Starting with a car crash on a stormy night that is only heard, not seen, the opening scene is akin to John Wayne’s iconic movie, the searchers. Dusty, a long since retired hero sits upon a rocking chair on the porch of his ramshackle old house when Piper, an energetic and peppy bird comes to ask for help. The Nightmares had returned and it was time for Dusty to save the day once again. Begrudgingly, the grizzled hero sets off on an adventure, not to save the world but to get a stiff drink and his recently stolen scrapbook.
The visuals of Figment are simply stunning with hand-painted surrealist backdrops and colourful creatures throughout. If Salvador Dali made games, this is what you might expect. However, the wonder doesn’t end with the graphics. Each of the weirdly wonderful trumpet flowers and bug bridges have a cavalcade of sounds and noises. These sounds and voices are all backed by happy yet ethereal music that suits the aesthetic to a tee. This is until you face a boss battle and it suddenly goes into a full musical number in which the bosses sing at you before going into battle. It is amazing!
The adventure takes Dusty and Piper to both sides of the brain in a quest to restore the courage that has been lost.
The puzzles are a mix of isolated logic puzzles such as using a bashing vine to smash nuts in order to collect their nuts, to sequenced puzzles that require Figment to use objects to activate objects, that open an area, where you can turn a wheel, which opens a pipe, where you can push a button etc. You get the idea. When playing Figment, its advisable to play in large chunks as taking any extended breaks mid-sequence may be confusing.
Those looking for replayability can go back to collect the various ‘Remembranes’ and other collectables but after a five-hour playtime, I was happy to have just enjoyed the story. Players eager to have Zelda-Esqe battles and action may find Figment a little lacklustre in comparison but younger players will love the pace and gentleness of the experience.
Overall, Figment oozes charm from every pixel. The colourful characters, quirky puzzles and surreal level design all support the central theme of being inside a child’s mind without forcing it down your thought. Figment is a masterclass in subtlety and style and another knockout game from bedtime games.