In these terrible times, loneliness is a side effect most of us don’t know how to deal with. There’s something unnerving about the echo within your own head, the endless solitude that results in days blurring into each other in an endless march of time. And yet, you’re never truly alone. There’s always a thread, always a connection linking you to someone out there.
Filament is a reminder of that, a source of humble joy in an unforgiving universe where the only thing standing between you and an open door is a puzzle that you’ve found yourself tangled inside of. It’s you, the endless void of space and a voice on the other end guiding you through a mystery as you weave your way through rooms that require a little of the ol’ go-go juice before you’ll be allowed to proceed further along the deserted corridors of the Alabaster spaceship.
Your solitude periodically interrupted by the voice of Juniper as she guides you along the way, Filament’s core mechanic is simple enough: Hack a door open, by sending the cutest of tiny droids into the terminal where it’ll power up nodes by wrapping a tether around them. It’s easy enough to get to grips with, as not only do you have to use some grey matter to figure out the best path forward for powering up the doors but you also need to work your way back without being caught in your own link.
Filament dials up that challenge soon enough, throwing new barriers and combinations of puzzles at you. Sometimes they’ll be arranged in the most devious way possible, other times they’ll make use of colour coding that you have to match perfectly. Whatever the permutation, the end result is a puzzle game that feels both leisurely and cerebral.
There’s no fail-state to worry about, merely a stumping of the brain that’ll likely result in you pressing reset and trying a new path until your dozens of attempts eventually result in that “AH-HA!” moment of clarity, an epiphany born of trial and error until you eventually reach that delightful Eureka moment.
It’s that easy-going nature of Filament that makes it so delightful. When you’re pushed into a mental corner, you’re looking for a natural solution to your dilemma, with some of the puzzles being proper brain-twisters that’ll take hours to eventually solve. At some points in Filament, I genuinely had a pen and paper notepad out as I jotted down the routes I’d taken, just to make certain I wasn’t repeating myself whenever I tried a new solution to the puzzle in front of me.
Admittedly, Filament doesn’t hold your hand with these puzzles. There’s pretty much zero assistance from the game, no true clues to give you just the right nudge to move forward. At the same time, its relaxing atmosphere and cathartic music sets the tone for the game: Gentle, inviting and addictively frustrating with a hint of success when you find your groove.
Last Updated: April 29, 2020