missing cover art
DescriptionVessel is a steampunk-themed platformer entirely built around solving puzzles. Players controls the scientist M. Arkwright who became world famous by inventing Fluros. They are one-eyed creatures that come to life out of liquid. Their behaviour is erratic however and they end up escaping from his control and wreak havoc in his laboratory. To regain control Arkwright has to retrieve his equipment and eventually repair the accelerator in his laboratory. This location acts as the main hub in the game, but from there the player visits three large locations with a distinct environment: the factory, the orchard, and the mines.
The game is played as a 2D platformer. Arkwright can move around and jump. As much of the gameplay is based around manipulating fluids, almost all elements are physics-based. Liquid can be moved around by walking through it and the scientist operates various levers, wheels and buttons. During the game five different fluro types are discovered and they all react differently. There is a water fluro, a lava fluro, an explosion fluro, a light fluro, and a dark fluro. Water fluros for instance fall apart when you bump into them and evaporate when they touch hot surfaces. Dark fluros can only survive in darkness and shun light. These organisms act independently and can only be controlled indirectly by the player. After a while Arkwright acquires the ability to sample fluros through seeds to create them at any location.
Next to the different fluros, they can also be created according to a certain type. Chaser types follow the player, Drinkers are drawn to liquid etc. To solve puzzles a complex combination of fluros and environment-based challenges need to be solved. It is possible to die, but without consequences. Some puzzles contain timing elements or require a quick succession of actions. Arkwright eventually builds a pressurized backpack that allows him to spray liquid in a direction controlled by the mouse to create fluros or manipulate objects in the environment. The amount of liquid is limited, but it can be refilled at pools. The tank can also be filled with other types such as blue pulp or a green chemical when they are discovered. By collecting samples of white protoplasma the backpack can be upgraded in the laboratory with a new type of nozzle for instance.
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