Discover the world of Transistor, a sci-fi-themed action RPG from the creators of Bastion.
User reviews: Overwhelmingly Positive (8,441 reviews)
Release Date: May 20, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"Supergiant remains consistent with a visually stunning narrative experience backed up by a surprisingly deep combat system. Short, but replayable."
Read the full review here.

Reviews

“Transistor is a wildly smart action-RPG that places all of its trust into your intelligence.”
9.0 / 10 – IGN

“The game’s vision is intoxicating, and its execution is inspired.”
8.5 / 10 – Polygon

“Its art style is divine, its soundtrack is remarkable, its combat is intricate, and the story of its odd-couple protagonists is both smartly written and deftly told.”
9 / 10 – Edge

About This Game

From the creators of Bastion, Transistor is a sci-fi themed action RPG that invites you to wield an extraordinary weapon of unknown origin as you fight through a stunning futuristic city. Transistor seamlessly integrates thoughtful strategic planning into a fast-paced action experience, melding responsive gameplay and rich atmospheric storytelling. During the course of the adventure, you will piece together the Transistor's mysteries as you pursue its former owners.

Key Features
  • An all-new world from the team that created Bastion
  • Configure the powerful Transistor with thousands of possible Function combinations
  • Action-packed real-time combat fused with a robust strategic planning mode
  • Vibrant hand-painted artwork in full 1080p resolution
  • Original soundtrack changes dynamically as the action unfolds
  • Hours of reactive voiceover create a deep and atmospheric story
  • 'Recursion' option introduces procedural battles after finishing the story
  • Fully customizable controls custom-tailored for PC

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7 32-bit
    • Processor: Dual Core CPU - 2.6ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1GB of VRAM: Intel HD 3000 GPU / AMD HD 5450 / Nvidia 9400 GT
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.7.5
    • Processor: Dual Core CPU - 2.6ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.0+ (2.1 with ARB extensions acceptable)
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: glibc 2.15+, 32/64-bit
    • Processor: Dual Core CPU - 2.6ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.0+ (2.1 with ARB extensions acceptable)
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
57 of 66 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
12.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2014
I feel like I need to set the record straight on Transistor. The biggest complaint I've heard about it is that the story is inscrutable and there isn't much of it. First of all, that is not true, but more importantly it just doesn't matter. Transistor is a masterpiece because you don't have to be a detective to enjoy the game. It is, at its very root, a simple love story. If you can appreciate that much and enjoy the beautiful art and incredible music, than you have a game well worth buying.

Beyond that there is the mystery of Cloudbank to uncover, and the many philosophical questions to answer. We are taught to value the voices of each person and try to create a consensus that serves to make everyone happy. Transistor toys with the idea of a "vote" vs. a "choice." Transistor is not preaching any answers, and that's why I think the narrative may come off as weak. We have villains who could be heroes and a main character who reasonably and selfishly just wants to pursue her own life without getting embroiled in any political machinations.

This is a supremely beautiful work of art and in so many ways that I will easily recommend it to everyone. Explore the world of Cloudbank for awhile and decide how much you want to discover. I promise that even a short trip will be a memorable one.
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24 of 27 people (89%) found this review helpful
22.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
I am a huge fan of Supergiant Games' previous game, Bastion. Topping that game was a tall order, but I think they've managed to equal, if not better it, with Transistor... though I guess that depends on your personal tastes. First of all, if you have not yet played Bastion, I implore you to do so. If you have played it, and liked it, then I can definitely recommend checking out Transistor. Both games share some common fundamental elements: isometric action gameplay, a set of diverse weapons, amazing music and visuals, and stories moved forward by in-game voiceover. In the case of Bastion, the voiceover was provided by a narrator. In Transistor, the voice is that of the soul of a "dead" man within the main character's weapon (the Transistor). The other main difference is in the way combat is handled. While combat in Bastion plays out in real time, in Transistor you can pause the action at will (on a cooldown) and plan out a set of actions (or "functions" as they are called in game) that will play out in rapid sequence. So essentially, Transistor is more of a strategy game.

