Discover the world of Transistor, a sci-fi-themed action RPG from the creators of Bastion.
User reviews: Overwhelmingly Positive (4,739 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."
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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

    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
Helpful customer reviews
9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.2 hrs on record
Transistor is the second game from Supergiant Games, the developers of the critically acclaimed Bastion. Those who have doubts about whether this game lives up to Bastion's expectation can be at ease; Transistor delivers and more.

Story:
You play as Red, a famous singer in the city of Cloudbank. One night after a performance, a group of people, the Camerata, attempted to kill Red with a strange, green sword, but she was saved by someone.

Waking up, she found herself next to the corpse of a man, stabbed by that same sword; the Transistor. The sword starts speaking, and not only that, but seems to know her. Urging her to pull it out of the corpse, the two start tracking the Camerata down, seeking answers, while fighting what seems to be robotic creatures sent to hunt them down.

But things may not be as they seem.

The story of Transistor seem simple and straight-forward on the surface, but most of it isn't handed down to the player, instead inferred and concluded from various hints noticed in the environment, character interaction and character profiles. It encourages the player to seek answers along the main character, and leaves a lot up for interpretation; that's something I like in a game.

One downside to the story however, is how short it is. It's far too short, the game is far too short. You'll be left wanting more, even with "recursion", playing a second play through with your stats intact.

Gameplay:
The gameplay is a mix of Action RPG and traditional turn-based RPG, using the Turn() system that I will touch upon soon. Red is able to equip up to 4 slots of "Functions", essentially abilities, upgrade those functions with up to two functions a slot, and assign functions as passive abilities, for up to 4 passives.

In battle, Red wields the Transistor. In Diablo style, she can use the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 on the keyboard to select an ability, then the right-mouse button to use that ability. Abilities can be offensive, such as shooting a long-range beam or a destructive shockwave, or supportive, such as turning invisible for a period of time or turning enemies friendly.

The Turn() system adds a new depth to the action RPG. It allows Red to stop time momentarily in order to plan and input a certain number of commands: attacking, setting up traps, maneuvering around the map to escape enemy clusters or get behind obstacles, you can do all that. But once all commands are preformed and the Turn() bar is depleted, Red is left (almost) unable to attack until it recharges again; use Turn() at your own discretion, balancing attack and defense.

The game offers the choice of "limiters", handicaps that increase the difficulty of the game in return for better EXP awards. There are achievements you can only get by using limiters, the hardest achieved with all 10 limiters. In addition, there is a "sandbox" unlocked in-game that allows you to tackle specific-themed challenges, like a speed challenge, or a Turn-planning challenge.

Graphics:
Transistor uses an isometric point of view, being able to go in all 2D directions. The sprites are smooth and look good, but the highpoint of the game is the artwork. The character portraits, whether in-game or in profiles, are drawn beautifully. The artist, Jen Zee, did a brilliant, detailed job, and it shows even on the OST cover.

Sound:
Here is where Transistor really shines. The game's OST is amazing. From Ashley Lynn Barrett's beautiful voice in The Spine, In Circles, and other songs, to Darren Korb setting up poignant, melancholic instrumentals that fit the mood perfectly. Tracks play hand-in-hand with gameplay, showing up at specific times for maximum impact, further heightening the experience.

I highly recommend getting the OST along with the game, if you can. Well worth the extra bucks.

Summary:
Transistor is a beautiful, enjoyable game. It has a bittersweet, albeit short, story that forces the player to think. Brilliant soundtrack, and beautiful artwork. The gameplay won't last you long, but there is decent replayability in it. Try picking it up immediately whenever it's on sale.
Posted: October 4
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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
12.7 hrs on record
Just buy this game.
Just do it.
Please.
Posted: October 11
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
This isn't a game, it's a piece of art. Really creative setting, combat, story, artwork. A must have for people that like games with a good story and/or action rpg's.
Posted: October 10
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
5.8 hrs on record
Big fan of Bastion and the same developers made Transistor, so I gave it a try...sadly, a bit disappointed.

