FORM Review (HTC Vive)
For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a review code does not affect my judgement of the game.
The first thing I thought about when first looking at information about FORM was it looked something really unique, and something I felt I would really love to experience. Now that I have had that chance – was it what I expected?
Now, FORM has a very little story element to it, it is more a break from the puzzles of the game, by providing some spoken narrative – which is also split with reading your thoughts in bubbles that appear. From what I got from the narrative mentioned is you are a physicist by the name of Dr. Devin Eli, who gets dragged into ‘The Obelisk’, which is an alien artefact kept in a research facility in Alaska. What ‘The Obelisk’ does it forms the complexities of the human mind as machines. This makes it your job as Dr. Eli to solve the puzzles of these machines in order to move further into the human mind. But, I was confused by the end of the game on what was actually going on.
As you may have guessed from the story explanation, the core of the gameplay is made up by puzzles. This is something Charm Games have shown a great understanding in, and they have used the VR medium well. Each puzzle does grab your attention and makes you intrigued enough to want to investigate it further. Each puzzle is beautifully designed and unique, which you will love to even just look at. Each puzzle is another alien artefact within ‘The Obelisk’, which will see you placing shapes into the correct holes, opening up these artefacts and pulling levers to name a few tasks involved. This does lead you to wanting the explore the machines to better get an understanding of what is needed.
There was one issue I found the puzzles, they only ranged from easy to medium difficulty to solve. Where I feel if puzzles are the main element of your game, they should be some that really get you confused, because these are always a strong addition. But, even with this in mind, what FORM does well is gives you the feeling of accomplishment at the end of each puzzle.
I really did enjoy gameplay and puzzles, but one thing that really made me appreciate the game was the visual style. At first you do start in a rather generic looking lab, but in the end of the day most labs have that generic look. However, as soon at you are taken into ‘The Obelisk’ you will instantly be wowed. I was by just looking as my hands and seeing they had turned into something very Deus Ex looking, with a solid fragmented look to them. Then as previously mentioned these beautiful looking puzzles are put right in front of you, each different and unique in design.
As you solve puzzles though-out the game the world will move and morph around you, this is something I found an outstanding part of the VR experience offered by FORM. As it happens you really do find yourself just looking around for a bit, seeing what has changed – and at times it drags your attention away from actually trying to solve the puzzle in front of you.
If you are looking for a game that offers maximum comfort when playing VR, then FORM is a game for you. The game really offers no motion outside of the non-user teleporting at parts of the game. It basically presents every puzzle right in front of you, and you will just move around the play area to look at the puzzle as you solve it.
Overall FORM took me just over an hour and half to complete, because as mentioned previously the puzzles don’t really get to a huge difficulty level. But, one good thing is just by the design of the world, I will find myself going back just to experience that again. Also as aforementioned the story does get a bit confusing by the end, and maybe you will understand it more after another play-through where you are not being completely distracted by the world and what is going on around you.
Given the above mentioned gameplay, visuals and comfort, you will really find in hard not to get immersed into the world of FORM. If this is really what the complexities of the human mind look like, I am glad to only be experiencing it through VR.
FORM offers a truly unique puzzling experience, with a visual style that is stunning and will blow you away as the world morphs around you. Each puzzle offered is different, but never get the levels where you will struggle – which could be off putting to players looking for a challenge. But, this game shows the team over at Charm Games have a true understanding on how to create something that makes the most out of the VR medium.
Also available on Oculus Rift and Windows Mixed Reality
Developer: Charm Games