Usually when I review a game, I have a good idea of the style before going into it. FACTOTUM was the first release from TACS Games on the Wii U, and it was a pretty unique and solid game, so I was excited to see what they would bring to the table with Radiantflux: Fractal. After playing the game extensively, I’m still not quite sure what it is, but I think I kind of like it.
Radiantflux: Fractal starts up in a pretty interesting manner. You are at a computer with an old operating system, and are tasked with hacking deep into the web to uncover corporate secrets. You get lots of technical jargon via emails, which admittedly went over my head quite often. Before jumping into the “hacking” portion of the game, you can play around on the desktop operating system, which has mini-games and even an old-school chat system.
Once you start to hack, you get the main form of gameplay: a side-scrolling dual-stick shooter. Blasting away enemies racks up a higher score, and you must reach a certain score in order to advance to the next “hacking” stage. You have bombs at your disposal when things get hectic, and there is a power-up you can pick up and use for a limited time before it launches from your craft. You can, however, reacquire it at any time by picking it up.
The shooting mechanics are fine, and the graphics and music are suitable in a “retro-style”. By getting a certain score and advancing to the next “hacking” stage, you also unlock little bonuses on your desktop. Honestly, I loved some of these, and the last unlockable was by far one of my favorites, and makes me want to see a full game in that style from TACS.
Radiantflux: Fractal is cheap at $2.99, and the price is suitable. It’s short, it’s weird, and some people won’t like it, but I think it has a certain charm to it that made it pretty enjoyable. If you like more obscure style games, or shmups, this one may be up your alley.