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: Very Positive (252 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 22, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"Showed at PAX East 2014 - A visually arresting musical exploration game. The secret best part is the fully-functional synthesizer."
Read the full review here.

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September 15

FRACT OSC is a 2014 IndieCade Finalist!

Great news!

FRACT OSC has been selected as an official finalist at the 2014 IndieCade Festival. We’re honoured to be among the amazing selection this year, and are huge fans of IndieCade and the stuff they do.

If you’re near Culver City October 9 –12, 2014 you should check out the festival – it will no doubt be incredible.

Keep your fingers crossed for us!

FRACT OSC on IndieCade

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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
    • Hard Drive: 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
    • Hard Drive: 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
    • Hard Drive: 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
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Required
    • Additional Notes: Headphones and/or dedicated speakers recommended
Helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
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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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 23
Well, I just finished FRACT OSC, and I can safely recommend it. If you were a big fan of the MYST series, like I was, then this is perfect for you.

There is no real story behind this game, and it invites you to use your imagination, to explain why everything is what it is. From the visual and aural feasts you are given, you draw your own conclusions as to what the civilization was like. There is virtually no text within the actual game, instead relying on pictures and diagrams to relay information. Music is heavily used for artistic effect, though many of the puzzles do not require music to solve. Instead, having an iPod or Phone handy to take quick pictures of diagrams is useful. This game requires an awful lot of backtracking, so be prepared.

Beware, to run this at a constant framerate you need a decent rig, or to turn down the view distance. However, your mileage may vary. The options menu is rather sparse, lacking even a rebind keys option, which forces you to use the default bindings.

This game uses flat textures and polygonal shapes to create the terrain and buildings, and personally, I think it pulls off the look quite well. For such a simple design, it is quite beautiful.
The music creation tool is not something I have experimented with, but if you have any experience with music editing programs, you may find use in some of its synths. Again, your mileage may vary.

In my opinion, this game does not neccesarily warrant more than one playthrough, but if you have the patience to finish the game, you should have the patience to find and collect the achievements. I'm going to be searching for them myself, as I haven't perfected the game yet.

In conclusion, this game is beautiful. The art style is wonderful, but the puzzles are not for the impatient. Many of them require fine tuning and experimentation, and some of the later ones require backtracking. The options menu could do with more, but it is forgivable by a game so pretty.
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0 of 9 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 9
the beg was fun but it will get so big and complicated that you just alt+f4
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0.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
FRACT OSC is a game completely based on exploration. You are thrust into an electronic world with puzzles and an amazing art style. Its a slow-pased game where there is no REAL objective, but it includes discovering new places, and uncovering secrets and locations. While this may get boring to most people, it is worth a try. Play with headphones on and enjoy the surreal style and sound of FRACT OSC.
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23.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
One of the most beautiful puzzle games I've ever played. A game that places you into a Tron inspired world inside of a synthesizer that let's you make the soundtrack and rebuild world.
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8.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
Pretty amazing game. Would recommend to anyone who happens to enjoy exploration, trippy tron like graphics, and electronic music. It does takes a couple of hours of wondering around aimlessly and randomly experimenting with the puzzles before you get the hang of it, but once you figure it out its smooth sailing and very enjoyable.
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
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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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
10.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
Overall: You're inside some sort of machine that makes music as you activate its various parts by solving puzzles.

My rants and raves:

* Brilliant, original idea. I love the music-machine feel to the game.

* The puzzles do not give any sort of instruction, and give little indication of whether or not you're getting closer to the proposed solution. You are given a toy that is 100x more complex than a Rubik's Cube™. With no instructions and no idea what the winning conditions are. Good luck.

* The developers tell you to explore this vast world in order to activate the machine totally... but give you no map. I recommend Youtube walkthroughs if you're a completist. The Steam achievements for this game are not very clear, either.

* The game, with its Tron-like feel, at times resembles Las Vegas. Everything is lit up like an arcade and you have no idea where you are supposed to go next, or what is activated and what is not. The lack of communication (e.g., score, progress, direction) with the player is terrible.

Unfortunately, while the game scores great originality points with me, there was far too much else that I found lacking or frustrating so I cannot recommend it. I hope to see a sequel or expansion with some of these issues addressed.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 12
an audiovisual journey through unknown landscapes and machinery. On the way you solve pretty simple music based puzzles with sequencers and other stuff. Sounds and looks AMAZING
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8 of 12 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 18
Just don't buy if you're on a Mac. Two months after launch, the developers have yet to fix game-breaking sound issues affecting a large number of Macs that are well above the minimum specs (take a look at the forums). There's no word on when or if they'll ever fix this problem, so unfortunately steer clear for now.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 17
(9/10)

Wasn't sure what to make of this initially, but the quirky retro-clean graphics and deep music really did pull me in and refuse to let go. The initial puzzles felt a bit on the easy side and didn't offer quite enough variation, but it all works as a sort of chill out deep relaxation vibe. The big 'final' puzzle, the one that gets you the full synths to play with on the music creation side, that made up for everything though and was a blast.

