From The Start, I Was (somewhat) Attracted

Review by trans301 on Saturday, June 22nd 2013
Click to play Atraction

Atraction is a game created by chloride

Hey guys, trans301 here. Today, we’re taking a look at a game known as ‘Attraction’ by a creator known as Chloride. At first glance, Attraction seems to be a very polished game. As with most physics puzzle games, graphics appear to be simple and easily distinguishable. A thumbnail like this, and like most ppg thumbnails, provides a description of better quality than words of the game: it is, at its heart, a simple concept. Looking at the comments, I was not sure how much of an impact this game had on the people playing it before myself. Most of the comments seemed to be about Chloride having a girlfriend and not about how great the game was. I found this slightly disheartened but, as a ppg creator myself, I decided of course to give it a go anyway.

First up we’re going to talk about the puzzle aspect of the game. Now, the gameplay of Attraction works like this: There are 4 cubes, of which all are moving in different directions, constantly, and the player my change said directions with the arrow keys. The goal is to get each of the cubes to its color-coded objective. This is an alarmingly simple concept and after playing the first level, I was worried. Picture the popular puzzle game known as Portal. Now the Portal gun’s concept is a simple one, yet the game still manages to be quite complex despite it, mainly because of the numerous other mechanics involved. These, in Portal, included weighted cubes, various types of gel, and tractor beams. Attraction gains its complexity from much the same concept: Chloride has built in many mechanics including maze-like buffers, spinning death paddles, and many other obstacles as well. All in all, Attraction proved to be a much more in depth experience than I ever thought when first looking at it.

Secondly of course we much talk about the graphics, or, in this case, lack thereof. Indeed, Chloride used, in this game, solely preset graphics or combinations thereof. Is this a bad thing? I would say no. I would say that we can avoid criticizing Attraction for the same reason we avoid criticizing games like Half Life for their graphics: They are not games meant to show off beautiful textures, they are games meant to give the user a feeling of joy, excitement, and accomplishment. Games such as Half Life do this through puzzles and storytelling. In some games, the way the game looks could be the most important aspect of it all, but in games such as these, graphics don’t batter in the slightest little bit. That said, if this game had only the default wooden object textures and such, this game would be the opposite of good-looking, it would be unappealing to look at. A game that is unappealing to look at is a game no one wants to play.

We’re going to look at gameplay now. I spoke earlier about what games are meant to do: give the player; the user, a feeling of joy, excitement, and accomplishment. Sadly, this game is lacking in most of these aspects. While it is true that after beating a level of Attraction one feels a sense of accomplishment, the same cannot be said about my other two aspects. Truly, the game felt too brief and un-immersive to be anything more to me than a passtime. Sure the concept was cool and the puzzles escalated incomplexity, but all in all, even with the new mechanics being added, Attraction failed to escalate in novelty and add new mechanics enough to prove to be a game I would go back and play again. The gameplay, however unique, was not quite fleshed out to the full potential it had. The concept had potential, but what I’d like to see from Chloride is a more immersive, complicated experience that fleshed out whatever its concept is to its full greatness. Had Chloride spent a little bit more time on working out the mechanics, the game would have seemed more polished. For instance, on all the levels involving the maze-like bumper things (walls), I found that, the cubes liked to clip inside of the walls and stop moving. While it didn’t happen very often, it takes only one bad apple to ruin the whole bunch. The gameplay would have been more enjoyable had just a little more thought gone into it. That said, the gameplay spiced it up every level or so enough that the game was still overall a positive experience gameplay wise.

Now talking about the difficulty: Attraction seemed to be a very… uneven game. Some levels would be easy, overly so in fact, and others would be insanely difficult. Because of, as I mentioned, the toned-back simple atmosphere of the game, these jumps in difficulty worked, uniquely enough, to spice up the gameplay and provide some variation. While the game escalated steadily in complexity, it escalated in no particular order whatsoever in difficulty, leaving me t wonder what was coming next. In this rare instance, inconsistency worked. For a reason unknown to me, as with most masterpieces, a potential flaw became a great success. Proving to add some variety to the gameplay of Attraction, the random jumping about of difficulty left me anticipating what the next level would bring.

So all in all, was Attraction a good experience? I would say yes. The game was, overall, fun to play. About half way through though, one starts to notice the minor bugs, and starts to not enjoy the game so much. The game is a little too simplistic and doesn’t quite, as I’ve said numerous times, reach the full potential of the concept. Attraction is like the original Portal to Portal 2: I see it as a quick pastime, an experiment, to see what works and what does not. What I’d like to see from Chloride in the future is a game that takes a concept, be it similar or different, and uses several other mechanics to back up the core concept. While Attraction was a good experience as a whole, I don’t quite feel it went in deep enough to get a greater score, on my part.

For me, Attraction gets a ***/***** 3/5

Thanks for reading, and thanks for making the game Chloride.