Defunct is an adventure title developed by Freshly Squeezed and published by SOEDESCO. It tells the story of a broken robot that has a bad accident and gets himself thrown out in the garbage shoot of a giant cargo ship. Upon landing, you must traverse the post-apocalyptic environment to get back home before the ship is gone forever. You have to be quick to race against the clock. Do you think you are fast enough?
The gameplay mechanics of this game are rather unique and something that I haven’t really seen before. I would like to premise that this game is similar to the style presented in the recent Sonic the Hedgehog games. The main goal is to race across the different worlds at blistering speeds with different power-ups and a few puzzles along the way. However, Defunct equips you with the Gravitize Engine, creating a separate gravity field around yourself. The engine is the primary way to adjust the speed of the robot. Using it while going downhill will increase your speed while using it uphill will slow you down and can be used to come to a stop. The game is rather short having only four different environments and can be completed in a couple of hours. Nonetheless, those few hours are extremely enjoyable, and I adored the time that I put into this game.
Once you complete the game, you are welcomed with a plethora of time trials, which I feel fits well with this game. These add a bunch of replayability to the otherwise short experience that Defunct provides. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy playing the time trials and they didn’t sit well with me. The times set to achieve the medals in this game mode are rather short and it made me feel that most of the medals needed near perfect runs if you wanted to even come close to achieving a platinum. This is expected on later levels, but I noticed this near the beginning of the game too. I am not the best at racing against the clock, but I can hold my own and I just could not in these ones. I would have rather had a longer story instead of the time trials if it were up to me.
The visuals and soundtracks were polar opposites in my eyes. While I have nothing really good to say about the soundtrack of this title, the visuals were phenomenal, to say the least. The sounds were lackluster and definitely not the strong suit of this indie title, but it didn’t take anything away from it either. It was just average in my opinion. On the other hand, the visuals peek my interest in this game more and more. From the beautiful and luscious forests to the harsh concrete jungles, Defunct offered a variety of environments within a short period of time. This was an amazing design choice due to the game’s fast-paced nature and helped prevent the landscapes from getting boring. The game was vibrant and colorful all over and I feel that this alone would warrant a purchase.
My experience with Defunct was amazing albeit a short one at that. I had not heard much about the title before receiving it to review but was excited nonetheless to sink my teeth into. At first, the game was a bit strange and I didn’t know how the odd mechanics were going to play out. The controls were definitely clunky at first and took a bit of getting used to, but it wasn’t long before I was zooming all over the place. My biggest issue with this title was the minuscule number of puzzles it had to offer. The lack of puzzles adds no challenge to the game and provides dull moments in the game when you are only moving from stage to stage. While the game left me wanting more, I am glad about the experience that it gave me, and I would be interested in any planned expansions on this universe. I would at least like to see another game using a similar control scheme.
In the end, Defunct was a cute little game that fulfilled its purpose in entertaining me. The game is priced at $15 USD and I would say that’s fair as the game has a good amount of content to offer. I would recommend picking this up, but have in mind that if time trials are not your thing, this game loses a lot of value and only provides around a three-hour story. However, I can not take anything away from it having something that I personally do not like and alas the campaign is extremely enjoyable. So, rev up your motors, we’re going for a ride!
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 7/10
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