This isn’t a review — but I will talk about the game in a reviewing way, as I was so fortunate to have been a playtester for the game, prior its release.
But, with no further ado: today we’re talking about…
A Short Introduction
“A figment of your imagination” is a not-so-often used phrase in today’s age, but it describes the game really well in many regards. Figment’s story is set in the recesses of the human mind, making it a wonderfully surreal world, where most things are possible. The Mind (as the world is called) is filled with thoughts, and it’s these thoughts that make up our protagonist and our many antagonists, as The Mind has been poisoned by nightmarish creatures. It’s up to Dusty and his trusted, optimistic companion to take on these Nightmares and reclaim The Mind.
Figment is a musical, action-adventure, puzzle game with an award-winning soundtrack made and published by Bedtime Digital Games — a fairly new-ish indie game company, founded in Aalborg, Denmark, who made Back to Bed — an also award-winning game.
But Back to Bed became a springboard into making Figment, which by the time of writing this has won multiple awards for “Best Narrative” in Sáo Paulo 2017, “Best Art” in Berlin 2016, “Best Sound-Music” in Bilbao 2017. Figment was also a finalist in multiple categories, and to just mention a few: “Best Art”, “Best Game” (Sáo Paulo), “Best Console/PC Hardcore”, “Best Hardcore Game” (Game Connection Paris), and more ranging from Nordic Game Malmö to BitSummit Kyoto.
It’s fair to say that the game has something to it. And I can assure you of it because I played it and thoroughly enjoyed my hours with the game. I played it multiple times — not only as a playtester, but Bedtime Digital also had a booth at GameScope, a Danish gaming expo in Aalborg. However, I also crossed path with the game and some of its developers in Birmingham when I was at the EGX 2017 expo.
From what I played myself and saw others experience, the game as a whole was still fun, inviting, and exceptionally mesmerising in its musical traits.
The Few Details
There are a lot of games out there, and only more to come, which makes it harder for indie games to compete as indie studios become bigger and more experienced. So, in order to break through the mould, you need to have something special — a few details here and there, and Figment definitely knows how to intrigue and stand out from a crowd!
The details worth mentioning are, as the awards also speak of, the musical element and the art style.The art in Figment is all hand drawn. With traditional strokes of a brush, the artists have depicted a beautiful yet surreal world full of characters and locations, all emanating with life! The music is also an equal or, in fact, an even greater part of Figment. The score in Figment is totally original: made so that everything you do leaves a rhythmic trail. Every house, tree, or environmental assets are made into a musical instrument: trumpet trees, piano houses, etc.!
Main Game Mechanics
Figment has a standard hack-and-slash combat system: nothing too fancy, but it works as a distraction from the different puzzles. The game focuses heavily on exploration: taking in the scenery, and enjoying the world Bedtime Digital has created.
And it truly is a very mesmerising and immersing world.
Each puzzle isn’t a musical piece, but they are puzzle-ly — which is the point of puzzles. To keep it short, the puzzles do what puzzles should: of course, some of them require more thinking than others, but they aren’t all too difficult to wrap your head around.
Although music isn’t a game mechanic in itself, it’s a huge part of the game. Like many games, Figment has boss battles scattered throughout its world, but unlike many games, the boss battles are musical solos — even though as the bosses are singing to/ about the player, they aren’t exactly serenading him/her. But rather singing about The Mind’s destruction and about the deeper meaning behind the reality of Figment.
The Deeper Darker Meaning
Figment isn’t a game based only in The Mind for fun and kicks, but its deeper meaning is rooted in its psychological story, which the player can discover by collecting memories and completing the game: ridding The Mind of the nightmares and restoring the lost courage!
Games like Figment are what makes exploration-based stories great. The game isn’t outright telling you the central story and theme, but it’s something you need to discover and interpret on your own: thus creating a deeper game and a more real world.
And who doesn’t like to think about existentialism while playing a children’s game? On the outside shell, Figment is a beautifully crafted game, telling a story about courage and hope, but underneath, a darker and deeper side of the human mind is ready to be unearthed.
But why are we talking about Figment? Well, it has already been released on PC (steam):
Link: Figment Steam Edition
But, soon you’ll be able to play it both on the PS4, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch!
But, let me know in the comments if you have already picked up Figment: if you like it or hate it, let me know, and let’s talk about it!