Discover the world of Transistor, a sci-fi-themed action RPG from the creators of Bastion.
User reviews: Overwhelmingly Positive (8,058 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.


“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

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
620 of 652 people (95%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
14.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 4, 2014
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.

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.

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.

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 graphics 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.

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.

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.
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294 of 330 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 24, 2014
"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.
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119 of 138 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014
This game is short.
Real short. I finish this game in about 5 hours
But those 5 hours really worth the damn money!

The Music or Soundtrack or whatever is just Amazing!!
The Graphic in this game is kinda artistic. looks different and original
Combat system is superb. you can plan your attack rather than charging ahead!!!

The story is so f*cking good i had a great time with this game storyline and it's really something.
Word of warning though this game made me had a Great F**king existential crisis
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113 of 130 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
17.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 11, 2014
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.

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119 of 154 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 10, 2014
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.
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67 of 80 people (84%) found this review helpful
40.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 8, 2014
Uniting both action RPG mechanics and an engrossing world, Transistor isn’t just a spiritual successor to Bastion, it’s a full blown messianic triumph of beautiful art and sublime game design. Supergiant Games have exceeded their previous work with a game that marries fluent action RPG combat with sublime tactical planning & customisation. Yet that would be just half of Transistor's charm as the world, characters and narrative unfolds like an origami swan, leaving you to marvel at its gorgeous art design, intricate architecture and unique atmosphere.

The story begins with you, Red, claiming the Transistor from the body of a dead man. From there you begin to uncover the city of Cloudbank, why everyone has gone and what The Process is - sentient machine aggressors within this fallen Rapture. That reference is deliberate as there’s a little touch of Bioshock within Transistor - a fallen city, the mystery of its unravelling and tragedy yours to discover if you’re willing to put in the work to unlock its true secrets. This is made all the more acute by how Transistor welcomes you into its world with no fanfare, no menu screen. Just a fade from black opening up on your journey with the Transistor, voiced by the rich tones of Logan Cunningham, against The Process and their mysterious overlords - The Camarata.

To say any more would spoil the joy of discovering the details for yourself. Supergiant ames had deliberately kept details of Transistor to a minimum until release and it’s thanks to this blackout that’s made discovering the games systems, people and places a genuine joy.

It’s difficult to review Transistor without referencing Supergiant Games previous work - Bastion. That’s because its influences are plain to see with the same isometric-style viewpoint, similar art-style and even the same narrator. While those similarities may appear as merely iterative steps on paper for Transistor, they are in practice the opposite. The art style has evolved to be not just gorgeous, moody and atmospheric, it now conveys the spirit of Cloudbank without ever explicitly showing it in such a way that you feel part of that city, not just an observer with a controller.

Combat is real time action-RPG based with four main skills available at one time. You can freeze the action once your Turn() bar has filled at any time and then plan out your attacks methodically. Once done you can unfreeze the game and Red will perform her balletic combat attacks with the Transistor. This appears at first to just be a cool looking feature to break up combat scenarios but very soon it becomes essential to besting The Process.

In this frozen state you can see the damage you are likely to cause, the effect different attacks can have in combination with each other and use it to quickly get behind enemies to deliver backstab moves. There’s nothing quite like positioning yourself correctly, freezing time and then delivering a quick series of moves to destroy everything. I’m not especially clever but by Jove, Transistor made me feel like a combat genius.

As the story progresses you’ll acquire more skills and this is where the combat evolves from those mechanics set down originally by Bastion. Instead of just swapping out skills when you want a change, every skill can be slotted into a secondary or tertiary upgrade slot to augment an already installed ability.

For instance, the basic attack move you start with is Crash(). You can then modify it with a skill like Bounce() which will chain attacks to multiple targets. Or with Cull() that sends enemies into the air. Or you could use either of those modifiers as one of the four main abilities. Cull(), a basic uppercut move and Bounce(), a skill that sends out pulses of energy.

