Tales from the Minus Lab is a fantastic indie game. I haven’t completed the game yet though. The game is about Abigail Swift, the daughter of Issac Swift who is an inventor. Your father has passed away and your brother, Benjamin has inherited your father’s lab. Your brother calls you to help him in sorting out your father’s old lab, upon arriving you immediately see the lab in complete chaos and the mysterious goggles that your brother mentioned. Benjamin however, is nowhere to be found and now you are on a mission to find your missing brother.
Once you grab the goggles, you are given the objective to stick a cassette tape into the console which activates the lab’s computer system and consequently….your father’s latest experiment which neither you or your brother had any idea of. Luckily you will quickly get the idea of what experiment your father was working on based on what the goggles allow you to do. Shrinking and growing.
The game does mislead you in regards to the controls. It tells you that “R” and “L” is used for movement and to look around, which seems to suggest that the game needs a controller. As for the actual controls, the ol’ faithful WASD is for movement, space is for jumping and ‘E’ is used for interacting with the environment. I will let you figure how to shrink and grow by playing the game.
Shame you do not have a way to pause the game, I cannot tell you the number of times I hit the escape button, wanting to pause the game and ended up quitting the game and was forced to restart right from the beginning of the game again. It was very heartbreaking, especially considering how far I had got in the game. Needless to say, you cannot save your game either.
I love how the game brings the elements of exploration and puzzle. I especially love how the puzzles are designed with the growing and shrinking ability in mind. The puzzles rely heavily on the various sizes that you can…evolve too? Since you have different abilities you can use at different sizes and you can only explore certain areas at a certain size. Some of the puzzles even used the weight difference that scales with size. It does have a platforming element since you spend the early part of the game jumping from different platforms, which brings all the other elements regarding the weight and your different sizes altogether. You can only shift into a small amount of sizes and you gain different sizes by finding ‘upgrade capsules’ as I decided to dub them.
I particularly loved the exploration aspect, seeing what little worlds existed within the father’s laboratory. You get to explore various places like the doll’s house, behind the wall and that little campsite area within the tree that seems to be growing into the lab for some strange reason. The checkpoints were rather need, looking like a battery with a tv antenna attached to it. Some of the checkpoints will have a monologue from Ben.
The graphics were amazing. Since the game takes place in only one room, a massive amount of detail went into that one room. Considering how many ‘worlds’ you can explore and the clutter that is placed throughout the lab. Once you finish the main story-line, there is a sandbox mode which gives you access to all the sizes you can shift into and you mainly search the lab for collectible keys, a staggering 31 in total. Not sure what happens when you find them all, I am just going to assume it has something to do with the mysterious black lock-box.
Check Tales from the Minus Lab out! Hopefully you guys will get further in the game than me or find more keys than I did.