FRACT is a musical exploration game. You arrive in a forgotten place and explore the vast and unfamiliar landscape to discover the secrets of a world built on sound. You rebuild its machinery by solving puzzles and bring the world back to life by shaping sound and creating music in the game.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (443 reviews) - 87% of the 443 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 22, 2014

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Reviews

“FRACT OSC is one of the best original games released on Steam in a long time. It is abundantly clear that it has been created by a team that shares an equal passion for both music and games, and its unique concept and gorgeous, vibrant world deserve to be explored by as many people possible. If you’re in ownership of functioning eyes and ears, then you owe it to yourself to play this game.”
9/10 – Game Revolution

“When you succeed and the final piece of the puzzle slots into place, your reward isn’t a text backslap, achievement popup or skill point, but a drop. Beats and bass crash in as the record you’ve been piecing together reaches a crescendo. It’s like having Boards Of Canada noodling away behind you as you work on the world’s hardest jigsaw puzzle and both of you having two very different eureka moments at the same time.”
8/10 – Edge

“If [HP Lovecraft] had been a coder rather than a writer and had been into Autechre and Aphex Twin rather than gross racism, I can't help thinking this is the sort of game he would have come up with . . . Like all great interactive experiences, this is a game that happens almost entirely in your own head, an ongoing internal narrative that pushes and pulls between questions of how and why that are never given an easy resolution.”
8/10 – Eurogamer

About This Game

FRACT is a musical exploration game. You arrive in a forgotten place and explore the vast and unfamiliar landscape to discover the secrets of an abandoned world that was once built on sound. As you start to make sense of this strange new environment, you work to rebuild its machinery by solving puzzles and bring the world back to life by shaping sound and creating music within the game.



FRACT features a beautiful open world to explore and decipher with music-based puzzles, stunning visuals, and an amazing score that evolves as you play. As you progress through the game, you unlock tools to make your own music in the FRACT studio, where you can also export and share your creations with others.

Features:

  • Explore and decipher a beautiful open world.
  • Make music and shape sound as you progress through the game.
  • Compose your own music in the Studio.
  • Save, export and share your musical creations with others.
  • Experience unique TRON-inspired visuals.
  • Enjoy an evolving score composed by Mogi Grumbles and you.



System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Core i5 2.2 GHz or equivalent
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Radeon 5850 or equivalent
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 1500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Required
    • Additional Notes: Headphones and/or external speakers recommended
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7/8
    • Processor: Core i7 2.4 GHz or better
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Radeon 6850 series or equivalent
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Required
    • Additional Notes: Headphones and/or dedicated speakers recommended
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X 10.7 or higher
    • Processor: Core i5 2.2 GHz or equivalent
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Radeon 6750M or equivalent
    • Storage: 1500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Required
    • Additional Notes: Headphones and/or external speakers recommended
    Recommended:
    • OS: OS X 10.7 or higher
    • Processor: Quad Core i5 or i7 2.2+ GHz or equivalent
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Radeon 6970M or equivalent
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Required
    • Additional Notes: Headphones and/or dedicated speakers recommended
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Very Positive (443 reviews)
Recently Posted
Jesticles
1.7 hrs
Posted: August 27
Thumbing through the list of games. Written review will come later.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Brother Rico
12.8 hrs
Posted: August 24
This quirky puzzle game is pretty satisfying the first time, and mildly amusing a second time, but beyond that it has little if any replay value. I'm done with it for good but it certainly was memorable.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Super Kami Guru
0.1 hrs
Posted: August 12
mike liked it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Shox
13.8 hrs
Posted: August 6
Love this. Hands down a must own
Helpful? Yes No Funny
newcworld001
7.6 hrs
Posted: July 30
This is truly a mysterious game and a fun synthesizer. It is hard to figure out what to do, but once you do, you can't stop playing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sa
0.2 hrs
Posted: July 29
This game feels like someone was practising how to code a game, rather than like an actual, finished game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
KayleighCakes
7.3 hrs
Posted: July 27
I wasn't entirely sure what I was getting myself into when I purchased this game but whatever I was expecting, it certainly surpassed. The environments are haunting and beautiful and the clarity of the sound in this game is astonishing. Some of the puzzles can really put your mind to work! I'm really impressed with this game, I loved playing it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
chusmaverde
6.1 hrs
Posted: July 26
I was surprised by the game concept. A world to explore where everything fits together with music. This is awesome mix of tron like visuals with intelligent platformer and synthetic music. I would recommend this to anyone, specially if u like puzzles and music.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
jelyk
9.1 hrs
Posted: July 11
Built a PC to play this game. Loved it. When you solve a puzzle and the music/visuals align there's nothing else like it.
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Goode
2.3 hrs
Posted: July 6
I followed this game from its early stages of just free alpha builds you could test until its final release. All I can say about it is that it is amazing, if you like digital sound and music puzzling its hard to be dissapointed by this one. It might be a bit vague on what to actually do, which I guess can be a downside for some people, but the game is really open for exploration and it rewards it with mystical but beatiful evironments!

