User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 87 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 70 out of 87
  2. Negative: 7 out of 87

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  1. Mar 4, 2012
    9
    Vessel is further confirmation that we are in the golden age of indie games, an outstanding job for the first title of Strange Loop Games.

    A game that revolutionizes the world of 2D indie genre, offering a highly original puzzle based on successful cooperation with the key element of the game, the fluro.

    With a sound section very carefully by the hand of John Hopkins, an impressive
    system of fluid physics that will leave you speechless and very elaborate artwork. Expand
  2. Mar 3, 2012
    10
    A beautiful physic game based in fluids and mechanics. Amazing graphics a good soundtrack, acceptable history and amazing playability with a correct learning curve.
  3. Mar 23, 2012
    10
    Vessel is a unique experience and a fun puzzle game. One thing that I am surprised no one mentioned before is that the whole world is simulated in physics and even the characters are made out of particles as opposed to being modeled and scripted by the game designers. And for something made like that, the game is holding together really well.
    Another interesting thing I read yesterday is
    that the game was made by a few people as opposed to the big game team, and yet personally I think it is just as good as some of those games so I give it an extra plus for that.
    Puzzles are fresh and exciting and you really have to think to solve them, but once you figure out solution it feels really good. Like you accomplished something.
    Game also looks really nice, particularly the later levels, and the music fits it well.
    I really enjoyed it and I am looking forward to more. I hope they make Vessel 2.
    Expand
  4. Jul 15, 2012
    5
    I greatly appreciate that games like this can be made and I was inspired by the vision of Vessel, but after having completed the game I found that I wasn't enjoying it most of the time I was playing. The visuals are handled very well and I can't fault the game there. The physics are very simplified and cumbersome during many scenarios (dials, swinging bridges, aiming streams). The plot was compelling, but did not follow through on completion. The majority of the puzzles weigh in on the easy side, some quite clever, but many times I found myself frustrated that so much of the difficulty came from overcoming the clunky controls (I did use a gamepad as recommended) and finicking the AI Fluros into their positions. The minutes that passed between solving a puzzle conceptually and being able to execute it in the game dampened the joy of each success. Expand
  5. Mar 8, 2012
    8
    Vessel is a perfect example of game play that can only really be captured by an Indy game. The fluid physics and automaton "fluoros" combined make for some very interesting puzzle game play. The puzzles aren't difficult, though certainly there is some head-scratching, so anyone can play. The graphics are pleasant, with well drawn backgrounds and objects. The music is nice and adds a nice ambiance to the game, though some of the sound effects can become annoying (boot stomps). While it's obvious a ton of effort went into the fluid mechanics, control of the protagonist is a bit clunky, particularly with ladders. One complaint that I had was the length of the game. While not short, it felt like a constant progression of learning about a new fluid for fluoro, a puzzle or two, and then onto a new mechanic. worse, is that a lot of mechanics seem largely ignored after their brief period in the spotlight. There are so many different possibilities with the mechanics, there is room for a lot more puzzles. Overall though, it is a solid 6 hours of fun game play. Expand
  6. Mar 10, 2012
    7
    A strong puzzle game, with an increasing amount of depth. Just take note, this game does not feature the emotional resonance of something like bastion or the ending of braid - or limbo. That's not to say it does not have some great music and personality - It does. There are some slight comparisons with the 2d metroids as well. And the game does evolve into a much deeper thing about 1 hour in. In the end, this is recommended for puzzle game fans more than art-indie-game fans. Expand
  7. Mar 30, 2012
    8
    Impressive! Im a sucker for good in-game physics use and vessel has it in spades. Character control & interaction with the more mundane aspects of the game could use some fine tuning (ladder use, elevators and the feel of the jump action) but the game is great looking, fun & different.
  8. Mar 13, 2012
    7
    I haven't finished the game yet, but I have played enough to say that this one is highly original. The puzzles aren't all the same and the game immersion is pretty awesome. I feel like a true scientist while playing this one. Recommended.
  9. Mar 25, 2012
    7
    Well the game at once surprising climate and general idea. Strange that no one else (probably) did not hit upon the idea of â
  10. ic9
    Mar 26, 2012
    9
    One of the few great side scrolling puzzle games. Very creative with the puzzles. Some might complain about the game play, as on the PC the controls can be somewhat frustrating. However, I think much of this is by design as is leads to challenging game play. If it was simplified it might be too easy. I'm really impressed with this game, and in my opinion it is better than Portal and other similar games. Expand
  11. Apr 28, 2012
    9
    Intriguing game, very refreshing. Though it has some platforming / action elements, it is primarily a puzzle game. The gameplay is challenging and original, and the "fluros" are a clever concept. Some have complained that the water physics is too "loose" - ie you might have the right idea for solving a puzzle, but still have to try a few times - but I actually liked that. It made the game feel more dirty and real. The audio is fantastic; everything from the minimalist electronic soundtrack to the subtle sound effects and fluro 'voices' contribute to the game's ambiance. The graphics are a mixed bag and feel a bit mismatched, but still impress. If you are looking for something fresh and interesting, this is it. And there is a demo on Steam if you want to try before you buy. Expand
  12. Jul 14, 2012
    7
    Another clever Indie game with well thought out levels sprinkled with the occasional puzzle to test your patience. The ambient music throughout is also a nice touch. I recommend you use a controller with this game as it gets fiddly using a keyboard.
  13. Sep 25, 2012
    8
    Vessel is a 2d side scrolling puzzle game in which the main character M. Arkwright manipulates water like creatures called "Fluro" to solve puzzles.

