This is the review for the Windows PC version of the physics puzzle title, Particulars, from developer SeeThrough Studios.
Particulars is set in the world of subatomic particles, where each passing level grants you a little slice of information concerning a girl named Alison, her life, her tragedy, and something more sinister at her heels. I cannot stress enough that while the game is a fun and challenging puzzle game of navigating real-world subatomic interactions, it is the story that binds these particles together and creates a narrative experience in a very clever way. Particulars has already won several awards including Freeplay’s Narrative and Audio awards. Objectives within Particulars are always changing, but usually involve manipulating the board in a clever way to create interactions between particles that will achieve your end goal. The game additionally includes an encyclopedia, which can fill your brain with a lot of information on the subatomic world, and while an understanding of particle physics and quantum physics may help grasp interactions quicker, no experience in these advanced fields are needed to excel at the game.
The graphics in this game change style, with the story portion about Alison’s life having more hand-drawn animation driven visuals whereas the subatomic world has a more realistic feel to it. Movements between the particles are fluid and smooth, and the colors are bright and various, giving the user no trouble in distinguishing between particles. However, the only option for customization is the resolution of the screen, not brightness or contrast or things of that nature. Since the majority of the game is focused on gameplay rather than graphics this doesn’t really negatively affect the game. We gave the graphics a 4 / 5.
The sound in Particulars is fantastic. There are unique noises for each particle annihilation, and there is sci-fi like background music playing throughout the game. The sounds and music just add to the almost futuristic or sci-fi like theme this game has without going overboard. We gave the sound a 4.5 / 5.
The gameplay is what really stands out for Particulars. Players never control the main character Allison, but rather only experience the subatomic particle game machine that she plays. The whole game is separated into levels, each with an objective such as survive for a certain amount of time or bring certain particles to certain areas. Players can only control one quark, and use it to attract and repel other particles to their advantage in order to complete the task. After a certain amount of stages are complete, a new part of Allison’s story is illustrated. Each new set of stages gets more difficult, with more types of particles being introduced. Players can also browse the ‘Particlepedia’ that provides actual information about the particles within the game. This educational addition to the game adds value for not just entertainment, but learning as well. We gave the gameplay a 5 / 5.
Players can control the quark with either the arrow keys or an Xbox controller. Due to the game mechanics of attracting and repealing particles, the controls are somewhat difficult to start out with. However the developers did a good job of easing this difficulty without making it seem too unrealistic. It can be a challenge to get the quark exactly where you want it to go, but this adds to the challenge of solving each stage. We gave the controls a 4 / 5.
Overall, Particulars is a great game that will have players not only challenged by the various objectives, but also learning new things about particle physics due to the ‘Particlepedia’. If you have played this game tell us what you think in the comment section below.
4.5 / 5