Lab Rags is an upcoming title from the student project studio Salt Mine Studios. It is an art-deco-era puzzle-level game that shares mechanics with games like Portal and its descendants. Start solving puzzles right away as a mechanical android with a neat gun similar to the classic gravity gun. You can advance within the game by respawning and then grabbing your previous housing to fling at door-opening buttons, traverse over spike pits, and even build structures like stairs out of crushed cubes made from your metal leftovers. The environments and music are very charming, and it is an appropriate level of challenge and enjoyment.
Lab Rags: Let’s Make Some Rob’ts
Taking into consideration what I’m saying, I’m happy to say that I am blown away by this early access experience. I just mentioned recently to someone that FPS is not my thing, and this isn’t exactly FPS but it’s similar in obvious ways. The mechanical husking of respawned androids is a pretty non-violent and amusing game feature!
I’ll just mention a few things about how to play this since I’m usually the one googling “how to play” <blank.> As soon as you learn that you can step on the leftover parts, you can move around quite a bit. The button E is your friend! I’m not sure if there is or will be controller support, but the keyboard works fine. There is a bit of a challenge in placing the parts properly. Not so obvious to scale the marble granite wall to the next section. The physics are reasonably challenging, although the cubes wobble a bit, your mileage may vary.
This is a student project from University of Utah and Berklee College of Music, so I’m certain they’ll appreciate it!
Jeepers, Lab Rags is The Bee’s Knees
One of the genius applications of using robots as a disposable characters in video games is that it does not create the aversion that real characters would most certainly cause. It’s a fine line, believe it or not, and does require sensitivity, but this game just really gets it. The respawn leftovers are none other than yourself, so it’s most certainly properly approved. I had no idea what to expect from the trailer at first, but this is very amusing.
As I mentioned, this is very similar to the game Portal. If you are unfamiliar with that game, it happens to be one of my favorites, so I’ll tell you about it. You basically start in these puzzle levels and move a block around with a gravity gun that also can create portals to other areas of the level at ease. The portals interact with the environment using real physics. There were version 1 and version 2, and there are multiple spin-offs that have been created since–official and otherwise. They even recently announced that a Portal 3 is on the way. Some stories are suited mostly for the first time you play them, so I’ll always love Portal 2. But what an exciting thing to be able to mention though as I play this.
Personally, I’m always ambitious to start a game that involves humorous gameplay. This has it. When you play games you like, you probably are going to notice when devs like them too! Beyond Portal, there are easily some nods to Fallout 3, at least in the game trailer, and also Breath of the Wild. I probably spoke too soon, because those games are way beyond my skill level, but I really saw some resemblances to the puzzle rooms in Breath of Wild.
It’s Hot One
The Early Access is free. There’s enough content to puzzle away some time. I’m not certain, but it seems to be essentially in a demo stage with testing, which is generally the realm of early access, but there is enough there to get the idea. I hope that the game works its way into a smooth release. There is enough here, that I would certainly play a release version. Devs take a lot of effort when releasing an early release like this. With enough testers, however, I think it’s going to be good.
I’m glad I found something to dig my ball-point review pen into today after a couple of days this week of severe distraction. Everything is just fine though. Also, I almost never review this type of game (this is going to change,) which proves that I must have liked it. That said I’m ready to jump right into this review.
You Can Play Lab Rags
I hope that is enough of a description. I’m not the greatest puzzle solver, but I also try not to expose how little skill I have in them, haha. I am going to try and play more of a variety of daily games. There are games released somewhere every day, so I just need to do it.
Oh, one other thing, since this is a 1920’s era art-deco-themed game, the music is appropriate jazz. I love jazz, and I love the jazz in this game. Salt Mine Studio’s Twitter page says the game was in collaboration with Berklee College of Music. So, nice work, guys!
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