Review: “Faraday Protocol” (Nintendo Switch)
Have you ever been to an escape room? Did you like it? Do you kind of wish you could do an escape room with the use of an electric gun that can be used to solve various puzzles need to overcome in order to escape? If so, then Faraday Protocol is right up your alley!*
The basic premise of Faraday Protocol is simple enough. You are an archeologist who is sent to a distant planet to research a signal that was received by your mysterious, unseen employer. Upon arrival, you are scanned by a drone that welcomes you to the world of Opis; a land full of trees and plants, however, completely devoid of any animal lifeforms. As you explore the greenscape, you come upon some massive towers, one of which you are able to get inside and explore further in order to learn where these towers came from and what happened to whomever built them.
Once you enter the ziggurat, you learn that this is an ancient testing facility… one that has not been attempted in 10,345,560 days. So let’s see now… if that is roughly the equivalent of one of our own days that’s… carry the one… Oh! Not really that long ago! Just 28,344 years! Well let me just say, that the cleaning crew have done a fantastic job here! You would think that they were in here shining things up just yesterday with how polished and clean everything looks in Faraday Protocol!
In the first room, you are given a gun because, you know… it’s dangerous to go alone, or something like that. BUT! This is no mere bullet-shooting pistol used to wipe out hordes of aliens hiding in the next room! No sir! This gun allows you to pick up electric charges that can be used to help with the puzzles that you find in each room. There are two types of charges, each with a different capability. The orange charge can be used to charge “power statues” that unlock doors, power elevators, and do other things that complement the opposite, blue charge. Blue charges are generally used to “link” breaks in the power lines that you will find throughout the game. And depending on where you place the link, it can change exactly how other aspects of the puzzle work out.
The puzzles themselves are quite clever. There were a few times I had to scratch my head for a while, and once or twice, I just had to sleep on it and come back to it with fresh eyes in order to progress. Overall, though, I felt the puzzles were all very solvable with enough trial and error. There was a time or two that I ended up turning it off and back on again, because I didn’t know if I had glitched it or just got stuck or something… Well one time, I did get stuck… literally! It was kind of funny- I jumped into a corner and got pinned in there so badly that I could not move at all! HA! I told you it was funny! I mean, I guess stuff like that happens in all games, but at least there is a “Reset Level” option in the pause menu so you only go back as far as the last puzzle you completed.
Part of the charm of Faraday Protocol is the atmosphere. It kind of leads you through with an ancient Egyptian vibe; it looks quite nice, and not too busy, which could definitely hinder you in a game like this. I thought the statues were cool looking, and the use of geometry was sharp. When color was used, it was bright and vivid, and seeing as how so much of the game looks the same, it was nice getting to the “color puzzle” rooms when they sparsely popped up.
Sound wise, the majority of what you hear is the sound effects, and various speech from your character and from within the tower. I get the tone the developers were going for, but I like to have music in my games, so I cranked my own soundtrack while playing this one. It definitely helped when I’d be playing late at night, already a bit tired from the day. Speaking of, while the control of the game is pretty spot on, the pace is still that of a slower action puzzle game. It’s not something that is going to get your adrenaline pumping or anything. With zero active threats, Faraday Protocol, I am sure, is right up some of your alleys… What? I’ve already said that phrase? *SIGH* I knew I should have paid more attention in English class! Me speak good!
Seriously though, Faraday Protocol is a short but sweet action puzzler that certainly hits the spot for me in several ways… special ways… it made me feel smart when I solved a room… it made me wonder how many more floors there were in this tower… it made me happy knowing that the game was only about an hour long for speed runners… it made me sad that it took me much longer to beat than just an hour… I didn’t use help, though! Promise!
Faraday Protocol is developed by Red Koi Box and published by Deck 13. It’s available now on PS4, PS5, Xbone, SeXbox, Nintendo Switch, and Steam PC via each platform’s digital storefront.
*Disclosure: a copy of Faraday Protocol was provided to The Splintering for the purposes of this review.
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