This enables you to define the combat system in any way you want it. Like aggressive frontal-assault tactics or stealthy concealment? Perhaps turning a few enemies on to your side floats your boat? Or maybe just a blend of different styles? Transistor allows you to do what you like with this combat system rather than force you down a particular road.

The only restriction is if your health is reduced to zero in combat. Instead of death, one of your abilities is overloaded and will require at least two trips to an access point in order to recover. Then there are the Limiters - status effects that reduce your capability in combat but with the rewards of increased experience. As you can tell, what appears as a simple combat system in the beginning soon evolves into a complex and involving way to deal with The Process.

The way that combat is combined with the narrative is just as intriguing. As you use these new abilities in different ways or combinations it unlocks more about the person you acquired them from in the first place. Slowly the pieces of this mysterious world start to come together as you become more adept at combat. It encourages creativity and a deeper understanding of the mechanics you're working with on order to unlock the secrets of Cloudbank.

But It’s not all dark alleyways and moody lighting as you’ll have access to a ‘backdoor’ - a safe haven separated from the unrelenting assimilation of the Process. This serves as a menu to access the different challenge rooms Transistor offers. Here you can test and refine your combat skills and increase your level. Or you can just kick back and listen to the ridiculously awesome soundtrack while lounging in a hammock.

This densely packed experience is made up of small touches like that. From the way Red drags around the weighty Transistor, to how she combs her hair with her fingertips when admiring a view, with the best of all being her ability, at the touch of a button, to hum along to the excellent soundtrack.

Before playing I didn’t expect to be fully enraptured by Transistor, thinking the spectre of Bastion would haunt the experience too much. But neither did I expect Transistor to take that formula and evolve it into something so sublime and handcrafted that tears would roll down my cheek as the credits rolled. From its combat mechanics and customisation, to the narrative and the visually appealing art-style, this is an experience to be savoured, to lock yourself away in the confines of your gaming boudoir and revel in its luxurious design and perfection.

A Must Play

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92 of 121 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2014
Hell, It's worth it just for the music!

Fans of Bastion should find themselves at home here. Although the game is a little short (but also cheap!), it is incredibly fun.

Honestly, I bought this game primarily for the soundtrack, and the game was just an awesome extra for me.
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50 of 58 people (86%) found this review helpful
19.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2014
There is a legitimate argument to be made that Transistor is too short for its price. I beat it in about 11 hours, although I'm only about halfway through with Achieves. I think this is a bit of a silly metric, though. The more key question to me is "was it a good experience?" I would say "absolutely".

Transistor is a deeply beautiful and atmospheric game, with a bittersweet story told through powerful narration and themes. It also effectively uses game mechanics to pull you 'into' the story and world. It has a 'hum' button. There are several scenes where the controls and gameplay shift to make the player 'feel' the scenes. It is one of the best examples I've played of a game avoiding ludnarrative dissonance and in fact using gameplay as a narrative aid.

Transistor left me with that same feeling of satisfaction I get after finishing a good book. I like that feeling. I liked Transistor. Definitely recommended.
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51 of 64 people (80%) found this review helpful
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 11, 2014
"Short but Sweet" Review... Transistor

+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
-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!
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27 of 30 people (90%) found this review helpful
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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41 of 54 people (76%) found this review helpful
45.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 23, 2014
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.
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27 of 31 people (87%) found this review helpful
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
Another banger by Supergiant Games.

Let me start by saying that Transistor's music is absoultely fantastic. It's composed by Darren Korb (also did the soundtrack for Bastion) it has a futuristic feel to it with a little bit of Noir in there. It's also neatly integrated into the game and its story. The protagonist is a singer for crying out loud.

Her name's Red, she's a singer, and her friend is now a talking sword. That's all you get at the begining of the game. Transistor's story is open ended, surprisingly heartfelt and imaginative. There are no clear-cut solutions or ideologies, the characters have their (sometimes questionable) motives, and it's hard to say what's what at times. The game is also very subtle about its themes. Very much like Bastion, you can speculate and fill in the gaps with your friends. Fun stuff.

