Factotum (Wii U) Review

By Ian Soltes 20.08.2015 1

Review for Factotum on Wii U

The puzzle genre is forever delivering original and challenging titles that think outside of the box, and TACS Games is next up to bring some originality to Wii U. Whilst Factotum does initially hold some potential and interest, it ends up being noticeably underwhelming and uninspired.

It's Portal 0.5. There is little other way to describe Factotum. When making puzzle games, especially ones with seemingly-unique mechanics, it is important to attempt to utilise them all to the best of the developer's ability. In Factotum, control of not one, but two, robots is granted, which are needed to save a spaceship that has been struck by an unknown object and is now almost destroyed, with only a mysterious voice used for guidance.

It's the Portal 2 multiplayer maps minus the portals and second player to yank away a vital portal at the last second for giggles. A series of puzzle rooms are navigated, switching between the two available robots while using bombs, redirecting lasers, and standing on switches to control moving platforms, doors, and the like. It's not that Factotum is, somehow, bad; it just does not contain the spark of originality that this sort of property should have.

Screenshot for Factotum on Wii U

One of the primary issues with Factotum is that it suffers from some potentially easily amendable problems, such as the graphical quality. It is one thing to be okay with sub-par graphics, but the visual aesthetic is simply underwhelming on the whole. The puzzles, while intuitive, are also fairly easy, and easily end up more tedious at times than actually challenging.

The biggest and most basic problem is that it simply holds no 'hook' to get players invested in the game. The two-robot mechanic is interesting, but amounts to being little more than two navigable crates. The various items may sound nice, but end up being unengaging. Most of all… it just doesn't leave an impression.

Screenshot for Factotum on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

On the one hand, the intuitive level designs are good, but on the other, the graphics are bad, but nothing worth really getting that worked up about from an aesthetic point of view. The puzzles, unfortunately, are rather simple and grow repetitious over time. With some polish, Factotum could have become a decent puzzle game.

Developer

TACS Games

Publisher

TACS Games

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   

Comments

I want to add to this on a personal level. The whole thing simply felt underwhelming and tedious. But it's not a bad game. In fact I'd say that with some extra work it could be very GOOD, but it just sort of... meanders... around. For example early on I was allowed access to the ability to direct beams of light that burned away objects. Okay, that sounds like a cool ability at first. Burn away anything and make a puzzle focused on burning away just the right thing or getting the light right where it needed to be. Except it seemed to vanish quickly and didn't really do too much. Also, the robots moved WAY too slow and the option of a 'sprint' button would have been SO nice; especially since some of the challenges were clearly made with speed being the primary problem to be solved. Puzzles should be about finding solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems, not getting frustrated that they exist only because your robot is so slow.

The big moment for me came, though, when I was playing and I THINK I did something the game thought I couldn't by transfering over a tiny little area of connecting platforms. I think the game is more robust than that, but it doesn't matter. The game locked up and I put it down and asked myself 'am I actually enjoying this enough to want to try again? Does it seem like it will pick up in the last ten or so levels?' The answer was 'no'.

I respect that this was a game made by one guy and, knowing my experiences trying to make a game on my own, I respect his ability to do so and think he should continue working. Just... this game isn't a good opening.

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