The game takes place in a city called Cloudbank. You play as Red, a singer that's lost her voice after an attack by an organization called the Camerata. Red wields the Transistor, an object that can absorb the essence of people, who in turn, become "functions" that can be assigned to your combat loadout. The gameplay loop consists of clearing out groups of enemies, collecting new functions for the transistor, and then combining those functions in all sorts of different ways. There are 16 functions, each of which can be used in one of 3 ways: as a primary action, as an upgrade effect for a primary action, or as a passive effect for your overall loadout. With 4 passive slots, 4 action slots, and 8 upgrade slots available to assign your functions, you can imagine how many different possible combinations there are to experiment with. And man, is it ever fun. There's plenty of room for experimentation to find what works best for your play-style. It's a brilliant combat system. The only negative I would say about it is that it's a bit confusing to figure out at first, as the game offers little in the way of explanation. It doesn't take all that long to get your head wrapped around how things work, but the early going might be a bit confusing.

Visually, the game is just absolutely stunning. The environments are so gorgeous that I would eat them up if I could. The story is somewhat inscrutable (which I've heard brought up by people as a negative on the game), but there is plenty of information available within the game to flesh things out if you put in the attention and effort required. But ultimately, I never felt any of that really mattered too much. At its heart, the main plot is simply a love story, and that's all that really matters in the end. The other highlight of the game for me was the music. As with Bastion, music has a huge impact on the game experience. The music is consistently outstanding throughout, perfectly setting the mood for each area you traverse. There are also a few vocal tracks spread throughout, which are particularly good, especially the ending song, which was the high point of the game for me.

I guess my only disappointment with the game is that there just isn't more of it. The story can be completed in around 6-8 hours I would estimate. After that, the game allows you to "recurse" through the story again indefinitely, while keeping all of the upgrades you've acquired, and making the enemy encounters harder each time. This is nice, and worth playing through at least once, but really, there's only so much you can go through the same few areas and watch the same cutscenes, etc, no matter how much you enjoy the gameplay and visuals. But what is there is excellent and worth the asking price. So in summary, if you liked Bastion and the turn-planning combat of Transistor sounds interesting to you, definitely give this a look. Or just give it a look anyways. Games like this just don't come around every day, and need to be experienced. I can't wait to see what Supergiant does next...
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183 of 312 people (59%) found this review helpful
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
I know, negative reviews on overwhelmingly recommended games won't win me any popularity points, but hear me out.

It breaks my heart to not recommend this. I had really high hopes due to how amazing Bastion was, and I went into this knowing that it is nothing like Bastion, so my dissapointment doesn't stem from that. Let me start off by saying that the combat customization is pretty neat, the art is nice, and the music is really nice.

- The story just isn't that good. Futuristic world is being destroyed by virus-type-invaders and your sword/companion is the key to beating it. The ending is very predictable and there isn't much character development at all. There is such little story that I can't even expand on that without spoilers because of how little story there actually is.

- The atmosphere is pretty but has very little variation. I got really tired of seeing the same grey blocks over and over.

- The enemies have very little variation. You have turrets that buff/heal, fast dogs, floating objects that shoot beams at you, a mortar, am aoe tank, and guys that spawn suicide bombers. Not much else, the listed enemies all look exactly the same throughout the game; the only difference being small buffs as you progress. There are three bosses, each more forgettable than the last.

- The combat is very tedious, and because (as above mentioned) the enemies lack variation, every fight feels the same. There are some great ways to customize your skills and buffs, but everything just feels the same. Since your last shred of action bar can perform skills that would normally take a huge chunk of action bar, every turn you take is just skill stacking just the right way so you can get the big one in at the end for free. It just feels exploity.

- The backdoor area (a special zone where you can access challenges): probably my least favorite thing about this game. The trials are all (save for one) time consuming, tedious and pretty pointless. I did all the trials with very little to show for it other than maybe a level and a half and music tracks unlocked, which as far as I can tell, can only be listened to in the backdoor area.. A place that quickly becomes chore zone. Every time I finished trials, I was more than ready to leave.

- No replayability. There just isn't. Restarting with all your skills would be nice if the skills weren't so bland. It's just doing the exact same thing over and over again a second time.

-The game is incredibly short. I have 7.7 hours logged and I even took my time. I explored thoroughly and didn't move between areas until I knew that I had explored the whole area. I read all the dialogue and accessed/read/listened to/replied to all the terminals and still only got 7.7 hours out of it with no interest in or reason to begin ng+.

- One of the things that irritated me the most is this game has an amazing soundtrack.... but it is hardly utilized in the game. When your in combat, you spend most of your time in a pause-type attack planning phase.. during that phase, the music is replaced by the same humming.. so you spend a lot of time listening to that one track that is her humming the same tune over and over. When you're running around/exploring, the sword is talking the whole time (not a bad thing) and you cannot hear the music at all.