Much like the story, the gameplay is brilliantly crafted and also very much open ended. Every bit of it is customisable, and the game makes you feel like you're in control of its systems. To simplify it- it's a real time action RPG. By pressing the right trigger you change it to a turn based structure, but it's more of a special power. The "turn" lasts only a short while but you can trample over the enemies without consequences as they are frozen in time, and you have a bunch of tools that can do the trampling.

Red has a large selection of abilities to chose from, each ability has three functions- active, powerup and passive. You can attach unused abilities as powerups for the ones that are active, or you can use them as passive powerups for your statistics. Some abilities deal damage, some persuade, some create distance between you and the enemy, which you will need, as the enemies are tricky to handle (when they're not frozen in time that is). You will have to mix and match, see what works best, and then change it again. The game encourages experimentation- change your character's presets as many times as you want, it's easy and free of charge. The game's too forgiving? Obliterating enemies left and right? You can make the enemies harder and gain more experience. It's all customisable. Supergiant Games definitely built upon the already well made systems seen in Bastion and greatly improved them.

Heck, the whole thing's really well made. And, well, gosh darnit. Ain't this the prettiest darn game I have ever laid my blue eyes upon. This game's graphics are something special, tell you hwat. Inspired by Art Deco, its futuristic vistas are just... Just beautiful. A little bit confuisng to get through at times perhaps, but with these looks, hey, who's complaining.

The only criticism I have is that its story is too short. Now don't get me wrong, the story is really well made and doesn't drag, but you can finish it in 5-6 hours. Now, that's great, I like a well made story, if it has to be around 6 hours to present itself the right way, the way the author intended, great. but you WILL want to play more of it after you've seen the ending, and it is a shame that you will have to start up New Game+ to do so.

The good news is that the New Game+ mode is really well made and has some additional stuff in it. Everything transfers and the difficulty ramps up. Heck, they even change up the enemy spawns, so it's definitely worth a second playthrough. Plus- there's no way you're going to reach the level cap during your first run through Thransistor, so there's a bunch of new stuff you'll get to play with.

Well, that's a minor gripe, this is A+ material for sure. It's obvious that these guys know what they're doing, and every part of this game has been meticulously crafted with much passion and hard work. Whatcha gonna do next Kasavin? Cause whatever it is, I'm listening.
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75 of 113 people (66%) found this review helpful
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 14, 2014
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.
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127 of 202 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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23 of 25 people (92%) found this review helpful
15.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2014
So you've read the reviews praising Transistor for its amazing scenery, the detailed hand-drawn sprites, the phenomenal soundtrack and maybe even read a thing or two about the gameplay which included words such as "time stop turn-based abilities" or "active and passive weapon functions" and you're left wondering... Is it accessible? Beauty being in the eye of the beholder and all, can the layperson appreciate the final product?

Answer: maybe not, but don't let that stop you from trying. New experiences build character and ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ is Transistor a new experience. It's just that Transistor is a game where the protagonist gains experience faster than the player behind the screen. Consider the following: you earn "functions" which can be used either in your weapon slot or as a passive buff to a function already in use, adding its properties to the active weapon. That's the active and the passive system! THAT'S HUGE! Do you realize how with four weapon slots (your four face buttons) and five functions, you already have twenty different configurations? Well hold on to your hats because there's a whole lot more than just five functions to play with. Try sixteen. Add to this secondary passive slots for player buffs, extra upgrade slots for weapons and a memory cost per function to manage and that's a lot to take in!

There's more. The whole time-skip ability pauses the game and allows you to plan out multiple actions in advance, at the cost of a cooloff period wherein no function can be activated. It's something that can certainly bite you in the ♥♥♥ if abused, so you want to hold on to it like a panic button. Or spam it constantly what with the correct build and enemies. Really, you don't know and the game doesn't provide you with much opportunities for experimentation. Enemy encounters are fixed and unique in nature; and although the game provides you with a Practice Mode, it's more target practice than battle practice.