    From the opening cinematic, I knew I was in for something special. The game is gorgeous. Although it is a 2D world, the depth of perspective within the backgrounds are phenomenal. Every set piece gives the game a rich, colorful and unique
    locale to solve the hundreds of puzzles.

    The problem with the game world, however, is that it gives you a taste of what the exterior landscape will look like before you spend the next 2 hours of game play in dank buildings and caves. While both the warehouse and caves are unique, I think it was a bit of a design mistake to place the brown palette places so close to each other. For someone sitting down for a long session, this color scheme can become a little dull.

    The dullness is compounded with the games sound track. While it starts out as a nice piano composition, it will suddenly bust out in a dub step beat that makes me want to strangle someone. While the occasional "womp womp" music wouldn't be so bad, it seems that the soundtrack loops a nearly identical track ad nauseum.

    That is not to say that this game is by any means boring. The game play mechanics with the fluids are one of the most unique experiences I have had since Portal came out a few years ago. At the beginning, you can use pipes and hoses to manipulate water and the semi sentient "Fluros" to open the next location. As you move through the game, you gain more and more tools to manipulate the "Fluros", water, steam and other liquids which makes the puzzles more and more complex. This ramping up of difficulty is a pleasant change to the classic designs of old sidescrollers which maintain the same difficulty through the whole game.

    Although unique, I did have a few problems with the game play. The controls are just not tight enough on a keyboard to handle some of the areas. It can be a bit frustrating to understand how to complete a certain puzzle but still have to take a lot of time actually doing it because the jump and grab controls are not precise enough.

    If you have an Xbox 360 controller, I recommend using it. It feels a lot cleaner to play and a little more intuitive. Unfortunately, I got 3 hours into the game before I realized my old USB controller didn't have enough trigger buttons to use an in-game item correctly. I have enough buttons on the controller, but the game does not allow custom mapping. This wasn't a big deal to me, because I was able to whip out an Xbox controller, but for someone who doesn't own one, the lack of controller customization could be a problem.

    I ran into a problem with the game lagging after extended play sessions. My computer is pretty high end, so I don't know what the issue was. It would become especially problematic on a large puzzle with multiple "Fluros" and a lot of physics calculations going on. I don't know if this is an isolated case or a larger problem, but it could get a bit frustrating at times.

    Despite all that, the game is a blast. It reminds me of my youth, plowing my way through games like "Earthworm Jim" on the SNES. This game also gives you a lot of value for the price. I am about 6 hours in and I have a ton more to go.

    This game is a great buy and worth every penny.
    Expand
  14. Nov 27, 2012
    10
    An amazing indie game! At first I was doubtful of getting it, but oh how wrong i was! Mechanics are very creative and nothing you've seen before, it is not just fluid physics but a mix of different behaviors of creatures named Fluros that you should use to solve puzzles.

    The game is very enjoyable, puzzles grow nicely in difficulty, although the last ones can be hard and a bit
    frustrating, but it is just a matter of understanding the game mechanics to have a very nice time solving them.

