Imagine that you’re traveling through outer space and all of the sudden you collide with a mysterious object, knocking the main power out and putting your ship offline. You’re trapped and alone. All of the sudden a voice comes over your radio and tells you that there may be a way to restore power to your ship by following his instructions, and since you have no other options you might as well take his advice…right? This is how Factotum begins, a new puzzle/strategy game for the WiiU from TACS Games.
From what this mystery man is telling you, the only way out of this mess is by controlling the 2 walker robots located in the walker control terminal on your ship. They may be a little old but you can use them to make your way through the ship to make repairs and solve the mystery of the collision. The first 2 levels are like tutorials, showing you the controls and getting you acquainted with Factotums unique use of the GamePad which looks pretty neat during gameplay.
It’s meant to look like an old rusted remote control, including buttons, switches, and a old looking static filled screen where you can see your robots. The audio is pretty great too and you can play off-screen as well which looks just as good on the GamePad as it does on the TV. You can switch between modes very quickly by just pressing the select button. Moving the robots is done with the left joystick or the d-pad, you can also move the camera around with the right joystick. Pressing the X button lets you switch between which walker robot you want to control and there are also different interactions throughout each level which can be done by pressing one of the other buttons on the GamePad.
Most levels begin with your robots side by side and as you make your way through each level you will be doing things like clearing debris and hitting switches so you’re able to progress to different areas. Usually you will have one robot doing one thing (holding down a switch that moves a platform for example) and have the other robot doing something else (like getting on the moving platform that the first robot has activated). So its a step by step process, a lot of the puzzles are pretty difficult as the game goes on, which adds to the challenge.
There were three small aspects of Factotum that I personally didn’t care for. One, I think the robots move just a tad slow, I wish there was a button to speed them up or something. Two, the graphics are great for the games theme in general but, I really didn’t prefer the all green color pallet I had to look at constantly. Yes the borders around the screen and a few other things are different colors but the majority of what the player is looking at is green (Think virtual boy, but everything is green instead of red). It takes a toll on the ole eyes after playing for a while. Three, yes I said the audio and sounds were great but there is very little to judge from. There is no background music while you play. Though you can hear the various sounds and creepy noises of your robots and outer space it gets a little dreary.
In addition to the 30 puzzle filled levels you’ll be playing through there are also a number of data streams that are scattered around for you to find which unlock Miiverse stamps which you can use to call for help or broadcast help to others. Overall Factotum (which is available now for $9.99) is a pretty unique addition to the WiiU eshop and makes great use of the GamePad, unlike a lot of other games I’ve reviewed lately. If you’re a fan of sci-fi or just puzzle games in general I think you’ll definitely get some enjoyment out of it. Just don’t play for too long or you may end up seeing green! ;D
PN Review: Factotum (WiiU eShop)
Factotum is a refreshing new addition to the WiiU eshop. Solve puzzles by controlling 2 robots separately and try to figure out the mystery of what has crashed into your spaceship. There are a few small things that I didn’t like but if you’re into these types of games I think you can see around those small problems.