Transistor's greatest flaw resides in its extraordinarily linear story mode. There are no collectables or side quests, so if the story mode has a reputation for being short, that's only because there aren't any branching paths anywhere. There's nothing to look out for, all unlockables are gained by leveling up and earning XP is done exclusively by defeating enemies. Whom do not respawn and appear at fixed intervals. So your whole adventure feels like riding a conveyor belt: move to enemy encounter, defeat enemies, save at conveniently nearby terminal, repeat with the occasional story break.

Although we commonly hate repetition, human beings learn by doing the same thing over and over again. Adding THE OPTION to redo a segment would be welcome and giving players a minor incentive to do so would go a long way in getting them acclimated to the active/passive system. There's no lack of technical info as the configuration screen offers you all of the hard numbers for your functions, but you want practice in addition to theory. Bastion provided "dreams" which were just waves after waves of monsters to defeat for extra shards. Practice Mode offers no such incentives and the targets don't fight back. For all of their efforts at writing a story, it seems as if the developers have forgotten to build a playground.

Thus I'll make my final verdict as simple as possible: buy Bastion first. That's a good game regardless of your sense of aesthetics (review available here). If you've enjoyed Bastion's stylistic direction, consider Transistor. Despite the change in setting, you'll recognize much of the artistic sensitivities that are the hallmark of Supergiant Games. Otherwise, you probably won't have the patience to appreciate Transistor. Regardless, you have to recognize the ambitiousness of what's ultimately a very simple concept at heart: make every weapon also act as a power-up. You can't fault that, and you want other game developers to crib the idea. So buy the game and encourage simple ideas that are complex in execution. We'll get more practice out from the other games.
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32 of 41 people (78%) found this review helpful
41.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 27, 2014
TL;DR Version: 10/10 srsly this game is freakin' stellar

I can't recommend this game enough. It's seriously one of the most stunning games I've ever played. When I rank games in my head, listing them with all their faults in mind, all I can say is that Transistor is the ONLY game that I've played that has no faults.

Where do I start? Gameplay. Transistor does a fantastic job at letting you customize your moves. The pacing is fantastic- it does a very good job at easing the mechanics for you early on. For example, you start with a quick jab, and a long charging shot. Eventually you get an attack that is like a weak AoE. Pretty simple stuff, yeah? But then it tells you you can apply similar properties of powers to another, like combining them. Now your long-charge shot can split into multiples. And THEN you can apply powers to yourself, and not your other powers, to change up gameplay. The flexibility in powers allows for such a massively open-ended way to play. It's a simple 3-choice system that really allows the player to pick how they choose to play.

The story is pretty interesting. It's nothing fantastic enough to win awards, but the way that they present you the story makes it interesting. Cloudbank is a mysterious place, and their little terminals and hints in dialogue makes you keep guessing what it really is. The characters, though, are rather lackluster save for Red and the Transistor. There are only 3 voices in the game, and one of them is simple grunts and humming. The Transistor character, voiced by the same fantastic narrator from Bastion, is the main spotlight for his character. The other characters, the Camerata, aren't so fleshed out.

The art and sound styles are fantastic. This shouldn't really be a point to deter anyone, as these are just aesthetics. But when something is so stellar and outstandish in a game, I need to point it out. This game has STYLE. It's a beautiful, artsy, cyberpunk experience that's complete with everything that you need to keep you immersed.

There's really only one problem with this game. I want more. It's so good, but it's a straight-forward story game that won't take you longer than 10 hours. I want more of Cloudbank. I want more of the Transistor combat. I want more, more, more! The ending made me satisfied, but I was sad that it was over.

Do yourself a favor. Buy this game. It's very, very good.
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18 of 19 people (95%) 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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26 of 36 people (72%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
17.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2014
cut your blasphemy stop reading reviews and play it already
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18 of 22 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
29.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2014
The down side .....


The up side......

great story

great gameplay

great soundtrack

great voice acting

beautiful visuals

a strange but engaging story

in my humble opinion its one HELL of a great game.
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22 of 31 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
12.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 17, 2014
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.
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