Developer – Bedtime Digital
Publisher – Bedtime Digital
ESRB – T
Following on from their breakout indie games Chronology and Back to Bed, Bedtime Digital then released Figment; an isometric action-adventure puzzle game continuing the trope of taking place in worlds existing in the subconscious mind. After having played both Back to Bed and Figment, Figment definitely stands out as the better of which in every aspect in m opinion. For as good a game as Back to Bed was, Figment addresses what issues there were with the latter, and delivers a much better gaming experience.
Graphics – 9/10
The game’s visuals follow the same isometric layout as their previous game, but in terms of conceptual design, this game is even more varied, as it contains not just one theme, but a much greater range of themes with each world that must be traversed. In relation to it’s the atmosphere, it’s very similar to Back to Back, in that it perpetuates a visible contrast between happiness and horror (being comparable to the contrast between dreams and nightmares), but in Figment, this theme is made a lot more apparent, with scenery and character design being used to a greater extent to portray this contrast.
Gameplay – 8.5/10
Another aspect where Figment is better compared to the developer’s previous game is in the gameplay; it’s far more varied with not only a strong emphasis on puzzle solving in order to progress but also a greater (albeit it less subtle) emphasis on combat. Players much fight their way through many enemies throughout the game in a style very similar to that of games in the Baldur’s Gate or Diablo series’. Although Figment’s puzzle element is not as innovative as that of Back to Bed, it still makes for something particularly entertaining. The combat in the game also offers an unprecedented amount of challenge that I had never come to expect going into it.
Controls – 10/10
There are no issues to be had with Figment’s control scheme. It almost plays out like a hybrid between action-adventure RPG and a point-and-click adventure game, and essentially bringing the two genres together into one experience, it makes for an interesting way the developers have blended the puzzle genre with that of a top-down adventure game.
Lifespan – 4/10
Lasting twice as long as Back to Bed, Figment clocks in at around 8 hours for 100% completion, which whilst it is an improvement on the developer’s part, it’s still criminally short; especially for a game in this genre, which can typically be made to last far longer. It was expected to me for this to have lasted longer than Back to Bed since there is far more depth in the gameplay than the former, but like Back to Bed, it still left me wanting more.
Storyline – 7/10
The game’s story follows a creature name Dusty and his companion Piper as they set out on a quest to end the nightmares that plague the subconscious world they inhabit. On the first inspection, it may seem that there’s no more to this game’s story than there was in Back to Bed, but when delved deeper into, there is much more to it than that. The story element in this game is far stronger than the former, with characters having much more personality and the plot playing a much greater role in the game. It’s also surprisingly mature for a game that looks like what it does on the surface, with the main character Dusty frequently expositing at other characters, and not following the tropes associated with the archetypical hero.
Originality – 7/10
Aside from standing out from Back to Back, Figment also works well to stand out among many other games in general; the scenery and visual style of the game is wonderfully unique, and gameplay is varied in a way that I hadn’t thought possible when I first played the demo at EGX Rezzed 2017. It was definitely one of the standout games at that show, and the final product clearly built upon what they had showcased for the better.
Overall, Figment is not only a far better gaming experience compared to Back to Bed, but it is one of the most unique action-adventure experiences I’ve played in recent years. It’s scenery and brand of combat and puzzle-solving make for something pretty enjoyable amongst the indie development scene.