So, is Transistor a bad game? No. However, it's a somewhat flawed game, at least from a gameplay standpoint. First, the good. The story is...largely unimportant/boring, but the characters and the world built in are amazing. You feel very much drawn in with our silent heroine, Red, and her chatty admirer trapped in a cybernetic sword. It creates a narrative experience where you are there more for how the characters and world interact than the story.

Graphically, the game is quite distinctive. Think Bastion meets Cyberpunk 2020 or Shadowrun. It's very much a detective noir cyber punk world and feels dark, gothic, but also futuristic and techno. The effects onscreen can be quite a sight to behold as well and the art style itself is quite beautiful, using 2-d hand drawn in conjunction with the sprites and 3-d action in combat.

Sound design is where the game shines. An amazing voice cast, beautiful music which fits the mood perfectly, and relatively satisfying combat sounds make it a joy to listen to. The tracks are good, but the vocal pieces in the beginning and end of the game are probably the best part of it.

One thing I will say about Transistor that I love and wish more games would do is it feels organic. You have, for example, several areas that are completely unnecessary, not story related, and which you can skip, but not skipping them builds the world and the characters, feeling like we get to know them through their actions and choices. Like ordering a pizza after trying to be murdered. I'm dead serious and it actually ends up being a nice quiet moment between heroine and sword. Also, Red can hum or flourish the sword, if for no other reason than because that's what the character would do, even if the gamer chooses not to. Feels very much alive. The world itself is very distinctive, even if it draws heavily from noir and cyberpunk.

Now, the bad. Like Bastion, it seems to go for an action RPG route where you can choose your moves in real time, with the option of a system freeze time, string together combos, and plan your battle more strategically. This is where the game starts to suffer. You cannot play one or the other. Largely, the game requires you to use this "turn" system and when you use it, you are left vulnerable for up 5 seconds while a bar recharges. You cannot attack and are slower than all the enemies and their projectiles, so the game is VERY frustrating at times in this regard. Also, your health drains at an insane rate, even on the easy setting, and when it drains to zero, you lose one of the four moves you can map to the face buttons until you die. At times, this will happen multiple amounts in battle and it takes several battles to recharge, as you can only recharge the lost abilities at specific points. So, you may not die, but the game is very unbalanced in terms of what you can do and how much damage you take compared to the enemies. It has an option to increase difficulty in exchange for more experience, like in Bastion, but honestly, the game feels not hard, but frustrating enough without it.

There is also an area like the Bastion which is meant to be a training/cooldown place, but...unlike the Bastion it feels kinda shoe horned in. There seem to be several features, like the added difficulty, thrown in because "hey, we did it in Bastion and people liked that." Standing on its own, without comparisons, it's...unnecessary, but inoffensive.

On the whole, I liked Transistor, despite the story not gripping me as much as the characters did and the gameplay being often very frustrating. I'd say play Bastion first, because Bastion is just a better game, but if you're looking to kill 4-6 hours and the issues I mentioned with gameplay can be overlooked, the experience is well worthwhile.

Transistor is flawed, but still a gem.
Posted: October 14
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.7 hrs on record
Transistor, Supergiant Games' second effort in the world of interactive media, is a fantastic blend of outstanding visuals, innovative, interesting, well designed and thoughtful combat and manages to keep an incredible story afloat throughout, and on top of that, the soundtrack of this game is magnificent and beautiful, well worth the ten dollar cost. On top of all this, the game has a very satisfying, conclusive, and all the while quite sad ending, the entire experience is well worth the twenty dollar asking price, and a must-buy when on sale.
Posted: October 2
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.7 hrs on record
"Short but Sweet" Review... Transistor

Pros-
+Beautiful art style
+Phenomenal music and sound design
+Masterfully integrated lore
+Exhilarating and deep combat
+Great writing
+Great world design
+Enthralling narrative
+Amazing "back-door" area to relax
Cons-
-Illusion of choice
-Some characters were over-the-top and underdeveloped

Final Thoughts: Transistor is an audiovisual masterpiece and is a joy to play! It's enthralling narrative and exhilarating combat make this a near perfect game! It will most probably win multiple GOTY awards and will be remembered for years to come!
Posted: October 11
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.9 hrs on record
Probably one of my favorite artsy games.

