Transcripted Hands-On Preview


Transcripted is entrancing. At PAX East, we played the game for roughly 20 minutes, but it set its hooks deep. The game was originally created by French developer Alkemi, who is now working with TopWare Interactive for the release. During the demo, we controlled a nanobiological defense robot inside a larger organism under attack by a viral fiend. Our purpose was to defeat the encroaching virus through puzzler and shooter tropes. Think Inner Space meets Zuma meets Galaga. Got it? Great.

Among the microscopic particles floating around were a chain of colored cubes. These cubes represent the viral DNA. They’d crawl slowly across the screen in a variety of different colors. Enemy antibodies moved around the screen, too, getting in the way of our shots and cornering us.

As the nano defense bot, we shot and destroyed the antibodies, which each dropped colored cubes (called pseudo-DNA cubes). We grabbed one of these cubes at a time and fired them toward the DNA strand. Matching up three or more cubes of the same color eliminated that section of the strand, which filled up a damage bar at the top of the screen. The bar had to be completely full before the level’s timer ran out. In other words, our goal was to shoot, collect, and shoot again, but with caution. Firing a cube haphazardly was the difference between a lifesaving combo and an ill-planned failure.

If all this wasn’t enough, certain antibodies also shot back at us, forcing us to constantly check our six, our eight, our three and everywhere else on the damn screen. It was mesmerizing and difficult. There was relief whenever we grabbed a cube, though, as enemies then mistook us for one of their own. Our movement slowed when we had the cube, however, and we could only hold onto it for so long before it vanished. This wasn’t meant to be used as a defense but more a way to set up an offense.

Another way to do this was to use time bonuses and health upgrades, which appeared as we dispatched enemies. We’d also get a point multiplier for shooting at long distances and successfully breaking up the DNA strand. Called “Macro Shots,” these precision attempts become a necessity.

The most stunning portion of our time with the game was the boss battle. The level booted up and we were greeted by a lumbering organism, replete with incandescent threads attached to its three sides. At its core were two shielded DNA strands. The monster swam toward us – its threat initially under-appreciated. As it cornered us though, with its antibodies careening into our little bot, the gravity of the battle became apparent.

Transcripted demands the evasiveness of top-down shooters with the strategy of puzzle games. It’s like tapping your head and rubbing your stomach: challenging, but the challenge is inviting. The atmospheric tone sets it apart from other games in similar camps.

The game will release this summer on PC and Mac.


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Author: Greg Galiffa View all posts by
Greg Galiffa is an Associate Editor at GamerNode. He's also an apologist for the first TMNT film. You can follow him on Twitter @greggaliffa

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