    If you like puzzle games, specially environmental puzzles, like Portal and Limbo, then you MUST get this game. Plus, the soundtrack is simply one of the best OSTs you will ever find in a game, comparable to Donkey Kong Country series' IMHO. The soundtrack alone could easily be a selling point =)
    Just go get the game!
    Expand
  15. Aug 14, 2012
    8
    Vessel is nothing if not another example of indie developer creativity and ingenuity. A puzzle platformer based solely on the combination of 2 elements: it's efficient, if not one-dimensional, fluid physics; and it's clunky but usually dependable AI "Fluros". The puzzles start off unnecessarily simple, but the game makes up for it through clever methods to paint the setting of the game. As the puzzles get more difficult, with different variations of liquids and Fluros getting thrown into the mix, it becomes more rewarding and more fun to figure them out, however the games physics and AI can be often become frustratingly clunky during later puzzles that involve numerous elements. However, these most difficult puzzles often have a few ways to solve them, taking the edge off of the frustration. The developers do hide secret puzzles that reward you with points to upgrade your gear, but not only are the upgrades totally unnecessary (I often forgot there even upgrades to be had at some points) and the secret puzzles are few and far between. The last puzzle, however, is the worst example of what this game has to offer and only serve to disjoint the flow of the epilogue. After trying to figure it out for literally an hour, I searched a guide to solve it, and it turns out the solution was the one I was trying the whole time, but the physics were simply glitching. It was very frustrating, but thankfully it's the biggest fault I can find with the game. Graphics are a wonderful blend of 2D point of view and 3D rendering. I can't say I encounter any graphical lag either, although some puzzles caused lag due the amount of particles the game was simulating, which isn't ok when I'm running the game on a quad core system. Graphics are smooth but the game is processor heavy. This game might not be for you if you have a 4GB RAM or lower system. The story is very straight-forward and although it often hints at some plot twists, they never actually happen. Although the story is lacking, the presentation is very good, especially as far as indie games go. Vessel uses as little written language as possible, and when they do, it's only to offer some much needed context. All of the "ah hah" moments are experienced as they come, not read on the screen, as it should be. This falls apart at the end as well, however. Although the developer used some outstanding artistic devices that most big-shot game companies have never heard of, the deeper meaning was lost in a terrible lack of context. The ending ends up falling short whereas it could have been a masterpiece if they had simply given more context. The music fits the feeling of the game, but there's only one track that plays throughout the 9-11 hours of the game, so if you play for long sittings, it will get on your nerves. After a while I just muted the music and listened to my own music. Vessel comes with my recommendation as a game that offers 9-11 hours of unique experience, and although the high points are amazing and the low points are terribly frustrating, the high points far outnumber the low ones, and the game is worth twice the price tag it comes with. Expand
  16. Nov 10, 2012
    9
    This game is fun and unique. I've never played anything like it. The art is beautiful, the levels are well designed, and the physics puzzles are novel.
  17. May 6, 2012
    10
    This game is wonderful. Solid. Great puzzles, great story, loved the fluros. The puzzles were great and really put your mind in a tiff in trying to figuring them out, without being annoying. I loved the graphics, it reminded me of gaming back in the day, no of that cgi bullcrap. Overall, wonderful game. Looking for the sequel. Oh, and nice ending!
  18. Feb 16, 2013
    10
    This game is amazing and fun. Its a bit glitchy and unfinished looking, but the physics and puzzles are great. I loved experimenting with the goo. I wish they'd come out with a sequel where the puzzles directly involve experimentation.

    I have no real complaints about this game. It can be odd and buggy at times, but its easy to overlook that with how charming the game is.
  19. Oct 2, 2012
    10
    Indie games are often the more inspired and funny ones, and this is another proof of it.
    It is not just for fun, you have really to get your brain on to solve all puzzles, yet it is so satisfying when you get one solved. There is no help or hint, you just get simple observation of the protagonist about how things he encounters works: how to use it, in any declination of it, it's up to
    you.
    A great challenge not to be missed ;)
    Expand
  20. Jul 27, 2013
    8
    Vessel is an excellent 2-D platform puzzle game. There are a few spots that require quick fingers and fast reflexes, although there are many puzzles where you just need to do the right things in the right order. Most of the puzzles are challenging without being impossible, so it is very satisfying when you solve a puzzle.

    I rate this game an 8 instead of a 9 because I ran into some game
    bugs on the final level (accelerator) that made the level unsolvable. I closed the game and restarted, and then I was able to complete the puzzle first try. I think there a few bugs like this in the game where you need to restart the game to make it work right. Still an excellent game and well worth your money. Expand
  21. Apr 28, 2013
    10
    Awesome game. The fluid physics were really fun to play around with and I loved the variety of fluids that were used in the game. Pretty good graphics and decent sound. Some very challenging puzzles too. Overall, Id highly recommend it.
  22. Jul 28, 2013
    9
    This is an awesome game. The artwork is incredible and the puzzles all deal with fluid interactions, be it water, lava, or steam. A controller is recommended in the loading menu and I only played with one, but it controls great.
Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Oct 14, 2012
    86
    A quality title that mixes platforming and puzzle elements while injecting new life into both with its liquid physics and Fluros. It's not quite Braid or Limbo, but it's good nonetheless. [Sept 2012]
  2. Jun 15, 2012
    70
    A charming platformer with award winning physics that will keep you good company for some hours.
  3. May 20, 2012
    90
    A soap factory called Vessel is awaiting your engagement into the game with its many ideas. Don't worry that you've never heard of this puzzle platform title, it may still be the best puzzle-solving game of the year.