pretty buggy, there are a couple of actions, that within the structure of the puzzle, should be benign but if you do them at the very end of the encounter they prevent the end animation from triggering.

Yeah, I agree. The game feels like it was made by a bunch of game design students as a final project on fluid dynamics. Most of the actually mechanics of the game are very poorly done (jumping, swinging, precise movement). I also feel like the look of the interactive stuff on top of the non-interactive pre-rendered stuff just looks off. Especially the guy you play. Still, the puzzles are a lot more interesting and satisfying than most puzzles games I've played. I'd just like to see this idea done by a team that could bring a bit more polish to it.

Thanks, Fedora. This is why we can't have nice things.