The game was probably overhyped to me, which is probably why I feel as dissapointed as I do. If you love SuperGiant and love hearing Logan's voice (like me) I'd recommend getting it on sale. Otherwise, you might be dissapointed.
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18 of 22 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
18.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 4
The gameplay is awesome
The music is beatiful
The artwork is incredible
The story is great
So....why are you not playing this game right now?
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
29.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 27
Played it. Cried. Played it again. Cried again.

Story: You're Red, a woman who lost her voice. She gets a powerfull weapon after nearly being killed by it. You'll fight to found out who were these people trying to kill you and what this weapon is for.
I'd like to tell more but I'm afraid to spoil so I won't :<

Music: The ost is just beautiful. Like I can't even describe it. It adds so much.. to the game. There's about 4 songs with Red's voice and I literally love all of them.

Graphics: You can judge them by the trailer I suppose, It's very colourful, detailled, pretty, awesome etc. Hnnnghhhhnnh.

Gameplay: You basically enter a fight, have the time to think about what skills you're going to use and how, you need some strategy. You have 16 different skills, you can use them on an active/passive or upgrade slot which means you can do a lot of fun and interesting combos, and have your own playstyle!

Overall: I just got a crush on this game AND DAMN THAT END HOLY **** I really didn't expect it, so much feels fiuezgfugzfuiezuifgzugfzigfiz.

Just. Play it.
<3
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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
14.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 24
Transistor is a sci-fi action rpg from Indie studio Supergiant Games (The makers of Bastion).

You play as Red, a famous singer from the city of Cloudbank. An incident occurs that leads you down a path of no return. In the process, you receive the mysterious weapon known as the Transistor and the powers that come along with it.

Gameplay consists of real time combat mixed with an optional turn-based system. At anytime during normal combat, you can pause the game to plan and queue up attacks. This proves immensely helpful when you face large numbers of enemies at once.

As you progress through the game, the Transistor gains new powers. These can be used in either active (attack), support (supplement attack), or passive modes. The level to which you can customise powers to complement your playstyle is one of the highlights of the game.

The visuals of the game are another strong point. The artstyle is stunning. Great use of colours and imaginative design bring out the vibrancy and beauty of Cloudbank. This is a city you'd want to save.

Voice acting and music is stellar. The soundtrack is atmospheric and easy on the ears, while the voice acting is filled with character.

The plot can be ambiguous but if you pay attention it makes sense by the end of the game.

The only downside is that a single playthrough lasts 6 hours or so. Some may find the $20 sgd pricepoint too high for that length, although there is a new game plus option that provides some replayability.

tldr: A polished, unique Indie action rpg albeit a little short. Highly Recommended
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
31.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 13
I would pay to see a live performance by Red.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 27
Pra mim é o melhor jogo 2d que já joguei.
Gráficos bons, jogabilidade boa, sistema de level aceitável, boas skills e ainda por cima uma história muito, mas MUITO envolvente!
Se você ler com atenção tudo que se passa em Transistor, você vai perceber que o jogo quer que você participe e que mude o rumo em que Red (personagem principal do jogo) tem que tomar.
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
15.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 23
I was caught off-guard by this game. I didn't have a high expectation, but it's simply amazing.

Game 9/10
History 9/10
Soundtrack 10/10
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29 of 49 people (59%) found this review helpful
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2014
I did not enjoy this game. I was so looking forward to it, but it was a disappointment. Even if I cannot convince you that you should not buy this game, at least this review may lower your expectations in a good way.

First off, I must concede that the art is lovely and I enjoyed the music in the game. Everything else was problematic.

Obtuse

The plot moves very slowly, keeping the mystery until pretty much at the end, but the final reveal does not explain or justify the events of the game.

The in-game UI is overwhelming when you first get to use it. The attack and moding system is not obvious, and the UI does nothing to help explain how abilities works or how to configure them. Even worse, they use a lot of contemporary computer terms but with different meanings, so their terminology can be disorienting. There are a couple of times early in the game that force the UI open and require you to fiddle with stuff before you can continue, but they don't explain what you have to do.

I need to explain a core combat feature before my critique will make sense. The main character has two modes of fighting: real-time and pre-planned. In the real-time combat, your character is at an extreme disadvantage. Enemies move faster than you, have greater reach than you, and they definitely overwhelm you with numbers. Most of your attacks have a short range. In the pre-planned combat system, you pause the action and plan out one or a series of attacks. After the plan is activated, it is carried out automatically in real-time, but your character moves much faster to let you accomplish things that you couldn't in real-time. Also, all of your attacks do more damage in pre-planned combat and/or activate new combined effects.