There is a logic to most puzzles but it can feel like trial and error at some points, but in doing so you will get alot of different results in terms of sound and visual wich I really like cause I find it satisfying seeing different outcomes of things even though it might not be correct.

Pros:
-Awesome sound
-Visually appealing
-Rewards experimenting
-Open world exploration

Cons:
-Can be vague on what to do and where to go

All in all, if you are a fan of neonworlds and synthesizer sounds its amazing!
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
96 of 109 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
9.4 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: April 21, 2014
The game looks beautiful with its minimalist, TRON inspired style, and the graphical animations and reactions are outstanding, a good variety of puzzles with unique styles to solving them, plus they made everything simple but complicated in the puzzles you solve, and having an actual music editor in a studio like area where you can make your own song for you to save, export them and share to anyone.

I would say the game is a mash up of Antichamber’s simplicity, some of the feel of NaissanceE’s atmosphere, TRON’s visuals, and 80s-90s ski-fi hacker sound SFX, and we have FRACT as a lovely result.

-FreakOrama

More info at: http://www.ksalue.com/main/2014/04/fract-osc-review/
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58 of 64 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 16, 2014
I have been a Beta tester from the second round for Fract OSC and as is such I have seen the game develop within the Beta community and I have to say it is amazing…… If you are interested in music or puzzle games it is a must have day one game. The gameplay is solid with no bugs and so different from any other game out there to date. If I had to compare it to something I would say it is similar to the later Mysts but with music and synths and neon like Tron.


The sound is very well incorporated into the game world and is a (if not the) key feature in the game. It is a great game and a good introduction on using synths to someone who is not that musically inclined but would like to produce some music for personal pleasure, this is due to the game teaching you how to use the synths in the in game open world which is very pretty and gives a solid feeling of being inside a synth machine or computer but it is also abstract enough that I spent a number of hours just wondering around the world looking at it.


The tools that the Devs give you in game in the studio are simplistic but can provide a massive array of sounds and beats. There is also the option once you have completed the game to change the studio area to a more complex almost akin to a number of programs out there. The Devs have done an outstanding job with it all the puzzles are of good difficulty and any that have been troublesome to many of the beta testers they have improved (without making them straightforward) to the feedback given to them by the community and I have an honest feeling they will continue to do this once the game is released. A massive 11/10.
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40 of 42 people (95%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 2, 2015
The marvel of Fract OSC struck me to the point of immobility.

Standing within its world of organic sound and breathing architecture, I often found myself unconsciously freezing in place as a dormant level stirred at my approach, erupting into an awe-inspiring display or neon lights and blaring synths that sent goosebumps down my neck. I’d drift into obscure corners and onto meaningless ledges just to see what was there, being astonished at even the smallest piece of a world that seemed impossibly connected and alive.

Playing Fract made me feel alive in a way I haven’t experienced in a very long time. There’s so much energy in the air, twisting its way through structures and along the ground to create a world that feels as if it’s constantly in motion, adjusting and changing as so many wondrous sound bellow through the caverns. Fract isn’t just a giant synthesizer, it’s raw emotion flowing through bass lines and echoing synths that shakes the very floor you’re walking on. Every structure is its own sound, adding notes to the beautifully coordinated melody that grew with every step I took and machine I set in motion.

