In the years since it first launched in 2019, Fractal Space has firmly established itself as one of the best first-person environmental puzzlers on the market, rivalling classics like Portal, The Witness, and The Room.
In truth, it’s a broader experience than any of those games, ratcheting up the tension by stranding you in space while also letting you blow off steam with some straight-up action.
Accompanied by I.G., the owner of the space station you’re stranded on, your goal is to escape while gradually solving the mystery of how you got there. As you progress towards this goal, it becomes increasingly apparent that I.G. is a less than perfect host.
The gameplay involves exploring your environment, avoiding hazards, and using the objects around you to get from location to location.
In the first instance, that can mean doing something as simple as flicking a switch or carrying a box to a place where it can be used as a step. But soon you’ll be doing trickier stuff like directing beams of light with mirrors, working out access codes, and hopping through portals.
Meanwhile, you’ll have to keep yourself alive by dodging crushers, saws, and traps. And you’ll have to shoot stuff with your taser and zip around with your jetpack, placing Fractal Space firmly at the “action-packed” end of the puzzle game spectrum.
There’s a free version of Fractal Space, but the HD version is well worth the extra couple of bucks—or can just play it for free on Google Play Pass if you happen to be a subscriber.
Fractal Space HD has higher quality textures, support for 120 fps and 120 Hz, 4K resolution, dynamic lighting and particle effects, Google TV support, and five exclusive Legendary Colors for your taser.
Both versions of the game also contain a Speedrun Mode, achievements, leaderboards, gamepad support, cross-save, and an adjustable field of view.
And that’s just the mobile versions. Developer Haze Games is currently working on a bigger and more complex version of Fractal Space for PC and consoles, and you can see how it’s shaping up by downloading the free demo on Steam.