Pre-planned combat is clearly superior to real-time, so the game limits it. Each action or movement in the pre-planned system uses up resources on a special meter that refills over time when you are back to the real-time. If you don't have enough of the special meter, then you cannot pause time or use the pre-planned combat. This is where you get into trouble.

Planning combat attacks when combat is paused gives you feedback about how much damage each attack will do and whether it will be enough to eliminate an enemy, yet it is often wrong. Enemies that choose to teleport themselves after being hit, bounce a random direction, or activate a defense are not reflected in the combat planning phase, so it is very easy to commit yourself to a big attack that uses up all of your special meter (leaving you defenseless for a period of time) which would have been OK if the enemies that you had planned to be defeated were defeated, but instead you end up dangerously close to enemies who punish you for believing the UI feedback.

Trolling

One of the main features of the game is a large selection of acquired abilities that can be used as either attacks or as modifiers for other attacks. A big part of the user experience is mixing and matching of these abilities to find combinations you enjoy.

When fighting, if your health bar goes down to 0, instead of ending the fight, the game randomly removes one of your abilities and resets your health bar. If it goes down to 0 again, then you lose another ability, and so on until you lose your last ability and are forced to reset the fight from the beginning with all of your abilities restored.

If you survive a fight with abilities lost, then they stay lost until you can explore your way to the next single-use restore terminal. The game is extremely linear, so usually you can't backtrack and use a previously-skipped restore terminal. It may require you to limp along with fewer (or less preferable) abilities for several fights before you can get your abilities back.

At first, I thought this was an innovative way to force you to mix and match your abilities after fights, but very quickly I realized that this is just the game devs trolling you. Although every ability can be either an attack or a modifier to an attack, I found that many of them were useful only in a carefully balanced loadout of attacks and mods. The removal of a single random ability often cripples an entire loadout, and after combat there may not be a way to rearrange the remaining abilities into a useful combination.

The better option in most fights where you lose even a single ability is to let the game completely kill you. If you lose all of your abilities, then the fight resets to your previous state. So you either finish a fight with abilities missing and hate your new restrictions, or you just stand still and let the enemies hit you over and over again until you can restart the fight fresh. Neither option is fun.

An alternative would be to never allow yourself to lose an ability in the first place, but the game loves to give new enemies traits that you have never seen before and old enemies traits that they didn't have before, so I found myself constantly confused why my attacks didn't work and how enemies were doing things I had never seen before. These changes are made without any feedback or forewarning, resulting in lots of cheap deaths (or ability loss in this case). Variety is a good thing, but in a game where your character is so vulnerable unless you use your limited, time-stopping special ability, it is critical that you can accurately plan your attacks, and yet the planning system is inaccurate and intentionally hides information to misguide you.

Another way that I was tricked into overcommitting myself was when the game started adding multiple health bars to bosses. Normal enemies only have a single health bar, so after hours of re-enforcing that system, the game started adding multiple health bars to certain bosses. There's no tell that I could discover to know how many health bars an enemy has. This led me to commit all of my special meter into an attack that the planning system told me would defeat them, but instead left me standing right next to the very-much-not-defeated boss and unable to do anything for a period of time (long enough for me to lose another ability from the barrage of boss attacks).

Poor Pacing

I already mentioned the bad plot pacing above, but there are other pacing issues with the game.

This game has a narrator, like in the developer's previous game, Bastion. In Bastion, the narrator comments on what the main character does in present tense. It was a fresh idea, and got lots of praise. The developers must have felt that their next game needed to have a narrator too, but they really didn't know what to do with him.

In Transistor, the narrator really has nothing useful to say. The narrator doesn't comment on what's going on, but rather fills in a little history. If any of that history was entertaining, then it might have been worth having, but I did not enjoy it. The devs even created multiple, un-skippable sequences that show the main character riding a motorcycle for long periods of time with no gameplay just so that they could have a situation where the narrator could talk, and yet he had nothing interesting to say.

There are puzzles in the game, which could have been a great way to change the pace from the extremely linear exploration and frequent combat, but there were not enough of them to help the pacing much, and the mechanics of the puzzles blended into the environment art so well that I found them more confusing than anything else.

Buggy

At least a couple of times I got my character stuck outside the playable space and had to reload the game.