Must have for anyone who likes funky indie exploration games, electronic music, synths, pretty colors, etc.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 27
A highly original audio visual puzzle experience for the thinkers among us. The game plunges you into bowels of some weird alien musical instrument. Its starts out pretty lifeless with a little colour but as soon as you start solving various puzzles it starts to come to life with synth sounds and bright colours. Its like a cross between the Tron world and close encounters of the third kind mixed in with some very John Carpenter type sounds. Some of the puzzles can really leave you scratching your head. Back in the main hub as you unlock different areas you gain access to some very cool sound controls. The environment surrounding the hub comes to life as it plays your musical creations.

10/10 Recommended for puzzlers looking for something different.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 8
FRACT OSC is an exploration/puzzle/music buff’s wet dream. It’s hard to articulate how FRACT can make you feel. It’s most certainly an unconventional experience and arguably a one-of-a-kind art form so I’ll try to spoil as little as I can.

FRACT OSC is reminiscent of atmospheric adventure games like Myst. After a very brief introduction to the simple controls, you find yourself immersed in a dark and hauntingly silent underground world. You are given no clue as to where you are or what you’re supposed to do. This may sound overwhelming at first but once you take the first steps you realize there’s a fairly guided and intuitive way of navigating this world.

The Tron-esque and awe-inspiring open-world of FRACT is filled with massive structures, glowing towers and dormant devices you attempt to restore. But despite its mechanical and desolate appearance, the world feels oddly organic. As you approach its objects they react to your presence by expanding themselves and/or giving off delicate melodies.

The exquisite post-processing filters and radiant geometric structures produce a vivid yet dark ambiance. I found the landscape and architecture so jaw-dropping I couldn’t help but taking dozens of screenshots throughout my play-through.

The puzzles are especially appealing because as you interact with them you shape the soundscape around you, the puzzle structures emit different tunes which ultimately burst into a full-blown symphony and explosion of light upon completion. This incredibly cool way of rewarding players makes solving puzzles feel more like a creative process rather than a hassle.

Phosfiend’s work is so remarkable because they managed to create an incredibly rich and immersive experience in a completely unique setting without using a single word or any sort of narrative. It’s just fantastic to see everything gradually come together and rise to a beautiful climax.

On a side note, I recommend using a controller for a more cinematic experience that can only be achieved with subtle movements of the analog sticks; You can still use the mouse for faster puzzle solving.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
26.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
It's like Portal meets Audiosurf except not at all.
Buy it.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 4
FRACT OSC is pretty much my favorite game. Its all about puzzles music and adventure. Its a strange world full of broken machines that you have to fix with music. Its so rewarding when you beat a puzzle because you unlock tools that help you make your own music!
9.5/10 (Requires REALLY nice computers because of real time synthesising.)
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 5
This is truly one of the best games ever made.
The design is complex, intricate, and minimalistic. The sounds in this game are stunning and mind-blowing, as if one of a kind. This game deserves more interest than what it has. The game was released on Steam, and I imagined it having an explosion of excitement, but I heard nothing. The game was released and I bought it and played it. Indeed, a great game.

This game deserves to be as liked and as known as Portal 2. If not better.

Get this game. If you don't have it, get it now. You don't have enough money? Get money. Get this game. Now.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 8
I cant understan ♥♥♥♥, but pretty good dough xD
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 20
A neon-colored non-linear walkabout music-enhanced puzzle game about a synthesizer world, with a flexible synthesizer/sequencer studio being gradually unlocked as you solve the puzzles. If you like any of the above, try it out. Approx. 5 hours long.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 19
This is a game that provides more of an experience than a challenge. That isn't to say this game isn't challenging, as some of the puzzles, especially the later ones, will likely have you scratching your head and pushing you closer and closer to the temptation of steam guides. Rather, the puzzles of the game are overshadowed by the overall atmosphere. This is a game that really does deserve to be played with the lights down, the volume up and no distractions. The world and the art style is simply beautiful which, coupled with the superb analog-sounding synths provides both a relaxing and an empowering experience. Each puzzle solved reastores areas of the world back to life, turning a cold, lifeless wasteland into a thing of beauty.

How much you enjoy FRACT OSC will depend on how much you enjoy synthesizers. If you're the kind of person who can tell your VCO from your VCA, use an envelope for things besides posting letters and consider a delay to be a desirable thing, the puzzles will only be part of the attraction. FRACT also provides a feature-rich studio that produces some amazingly warm sounds which will keep you busy for some time. And if you're not a synthesizer fan? Well, perhaps the easy to use interface (which can be toggled between basic, abstract controls to something that wouldn't look out of place in the Death Star's control room) will convince you otherwise.

All in all, it's a great game with a beautiful art style, brilliant sound and a fantastic atmosphere. If you have any interest in synthesizers or music in general, pick this game up.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
9.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
10/10 would sound puzzle again
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