The recipe for GroZZleR's Fractured 2 goes as follows. Take one MC Escher, add a bunch of his little sister's drawings and blend them nicely until you have a handful of cheerful, but dizzyingly bizarre images. Then take your sharpest kitchen knife and chop them up. Finally, put it all into your blender and hit the "emo" button, adding a hearty dose of poetic narration and some slightly morose music. Just like the original game, Fractured 2 is an interesting puzzle platformer of the soulful kind, where your task is to traverse increasingly deconstructed levels. Use the [arrow] keys to move the little girl and help her reach the ghostly gentleman. Her father? Brother? Long lost Ken doll? It's not exactly clear, but it is touching to see her run into his arms, only to fall into the next level once again.
The story is deliberately vague, but there is a prevailing sense of loss, angst and disorientation, so the Escher-esque mechanics complement all this quite perfectly. You'll often have to take literal leaps of faith, jumping out of one level piece, hoping to land on a firm platform in the next one. With no particular objective in sight, the game can become a metaphor for all manner of situations in life where you are unsure of the right direction or losing sight of your goals. Depending on your sensibilities, the narration can seem a tad heavy-handed or melodramatic, but even if you can't identify with its message, there is no doubt that it accompanies the gameplay nicely. If Fractured 2 has a flaw, it is the fact that there is no level select, but your game will be saved when you quit. Also, as far as sequels go, this one isn't the most innovative, mostly repeating the same tricks used in the first installment, but it's a well executed exercise in expressing complex feelings through the (perhaps somewhat unlikely) medium of browser games.
Very nice update - great stylish animation. Would like to see more levels. The single screen jumping left/right format is somewhat limiting - you can only go one or two directions from the start. You could add in some teleporting or use of multiple screens to add an extra dimension of complexity to the puzzles.
I never did learn what, exactly, the intended story and meaning behind the original game was, or even if it had one. I suppose it might have been intentionally vague to allow us to project our own thoughts and interpretations, but my notes for this just read "Hm," "???" and "carne asada."
... I was hungry.
Well, I'm a vegetarian, so my game notes usually include tofu stir-fry, but I see what you mean. I do prefer games which leave room for multiple interpretations (even if they are so vague you just end up blinking at the screen in confusion), so this one was nice that way.
I do agree more puzzle elements would add value to the game, though they'd possibly make me a bit dizzy. Sometimes it was hard enough to tilt my head like a bewildered owl to be able to figure out how to finish a level :).
I love this game on both the narrative and puzzling levels. Wow. The puzzling was a little easy with the "edge" pieces, though the game did tweak that in later levels. There's one early level that's a bit too hard.
Approach it as a piece of poetry, from the background to inevitable ending. Poignant.
There's a real problem with jumps in the last level where I'll try to make a leap only for the girl to bump her head on a platform floating up in-between her and the platform I was aiming for, causing her to miss it.
Seriously, I know where I'm supposed to go, but I just have trouble with those jumps. The distracting howling of the wind isn't helping either.
I think the metaphor is stacked just one layer too deep for me. I think I'd prefer if the designer could take off the familiar fractured-platformer gameplay, and put in its place some gameplay that connects better to the underlying sun-and-seasons metaphor.
Is there somewhere I can see the entire poem without playing through the game again? I have a theory, but didn't think of it until it was too late and the poem was gone.
Here is the entire poem :)
i asked you once if the sun loved the other stars
you looked at me and shook your head
"he doesn't have time for such things", you said
nodding, i turned back to the horizon
the sun hung low in the blushing sky
it's still a star and all stars die
i shuddered at the thought, random as it was
darkness came and crickets chirped
there was the familiar scuff of boots on dirt
i turned to find that you had gone
the moon and fog are better company
though just as silent, i know what they expect of me
winter is a long and lonely season
spring comes as a sweet surprise
autumn is summer's swift demise
though, i do not understand the point
you barely fit twenty-four hours in a day
why set my heart to a seasonal delay?
home was soon an afterthought
i counted the stars like missed chances
and listened intently for sacred wind dances
i paused momentarily to curse the sun
too stubborn to pause and love someone
at the end, we were no different
Thanks, starchild! I thought the poem might mean something different if you read it from the bottom up, but apparently I was overthinking it. Haha!