Conclusion

Great art and music. Everything else is a mess.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
18.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2014
Got it on fall sale. This game is very good, it's the same developer who created bastion years ago. But the gameplay is very different. You need to plan your move and then execute them, Bastion is basically hack and slash, so if you are expecting bastion-ish game here, I don't think it has that similarity in core-gameplay

pro:
- great music
- great voice acting
- great environtment
- great battle system

con:
- i don't get the story.. it's more surreal than bastion, sci-fi fantasy thing that I don't understand the time and place
- short.. really short if you see my playtime, I've been idle for like 10 hours, so only ~8 hours of playing. I wished they add place as HQ and we could choose place to add replay factor
- too linear. you play FFXIII? the gameplay is similar before you reach grand pulse, just beat those things and move forward

the dev implement challenge that somehow reminds me with bastion, the game doesn't ask you to play easy, normal hard like other games, but they give you perks to you could choose to boost your exp but make the gameplay harder.

spoiler:
I like part of the game that the ending scene is similar to beginning scene! reminds me of brother tale of two sons

I recommended this game, better to wait when it's 50% off. It's winter sale when I'm writing this
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 1
I've barely started playing this game, and I'm already feeling sorry that I will finish it soon -- game's THAT good.

Simply put, it's an upgraded version of the Bastion -- with even better graphics, sounds (and music too!) and script.

The core gameplay is decent too, one can describe it as "platformer meets hack'n'slash meets Final Fantasy". UI has some issues, though -- you'll encounter them when you'll be trying to customize your loadout. But nevertheless, game is extremely good -- must have, if you ask me.

I'd rate the game 9.5 out of 10.0, a must buy.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
21.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 25
The Bad:
You have to play it twice.

The Good:
It gets even better the second time around.

Let me say this, about 75% of the way through my first playthrough, I wasn't even sure if I really liked the game yet. There are some game breaking power combinations you can create that make it impossible to lose. The game is beautiful, the combat is interesting and what eventually really won me over, was the story. Towards the end of the game, you finally start understanding the story. It's not even that it is told to you, no, what happens is you get more and more of it via text in your powers, text in the limiters, just from everywhere. I didn't fully understand the impact of those until later.

Once you are done with your first run, you kind of question some things, so what do you do, you play again. Suddenly the story becomes clear. You understand what happened. You understand how. You understand everything in a way that simply wasn't possible the first time around.

It's like watching Fight Club the second time. You see it in a new light that you couldn't have before.

Simply beautiful, well done. I have to applaud them for making another great game after Bastion. I didn't think it possible. I am so glad I picked this up on a whim. Literally because it was cheap at the time.
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10 of 14 people (71%) found this review helpful
6.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 10
NOTE: I was given the game for free for review purposes.

MINI REVIEW – TRANSISTOR

Details
Developer: Supergiant Games
Engine: MonoGame
Genre: Action / RPG
Mode: Single-player
Release year: 2014

The Good
☺Simple and fun gameplay that is very easy to learn
☺Turn based combat ability adds nice variety
☺Good ammount of different attacks and skills
☺Unique art design and elegant looking world
☺Excellent, emotional story with a great ending conclusion
☺Absolutely phenomenal soundtrack

The Bad
☹The campaign as an experience is quite short
☹The level design is disappointingly linear
☹Lack of depth on enemy variety

The Verdict: "Worth playing"


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13 of 20 people (65%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
17.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2014
AMAZING soundtrack and CUTE girl. 11/10
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 12
hey bastion was pretty damn good there's no way they could make it bett-

oh wait hi transistor
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 21
Same to the other game "Bastion":
I love the sound of Mr.Nobody,
The graphic is awesomely beautiful.

The combination of skills makes the gameplay even better.

The game can be finished in about 5 hours if you don't care bout the achievements.
But this game is a must-play.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 5
It's like playing in well-written, beautiful-painted and colorful anime with astonishing soundtrack.
And really smart battle mode.
And tentacles.
Approve.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 8
I...I don't really know where to start with this so I'll try to keep it short. When the discussion of "games as art" comes up, this should be at or near the start of the conversation. Transistor is breathtakingly beautiful. It's one of the most realized and striking art directions I have ever seen in a game. The gameplay is rewarding and the story is fantastic if you're want to learn more about it.

I loved Bastion, but this may beat it in my eyes. Transistor deserves all the accolades it has recieved and should be experienced by everyone. An all-time great for me.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
15.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 4
The most impressive title of 2014.
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