It’s not always necessary for games to have any sort of ultimate meaning or context, but when they do, they’re made a bit more satisfying. When you’re given a role, are required to shoot specific anomalies, and are charged with some worthwhile goal, a game can provide a great amount of appeal -- even more so if the game is well done.
In Transcripted, players will take on the role of a nanomachine inside of a host, charged with the destruction of an impeding virus, and reconstructing and protecting the strands of DNA and RNA that it threatens. Sounds pretty cool for a puzzle game, doesn’t it? I certainly thought so. Science and games seem to go together quite well -- like bacon and science.
Transcripted is one of those puzzle/shooter games that gets you interested, even if you merely see someone playing it in the distance. The game is very visually dynamic, especially for a puzzler. The coldness of the host you’re in compliments the bright, vibrant strands of DNA that players need to maintain. The gelatinous virus cells that antagonize the host explode exquisitely as the nanobot hails lines of colorful projectiles at them. Chromatic variety is the key phrase here.
One thing about the visuals that I found kind of cool, if not a tad unnecessary, was how the developer, Alkemi Games, partnered with Alienware and made Transcripted interact with the PC line’s Alien-FX lighting system. As players are given different chunks of DNA (yes, genetics come in chunk form here), the color of their PC and keyboard change depending on the color of the piece they carry. Again, it’s not really needed, but it’s pretty neat, nonetheless.
This eye candy only helps the eclectic gameplay sizzle. As said before, players are given pieces of DNA to repair constantly moving strands that appear in each stage. As the strands move, the sequence of colors moves with them, and, much like the popular Bejeweled, players must link common colors together to gain points. However, that’s not all this game requires -- it’s only a small portion of the task.
As players link DNA and score points, they also must use the bot’s defenses to shoot and destroy small virus cells that float around the stage. Not unlike a real virus, though, consistency isn’t a common trait of these evil fragments. Some fragments are big, some are small, some even infect specific areas of the stage, requiring the player to “disinfect” the area, so the speak. Oh, but don’t let the cells touch you; the little bastards wreak havoc on 21st century tech, duh.
To add even more value to the experience, points that players accumulate can later be used to upgrade their nanobot with different types of weapons. Two types of armaments that I saw were a fast-firing, quick-traveling barrage of pellets, the other was slow and less constant, but slightly locked onto enemies. I’m anxious to see what other types of upgrades players can purchase; nuclear weapons are where it’s at, if any Alkemi employees are reading this (all three of them). Nukes inside of living bodies make complete scientific sense.
Expect Transcripted to hit PC and Mac sometime later this year. Kick Chlamydia ass.