Fract provides almost zero assistance in helping you solve its humongous musical contraptions, but the way in which each puzzle builds off the last creates a persistent logic that grows with you as you begin to understand it more. Each object is introduced slowly enough to allow you to learn how to interact with it, but Fract never wastes time repeating itself. Instead it seamlessly folds areas and elements into each other so I was always learning something new even when I didn’t realize it, each puzzle pushing me just enough to feel stimulating but never overwhelming. You can almost feel Fract diligently holding itself back, clearly capable of so much more but always hyper aware of what constitutes “enough” as it cleanly bypasses the excess of many puzzle games with its extraordinarily tight pacing.

Being at the center of all this noise, attempting to conduct instruments I had barely begun to understand, I was struck by how small and powerless I was when compared to the monstrous amplifiers all around me. Even as I was helping to revive a world which had gone to sleep, I couldn’t shake how immensely alone I felt. All around me were unbelievable sights moving to a soundtrack that was itself alive within these walls, but there was no one to share it with; not a single soul anywhere to be found in this isolating cavern.

The feelings Fract created in me were powerful and complicated. The wonders of its design contrasted with the crushing emptiness I found growing within me the more I played. It filled me with amazement and yet all I wanted to do was cry. What was the point of any of this if it meant spending an eternity in solitude?

Fract OSC is everything I expected it to be: clever, gorgeous, innovative, inspired. But I wasn’t prepared for how it would affect me on a deeper level. Without even meaning to I was suddenly examining parts of me I couldn’t make sense of; things I didn’t want to acknowledge or feel comfortable sharing here. It’s an incredible game for so many reasons I’ve sold short here, yet somehow it’s the things I couldn’t see or hear that meant the most.

You can read more of my writing on Kritiqal.
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42 of 47 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
11.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 11, 2014
Static washes out your vision, slowly fading away to reveal large and impossible geometric objects reaching up and out as far as you can see. Dead machinery jutting out from pastel colored ground and rock. You don’t know how exactly you got here nor how any of these strange constructs were built. Your legs carry you across the land, poking your head into enclosed buildings that might as well be giant tombs. At last, you come across an object that emits a strange hum. You touch it and the hum changes pitch slightly in reaction. You move it around and it changes tempo and pitch respective to where it was before. You don’t know what is going on but you sure as hell are nodding your head.

FRACT OSC is like a Fantasia for the dance-minded music fans. IDisneylandM, if we were to give it a genre tag in our music player. Much like the Aggro-crag, every area on the map is color coded according to the theme of the sounds you’ll expect to hear. Pink acts as your bubbling leads, blue as your bass and green as the airy pads. Each instrument has its own dedicated area in the mountain area FRACT takes place in. The leads come from such towering heights, the pads sit in the middle and the bass rumbles on from down below. There are other, smaller details which show themselves to musician and non-musician alike which key you in to each place’s role in the overall scheme of what is going on.

Exploration is only one part of what makes FRACT tick. The tock of the metronome comes from the game’s puzzles. Each instrument has a specific puzzle type which increases in difficulty as you progress through them. The block movement and pad rotation puzzles were fine, but the last laser puzzle in the bass area had me tearing at my hair a while. Overall though I didn’t find any of them prohibitively difficult (though the ease of a majority of them may disappoint hardcore puzzle game fans) and FRACT always allowed me the freedom to leave any given puzzle to explore at my leisure. I would have to come back to it eventually if I wished to see the end, but the lack of pressure really goes a long way towards making even the hardest puzzles easier to forgive. I’m glad to see games like FRACT and Ether One taking this stance.

