Explore. Exploit. Expose.
Some of the best puzzle games rely on simple mechanics used in ingenious ways. Throw in a decent story, fun gameplay, and most of the time you’re onto a winner. Faraday Protocol is a winner, mostly.
Faraday Protocol has a mystery at its core. Starting the game in a strange, Egyptian-inspired landscape with not much explanation as to how or why you got there, the game wastes no time in getting you up to speed, and in typical puzzler fashion, you are soon moving from room to room solving an array of puzzles.
Release Date: August 12th, 2021
Developer: Red Koi Box
Publisher: Deck 13
Availability: PSN (Digital)
Faraday Protocol teaches you its mechanics as you play, and this is one of the game’s many strengths. There’s very little in the way of a HUD or objective markers, yet the game manages to funnel you naturally to where you need to go, without being too obvious about it.
The same can be said for its puzzles. Faraday Protocol introduces its brain teasers by starting simple and then layering in complexities, all the while drip-feeding its mechanics. Before long, you are solving puzzles intuitively without so much as a hint. It made me feel like an actual genius, even though I’m far from it…
Faraday Protocol’s puzzles are a strange hybrid, feeling both familiar and original. Seeing these in work it is clear what I mean, but for those of you who haven’t seen any trailers (or even watched our opening 20 minutes or video review), Faraday Protocol has you moving room to room through a large ziggurat, unlocking new areas to explore as you solve puzzles. So far, so familiar.
The puzzles quickly develop in complexity even if the skeleton of each one remains the same, in that you have to match symbols by turning dials or pressing buttons, or absorbing different coloured lights to unlock doors or link sections together.
At first, you’re introduced to the idea of absorbing light using a gun found on your travels (come on, it’s always a gun…), sucking up light from little orange or blue statues before shooting it out to activate doors or link certain elements together.
I quickly started thinking of these puzzles as electric circuits, with the orange light working as the battery, opening doors or powering buttons, and blue light working like wires that can link them all together. The gun can only contain one charge at a time regardless of colour, and only orange statues can hold an orange charge, and blue statues a blue one.
Later on, symbols are introduced, and you need to match symbols on statues and pedestals to unlock doors to access new areas. There are many times in Faraday Protocol where you will find yourself backtracking to a previous room to grab a charge, or swap a blue light for an orange one.
Written down this all sounds way more complicated than it is, but what Faraday Protocol does so well is introduce each new idea in such a way that you never feel overwhelmed or lost, and for such a simple set of mechanics, they’re used brilliantly throughout.
Faraday Protocol is a great example of how to take a simple idea and run with it – and with such a simple idea serving as the foundation for many puzzles, Faraday Protocol definitely gets its money’s worth.
That doesn’t mean that Faraday Protocol is an easy experience, in fact, it is far from it.
Some of the puzzles I came across really had me scratching my head but using what the game had managed to teach me I was always able to solve them with a little bit of persistence.
As for the story, Faraday Protocol follows the same drip-feed method it uses as the puzzles, in that it slowly reveals what is going on as you make your way through the mysterious Ziggurat you have discovered. This is all done with the help of an alien AI named IRIS, who appears at certain key points, with the narrator completing audio logs which further helps to fill in the blanks. By the time the end credits roll, you have all the pieces of the puzzle laid bare before you.
Replayability comes in the form of collectables, as each level can be replayed upon completion using a level select screen unlocked on the main menu. As for these collectables themselves, they are well hidden – I managed to find one during my entire playthrough, but having completed the main game I intend to jump back in and try hunting out a few more.
Using tried and true mechanics, Faraday Protocol succeeds in that it is a decent puzzle game that combines an interesting narrative with simple puzzles that develop and evolve into great challenges.
Faraday Protocol manages to walk a fine line between being tricky without being frustrating, and doable without the puzzles being too easy. Faraday Protocol is a quality puzzle game and an easy recommendation.
Review: Faraday Protocol
- Overall – Fantastic – 8/10
Faraday Protocol is an enjoyable experience even if it isn’t a particularly long one. If you enjoy a decent puzzle game that is sure to give you a challenge, Faraday Protocol ticks all the right boxes.
- Challenging puzzles that get you thinking
- An interesting sci-fi story
- Well hidden collectables offer replay value
- At times the story does feel a bit formulaic
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Primary version tested: PS4. Reviewed using PS5.
Stuart has had a long and lengthy love affair with video games, since he first woke up to find Santa had left him a Sega Master System complete with Alex the Kidd built in no less. Since then, his thumbs have become calloused and he has missed many a nights sleep in the pursuit of those elusive “5 more minutes…” but his love has never wavered.