Game Review: Fractured Minds (Xbox One)
Fractured Minds is sold as an immersive artistic short game that explores anxiety and mental health issues. Created by 17-year old Emily Mitchell (winner of the BAFTA Young Game Designers Award), with the hope of aiding understanding and awareness of mental illness.
80% of all the games proceeds will be split equally between Mitchell for her future career and the video games mental health charity, Safe In Our World.
That alone makes it a worthwhile purchase, especially as it costs just £1.79/$1.99. Of course, for all its worthiness and the story behind the creator, the question is as a game, is it worth playing? The answer is both yes and no.
A first-person interactive story, the game takes place across 6 chapters where the player must solve puzzles to move on. Sharp colours mixed with black and grey horror-like imagery makes it stand out visually and the soundtrack is richly immersive. The effort put in and end result of all of this is very impressive.
The abstract way in which it deals with mental health illness is interesting and thought-provoking. If you’ve never suffered from anxiety or mental health issues, it offers some memorable threads to pull on. By the end you may not be any closer to understanding what some people go through in that regard but it does enough to make you think.
That being said, it is very short. Really, really short. In fact, on first play-through it took only 20 minutes to finish and a lot of that time was spent in the first chapter looking for the right key.
On the second play-through it took no more then 10 minutes and that included waiting a couple of minutes for something to appear in a specific chapter. Truth be told, it could easily be done in less then 5 minutes.
For all its positives and very low price point, this shortness and the lack of replay value makes it hard to recommend as a game. However, the worthy cause and its brief immersive qualities make it an experience well worth the asking price. It delivers what it promises.
The Final Score - 5/10