The way the sound design is so keenly and closely tied together with the puzzles was enough to make me smile as every solution came together. Starting off in an area, the puzzles were very basic and the sounds those areas produced once fully activated reflected that. By the time you’ve hit the end of the series of puzzles for a given color/instrument, the puzzles have added new mechanics over time and the resulting sounds that blast forth have additional layers of complexity. It really builds up a feeling of progression. Instead of a simple pat on the back for completion and shoving the player towards the next goal, you’re allowed to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

As you complete puzzles which slowly teach you vital elements of constructing tunes you unlock various tools to use in the in-game Studio room. The further into the game you get, the more you’re allowed to add and tweak into the track as you work. It starts off small with only a single loop sequencer and bare minimum controls over the tone of the digital instrument. By the time you’ve completed the entire game, you’re handed an impressively beefy DAW that looks as awesome as the sounds you’re able to make with it. While it is still limited and won’t replace your Reason, ACID or even your old copy of Fruityloops burned to a CD from a decade ago, it serves as an excellent introduction into the world of digital audio production. FRACT OSC is really a musical instruction tool masquerading as a videogame. To make things even better, the game has a built in export function and the dev is totally cool with users making commercial tracks so long as the loop work done with FRACT’s samples were all done in-game. A tutorial to mod in your own beats has been promised as well.

By the time I reached the end of my musical journey my ears were ringing and I felt similar to those nights after a gig. I’d emerged from the 8 hour rave session that I conducted for myself and myself alone, nary another ear to hear what reverberated through the cavernous area but my own. With every box aligned, switch flipped and cogs rotated I had brought life to these dead hills. As though Holy Mountain had been redone as a living Demoscene file, I had seen the secrets of this strange land from the very tip of its highest cliff to the very bottom of its deepest trench. I overlooked all that I had conquered and felt that it wasn’t quite enough. I retreated back to my lair, dark and still, slaving away for hours on what was to be my next song. I’d earned the right to control this giant machine and make it bend to my will. If only because I demonstrated that I understood what it wanted.

It wanted to make you move.
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36 of 46 people (78%) found this review helpful
Recommended
28.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 27, 2014
In FRACT OSC, you explore a desolate alien landscape littered with derelict machinery, beautifully realized by simple untextured polygons shot through with neon and displayed using a graphical filter reminiscent of CRT interlacing. Rods of light, pulsating liquid columns, and crystal lattices respond to your proximity with bursts of sound, the stuff of music flowing forth from the ground beneath your feet, waiting to be harnessed and organized.

As you wander, you make inferences about the structure of the world and the function of its technology. You notice visual cues that prompt you to engage your interact mode in specific places, and you discover various pieces of information or interface superimposed upon objects around you. Before long, you begin figuring out how to get things working again, and this abandoned place pumps and glows with activity and color.

In the course of solving the world's puzzles and restoring its infrastructure, you construct bits of music through devices that teach you the basics of music programming while incorporating your solutions into the soundtrack that results from the reactivation of key facilities. Sound is all generated on the fly using a unique music engine that is constantly working in the background, and, as if the game itself wasn't enough, FRACT OSC doubles as a robust synth sequencer with exporting and automated YouTube sharing functionality.

Playing FRACT OSC has been one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences of my life. I have felt so much wonder and joy while discovering its intricately crafted and interconnected world. Please buy this wonderful game.
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29 of 35 people (83%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
Recommended
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 14, 2015
It's Tron Myst.
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18 of 18 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
It took a few failed attempts before I finally really got into this game, but I'm so glad I stuck with it. FRACT does not go out of its way to tell you what you're meant to be doing or how you're meant to do it, and indeed my first hour was spent utterly lost and wandering around the (admittedly very pretty) landscape, accomplishing absolutely nothing. That frustration led me to put it aside for a few months. But if you stick with it, you'll eventually begin to figure out this game's secrets. By the end of my playtime with FRACT I could start it up knowing exactly what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go, and how I was going to do it.

In FRACT, you're plunged into the trippy, Tron-like world of a gigantic yet dormant synthesizer. As you progress further and further, you'll gradually begin to bring the beast online, unlocking more and more of its features that can ultimately be put to use in an actual sequencer (your studio, as the game calls it) which you can visit at any time. This is a game where completing all the puzzles presents you with an actual reward - a fully functional digital audio workstation that is simple to play with, yet deceptively powerful under the hood.