Saying it is 'artsy,' isn't doing it justice. Great story, amazing art style and visuals, fantastic gameplay (even replayability through 'Recursive' mode), and the music.. god, the music.

Pick it up. Play with a controller, relaxed, with a glass of wine. You're welcome.
Posted: October 12
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
45.0 hrs on record
Transistor - a semiconductor device used to amplify and switch electronic signals and electrical power.
Indeed, this game centers around a device called the Transistor which amplifies the signals (intent) and power (emotion) of its user, the main protagonist in the story, Red.
This sophomore title by Supergiant Games delivers not only a definitive OST, graphics, and mechanics, but storyline as well.
If you played Bastion this is almost a required play, as the Transistor universe brings into question the very essence of existence and the universe, almost hinting at the possible creation of the Bastion universe itself if you read deeply enough between the lines.
I recommend this game. 100%
What I didn't like:
For myself, I found certain Function() combinations almost necessary *especially* when more and more Limiter()s are enabled. I found this brought down the strategic planning involved with battles and increased the spamminess. Though I concede this may be due to my own play style in the first place.
And I wish it was longer. This is such a detailed, charming, delightful world that I wish my stay was longer than it was.
Posted: October 23
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
One of the most amazing games I've ever played! Unusual experience, calming music, interesting gameplay solution, lots of fresh ideas... Deserved 10\10.
Posted: October 24
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.4 hrs on record
"Hey, Red... we're not gonna get away with this, are we?" -Mr. Nobody

[Spoiler Free]
It's time I've finally reviewed Transistor, you know... the game with the talking sword and the mute lady? Yeah that one. Let's begin:

Aesthetics: 10/10
Well as you can CLEARLY see from the screenshots and the given link above, Transistor is absolutely breathtaking. The game takes the cake for visual and musical extravagance, as both mix so perfectly well with one another, that it become evidently difficult to express in objective terms the splendor that it creates in the brain, how so very atmospheric this game is, it's more of an emotional virtue than one being explainable through words alone. People have been coining the term 'art', which by no means is an understatement, the aesthetics of the game, voice acting (haha three actors, funny), music and graphics are as I rarely say, perfect.

Story/Characters: 9.50/10
Rarely does the medium of gaming (especially in this day & age) employ such precocious writing and superb storytelling, Transistor applies to this small margin of games. A game that truly respects the intellect and free thinking of it's players, requires an intelligent producer, no? Supergiant deserves an excellent applause for their creative usage of the mechanic of replayability. To truly cherise the game's universe, one must complete the game several times to unlock all of the information that is present. A truly cherishable quality Transistor has, is it's two characters which create a sense of dread and unknowingness with each other. Their relations throughout the game serve to state implicit subjectations on the world around them, Red through her interactions on the OVC and the Transistor's commentary. A huge contrast to each other which creates a sense of accepting lack, one without a body and one without a voice.

Mechanics/Gameplay: 8.75/10
As an RPG game, Transistor holds a creative candle in the rat saturated tunnel that is the RPG industry. Of recent years, the well known RPG's of it's time have begun to show how dated their mechanics hold up in our era (yes you, Final Fantasy). This is why the liberty to experiment and employ new ideas is so vital in our industry today. Transistor is unique in which that profiles become the tools of the trade. Transistor can be played as a turnbased game or as a free action one, which by the way, both work very well in concurse with another. You have 13 functions (abilities) to use in your kit, yeah I know that's a small amount, but guess what? for every function you have, you get the ability to fuse with another, and for every fusion you have with another function, you get to fuse with another! So this means there are roughly 22,283,705,698,113 combinations of Transistor functions. (Transistor Wiki, Cited) That's a lot of unique ways to fight your enemies.

