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I was pretty harsh on Fumiko! [itch.io, Steam, Official Site] previously, so with the latest patch I aimed to take another look at this gravity-defying 3D platformer.

Disclosure: Key provided by the developer.

First up, there's a new trailer:
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The game was developed on Linux using the Unity game engine and previously (see my thoughts before here) it seemed to be full of annoying issues and it had a terrible feel to it.

The big 1.1 patch aimed to improve all aspects of the game, so how does it feel now?

This time around, the game does feel a lot more polished. The developer took my advice about some aspects of it and it's a much smoother experience. The game now has a proper menu, which is easy to navigate, instead of some floaty text directly on the screen. None of the other issues I had before are present either, so overall it's vastly better experience.

Fumiko! is one of the weirdest experiences I've had in a long time and that's really saying something. It's a 3D platformer with extremely imprecise floaty controls and psychedelic visuals that create an experience not like many others. Honestly, it's actually far more engrossing than I thought possible, the visuals may put some people off, but it's an extremely surprising experience. I would also say that you need a certain level of patience to play Fumiko!

You are Fumiko, some sort of AI that seems to have some level of sentience and from what I gather you're inside some sort of massive connected computer system. You're drip fed more and more information and not everything is as it seems. Someone is trying to reach out to you, but you keep getting wiped by something only known as "Wilson" who seems to be trying to keep you under their control. You break free, with the strangers help and you need to escape. It's hard to describe much of it without spoiling things, but there's a massive amount of mystery and the way it's presented keeps you wanting to know more.

image

The main gameplay sees you jumping and dashing from platform to platform and around obstacles as you try to reach each exit point. The main difficulty is taming the floaty controls, which are incredibly difficult to get right. Once you get going, you will be multi-jumping and boosting around like a pro. Part of the difficulty is knowing where exactly you're going to land, even with a marker it's quite hard to judge. There will be a lot of failed attempts, but thankfully you can grab some checkpoints to restart.

There's no lives, since you just continually restart as many times as you need to. That might sound like there's less of a challenge, but believe me it makes sense considering the mix of the difficult controls and the crazy floating layouts of the levels.

The game gets stranger and more engrossing the further I go. It's not all about getting to an exit, there's also weird open-world style social areas to explore too. Although the performance did drop quite a bit in the bigger area, so you might need to adjust some settings.

While I'm now enjoying it, some of the pacing is a little off. There's too many moments where you're left just waiting for someone to say something. Parts like that needed speeding up, to prevent player frustration.

Some parts of the game are incredibly soothing and relaxing jumping higher and higher, with the vast beautiful nothingness you're often exploring, there's also the parts that are maddeningly difficult. One part in particular got me where you're going to exit the big social area, you're running across a bridge with alert signs chasing you. The sudden massive difficulty in avoiding them was immense. It's like the skill ceiling suddenly grew and just blew away, it was maddening. It took me a good six attempts to overcome it!

image

If you're in the mood for a platformer that offers up something truly unique visually, with a story that keeps you questioning as you want to know more, then be sure to check it out. Really pleased I'm able to have a complete turnaround on my thoughts with this one. It's gone from incredibly unpolished, to a great experience in one single patch.

Absolutely trippy with some parts being quite breathtaking visually. Will you be able to uncover the mystery of Fumiko!?

There's also a demo on both itch.io and Steam if you want to give it a go, although the game gets increasingly interesting the longer you play, so the demo might not give a great indication of how interesting it truly is. Very much a game for those who like something different, just be sure to not judge the game based solely on the first few sections.
6 Likes, Who?
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The comments on this article are closed.
buenaventura 12 June 2017 at 2:00 pm UTC
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How interesting, I will check this out! Is it playable with a SNES-controller? (I don't anything more sophisticated except keyboard+mouse obv.)
no_information_here 12 June 2017 at 5:47 pm UTC
Thanks for the updated review. It certainly sounds like it is trying to do something different. I may have to check it out.

Any comments on using a steam controller vs using a traditional controller? Any harder/easier regarding the controls?
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