If you liked Portal's method of first-person-puzzling, and in particular if you enjoyed the dynamic nature of Portal 2's music which adapted to your progression through the puzzles, you'll likely enjoy this game. It does require a bit of initial time and patience, but it pays off in spades.
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16 of 16 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
22.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
A first person puzzler i've been waiting to play since i've seen the first presentation video while the game was still under development. The puzzles aren't very numerous but they are all musically rewarding. As you go on, the dark monolithic world of silence you explore progressively turns into a landscape of sound and primary colors. You control your surrounding as you would an audio creation sofwate; only with a few keys and a mouse. No tricky controls or ninja reflexes requiered. The musical enviromenent make you feel like living in a "boards of canada" album. I've spent most of my time playing with the sequencer in studio mode and even managed to record a track :) I recomend this game to anyone into electronic music or adventurers not affraid to explore of a world made of sound.
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50 of 79 people (63%) found this review helpful
Recommended
42.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 18, 2014
One of the most beautiful and satisfying games I have played in a long time.
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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
Recommended
50.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 22, 2014
You're dropped in a barren, alien world with no real idea of what's going on, but as you explore and interact with the strange world around you, you begin to return music and colour to the world and bring it back to life. The soundscape builds around you, taking your own solutions and weaving them into the music of the world.

FRACT is a game that gives you a brief starting tutorial that is completely free of explanatory text. Not only that, the environment is altogether alien and bewildering, and suddenly animated at unpredictable times. Once you've completed the tutorial, the game throws you headfirst into the world without any further hand-holding.

And this is what's so fantastic about FRACT: It's full of secrets and amazing places and things for you to discover. But half the fun of unwrapping a gift is the surprise of opening it, and FRACT doesn't try and unwrap the player's gift for them like an excited younger sibling, it lets you pull every strip apart, revealing the glowing, pulsating melody beneath. It lets you piece together an understanding of how the world comes together and what makes it tick. The puzzles themselves are of increasing difficulty, but they shouldn't pose too much of a challenge once you understand how the game and the world works. And that's where the other half of unwrapping the gift comes in: You get the gift itself.

Solving a puzzle in FRACT after you've worked out the underlying system is satisfying, but it's made even more satisfying by the immediate increase in the layers of sound in the soundscape around you, as the tones you've been making the world make suddenly snap into tune and a swell of harmonies follows right behind. Feeling smart and being rewarded with the music becoming more awesome is a very pleasing reward mechanism, and the game continues it throughout. The world itself is surprisingly large, deliberate, and cohesive. There's a story here, waiting to be told in the silent (and musical) ruins. There are little nooks and corners that seem to serve no good purpose except to be a neat little place for you to find. There are side music puzzles that have no bearing on the game progression, and are merely musical toys for you to discover and play with.

No game is perfect, and FRACT is no different. Some of the puzzles require you to notice and intuit the relationship between things that are not the most obvious even with time and exposure to the puzzle. However, in a game that relies on understanding the subtle environmental clues to solve puzzles, if someone is stuck, it's as likely that in their haste to jump into solving the puzzle they've missed some small but important detail needed to guide themselves towards the solution. A moment's pause and a step back is often the kick that breaks the log jam. Failure in experimentation is inconsequential; at worst, you fall off a platform or have to backtrack slightly, and it's not long before you're right back to where you were, able to progress.

FRACT contains one final gift, even after you've solved the last puzzle, enjoyed the victory spectacle, and seen the credits, and that's the Studio. As you progress through the game, all the way up to the last puzzle, you unlock portions of the very real synthesizers in the player composition facility in a separate, quieter portion of the world. For the impatient, there's the ability to unlock the whole Studio immediately, without needing to finish the game. The synthesizer modulation settings work exactly like they do in-game (not counting the advanced synthesizer options that unlock last), so FRACT in effect teaches the player how to make music.

It's too early to tell still, but FRACT OSC may be my favourite game of 2014. It's going to take something pretty special to beat the high standard FRACT's set.
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