Final Verdict: 9.50/10
It's hard to see why in this day and age producers don't want to experiment with their products given that the industry would absolutely kill for it, but then again, since when do producers even listen to the demands of the consumers? Transistor is a beacon of hope in the dark hallway that is the gaming industry, and hopefully you can agree with me, that this game is something special.
Posted: October 24
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
11.1 hrs on record
This game is a work of art! I sat for about 5 hours playing the game with my jaw dropped. Innovative gameplay, immersive story, fantastic dialogue and the soundtrack is absolutely amazing. I can almost promise you that after beating the game you're just gonna sit there with tears in your eyes and reflect on the experience for days to come. 10/10 best game of 2014 and probably one of the best games I've ever played!
Posted: October 13
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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
30.2 hrs on record
Beautiful and deep sci-fi plot like you have never read, gorgeous and touching art like you have never seen, innovative and addicting gameplay like you have never played. If you liked Bastion, you will love Transistor.
Posted: October 12
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
What are you thinking, if you still don't own this game?

This game might be my GOTY. First, it has good story. You dive right into it and you live it, from start to the end. Main character - Red, is not a "tough girl". She is very feminine and soft, remember this.

Also they've stepped up the combat since Bastion.

So yeah, buy this game, show Giant Bomb your love and support.
Posted: October 11
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
17.3 hrs on record
Transistor made me cry.
Not okay.
At all.

The game may start slow, but as soon as you hit the first boss... boom- I couldn't stop. This game was so beautiful and entrancing that I played through twice, with 9 limiters my second run: it's the first steam game I've gotten every achievement for. The story is tragic and twists to dark areas I didn't know that the game could even consider twisting. The bosses are all interesting and fun to fight, though the first two become rather simple once you get their strategy down.

Buy the game, play it, listen to the soundtrack, find all the news broadcast stations, and experience some major feels.

9.5/10
Posted: October 11
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.4 hrs on record
A lovingly crafted game, dripping with Deco, Art Nouveau, and the Vienna Secession (Those similar to Klimt). Every element of this game is gorgeous, from the music, the art assets, and characters. It's a beautiful, romantic story, wrapped up in a golden box of a game.

The combat, and how skills can be mixed, is remarkable. Skills will change depending on being a passive, active, or modifier to an active skill. You learn more about the story doing so, as well-so make sure to try all the combinations!

I can't really say in words how lovely this little game has been, and I'm just very appreciative to have been able to play it.
Posted: October 9
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.8 hrs on record
"See you in the country." It has a nice ring to it. Transistor takes you away from the regular hustle of your normal life and puts you in a situation where you question your daily existence, all the while making you rush through strategically deafeating 10+ more enemies on the screen.

A must have for people looking not only for entertainment, but also for meaning in a game.
Posted: September 29
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.0 hrs on record
The atmosphere, as you might expect from the trailers, is incredible. What you won't understand from the footage is just how finely woven the storytelling is for a game whose main character has had her voice removed in the story. It starts in medias res (in the middle of the action), and unfolds plot points through beautifully illustrated flashbacks, the transistor's dialogue, and even the game mechanics themselves. Your skills are traces of people, and as you use these skills in more varied ways you unlock more information about the person the trace is from, the world they lived in and the cabal of characters they came in contact with. Combat is clever and surprisingly fast paced for the sort that lets you jump into a paused planning mode. Take advantage of the Sandbox planning areas, Red's humming mechanic and unlocking all the information in traces and limiters. Though your character can't speak, her personality is revealed through the transistor, her input into computer terminals, her actions or lack of during cutscenes, and the soundtrack that you will absolutely not regret buying. The story is deep enough to make sense and propel you forward while still leaving you wide open to theory crafting at the end. My only complaint is that I don't want to leave the game and the <10 hours of gameplay, while bittersweetly satisfying, will not be enough to appease you once you've fallen head over heels in love with this world.
Posted: September 29
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.6 hrs on record
It's hard not to fall in love with Supergian's games. Transistor is one of them.
Stunning visual art style, charming music, inventive combat, original mechanics!

Great buy, one of the best games this year!

P.S.(Check out the soundtrack!!)
Posted: October 2
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.6 hrs on record
Transistor pleased me in every way, from a fantastic audio/visual style to the amazingly satisfying, in-depth, and unique combat system. I enjoyed every minute of Transistor even more than I enjoyed Bastion, which is saying a great deal. Check out the video if you want to see more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSmYA4NypgI
Posted: October 17
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