By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on April 23, 2020
Earlier this year, our former crew member Alex "Scorpid Venom" Adriaens has bravely traveled through space to tell you all about the demo version of Filament. In the meantime, Alex has sadly left our crew, so he has more time for his family (he has a beautiful wife and daughter, so we understand his decision). Speaking of families, the developers of Filament might not have seen their loved ones for a while now, because they've been hard at work, getting everything ready for the launch of the full version of Filament. So I'll take over from Alex and will tell you all about Filament, the full game!
Filament is a puzzle game or, as the developers themselves state: a mix between games like Firewatch and The Witness. In Filament, you take the role of an astronaut on board of the spaceship Alabaster. You are free to explore this spaceship and soon you'll discover there is many stuff to unlock on board of this ship. You need to unlock this stuff by solving puzzles, so you can enter new doors and investigate additional areas of the Alabaster. The basic premise of the puzzles in Filament is very simple. You use a little robot to walk through the room. The robot has a cable (presumably the Filament from which the game takes its name) attached to it, which is also attached to a wall of the room you're in. To open the door, you just need to connect and light up all the nodes in the room by simply touching them with your cable around them. Sounds easy, right?
Well, it's not as simple as it seems. You see, all nodes must be touching your cable at the same time, or they won't all light up. Furthermore, you cannot cross over your own cable, so choosing the right path is absolutely paramount. At the start of the game the puzzles will be reasonably simple, like just connecting two regular nodes, but as soon as you toss in different elements like colour codes, connecting nodes in height order and even obstructed sides to certain nodes, things get more complicated really fast. And when you think you are finally getting the hang of one of these challenges, a couple of rooms later, you'll have to face a combination of them! I actually called in reinforcement in the form of my husband, Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams, who is a more seasoned puzzle solver, but even when we joined forces, some puzzles were a tough nut to crack!
To be honest, I got stuck quite a few times, but the cool thing about Filament is that you can leave a puzzle room which is giving you trouble and give the next room a try. You can always revisit a previous puzzle area later on with a fresh perspective on things. Because you know what they say: Sometimes you might think of a solution for an hour and fail to come up with one while, at other times, you take one look and come up with a solution within five minutes without even breaking a sweat!
While walking around on the spaceship, you will "meet" a woman called Juniper via an audio link. Through this channel, you'll be in contact with her quite regularly. She will explain to you what happened to her, her crew and this ship. In the beginning you might think this contact with Juniper is a bit strange, but as you progress through the game, the purpose and story becomes clear. Together with all kinds of items you can find on the Alabaster, you'll find out what happened here.
Filament is available for PC via Steam and features full controller support. I, being a fan of playing games with a contoller, tried this out and it works absolutely smoothly. While playing the game you can definitely see the energy and effort spent to create this game. To me, at least, it's clear the developers love their game! Although I had a hard time solving a puzzle more than once, it was actually fun to play. Filament looks good and the puzzles are real brain-bashers. So, what are you waiting for? Get yourself ready to go outer space with Filament!