Review – Figment
I didn’t know what to expect with Figment. Sure, I was expecting a puzzle platformer, but what I wasn’t expecting was for it to take on a much deeper topic. On the surface, Figment is an action-adventure-puzzle-platformer. But behind the cartoony characters and the vibrant colors and music, Bedtime Digital Games tackles what is an all too common struggle with depression.
The game opens to darkness as you hear a family together on a car trip. The father paying less than full attention to the road as he talks with his son, seemingly resulting in a car accident. This is where the game begins, with your hero resting peacefully. No more mention of the previous events. You are left to wander the area and simply figure things out on your own.
What you soon come to realize is that you are wandering through the subconscious mind. As the brain’s former voice of courage, you are soon face to face with your enemy as he makes off with your memories and sense of self. Taking action; you solve puzzles and overcome obstacles to battle your demons and chase him down.
Figment is basically broken up into three levels. You have the creative side of the brain: bright, vibrant, full of music and fantastical level design. Then you make your way to the left side of the brain, more logical and analytical. Cleaning up cobwebs and repairing it to get the mind back to literally run like clockwork. The final level is making your way to the consciousness, fighting through waves of despair.
The actual puzzles are little more than “find battery to put on X,” “find wheel to put on Y,” or “find gear to put on Z.” And for the most part, the levels are small enough that it’s just a matter of walking for a minute or two before you find said object. At times you will need to resolve other puzzles to make your way to the objects or where they are meant to be taken. However the overall premise, and difficulty unfortunately, never really changes.
The artistic style is very well done and at times, beautiful. The colors work very well to showcase two tones the game embodies: A fun kid like game that handles a very mature topic. The soundtrack is also creatively done. Witty banter back and forth between the hero and his sidekick is enjoyable. And each enemy chase and battle becomes a musical of sorts.
My biggest issue with Figment was it walked the middle so much that even though I was casually enjoying the game, I never felt invested. The art direction was beautiful but purposely simplistic. The music and writing were creative, but some voice over work didn’t land. Puzzles were creative but also monotonous. The story did a fantastic job of tackling a difficult topic but I often stopped thinking about that topic as I simply worked from A to B. They added orbs called Remembranes to help flesh out the the character of the mind you are in, but I even stopped caring about those or its story progress. I just always felt that I was half in, half out.
Figment is a creative puzzler that tackles its mature content very well. It explores the inner mind and battles its inner demons. It is beautiful and entertaining. But for as much as Figment gets right, it just never truly lands any one thing to make it stand out.
Beautifully simplistic. Muted color palette ties gameplay to topic maturity.
Simple and monotonous at times, but never fully takes away from the experience.
The music and creative use of alright Voice Over was able to shine through.
Fun Factor: 7.0
Enjoyable but somewhat forgettable.
Final Verdict: 7.0
Reviewed on Switch.
Figment is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch
A copy of Figment was provided by the publisher.