Have Game, Will Play: Vessel

An inventor named, M. Arkwright, developed an automaton called a Fluro. Arkwright’s motivation was to create machines that would take on tasks he deemed too mundane for humanity. The good news is that the Fluros performed as expected, sometimes, but the inventor’s machines may have some design flaws.

Vessel is a puzzle platfomer that makes heavy usage of a custom water physics engine. Running and jumping are the easy parts. Unlocking doors and gates cannot be done without moving levers and triggering switches, which is where the Fluros come in. The main character can use ladders, cranks and switches however he cannot be in two place at once.

Fluros must be created in machines at the beginning of the game but Arkwright will gain the ability to make seeds. Adding a seed to water creates a Fluro. Arkwright designed them to be drawn to machinery, specifically floor switches. Vessel ramps up the difficulty at an appropriate pace and does a good job introducing new abilities and mechanics. One gripe I have is with the actual platforming. The controls for jumping and interacting with some of the machines felt very loose at times. These issues are far from showstoppers though. Vessel can become quite frustrating but that only makes the reward of solving the puzzles even better.

Recommendation: Worth a buy*
Full Disclosure: This game was provided to GameEnthus by a PR firm on behalf of the developer.
Genre: puzzle platformer
Developer: Strange Loop Games
Publisher: Strange Loop Games
Platforms: PS3, PC, Mac OS X, Linux
Price: $9.99

http://www.strangeloopgames.com/vessel/
http://GameEnthus.com
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/gameenthus-podcast-video-games/id286435007?mt=2

*Scale:
Worth a buy – paying full price for fans of series or genre makes sense
Worth a buy on sale – not quite full price worthy
Rent – rent before buying
No – borrow it if you must play it
Please no – Don’t waste any time and/or money on it