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Review: Transistor

I needed a little break from the Witcher universe and made a playthrough of Supergiant Games' Transistor. Here are my two cents.

© Supergiant Games


The genre is set somewhat in the direction of cyberpunk. The futuristic city of Cloudbank is the setting in this case. There, every aspect of reality (e.g. the weather) is controlled by its citizens via democratic voting. The underlying technology is called the "Process".

The player takes the role of the pop star Red, who finds herself in the company of a man (maybe her lover) impaled by a huge techno sword. This sword is called the Transistor, which seems to have absorbed the personality of said man. The talking Transistor at her side, Red is fighting of waves of the amok running Process to find a way to reverse this "murder".


© Supergiant Games

The heart of Transistors Gameplay definitely is the "Turn" phase. While running around and attacking can be done in real time, attacks and movements can be planned out during Turn phases instead. The planned actions then are executed almost in an instant. Planning in Turn consumes energy which reloads after a Turn is carried out, during which no attacks can be made. This adds a strategic element to the game.


Although Transistors soundtrack and art style are a little bit brighter than common cyberpunk, the atmosphere is rather melancholic. The image of Red as a singer is consistently present, due to her humming during battles and "her" songs during cut-scenes. Also, the voice from the Transistor is a constant companion.


© Supergiant Games


Fun Level

The story of Transistor is very cryptic and just not told very well. In the beginning nobody knows what's going on and in the end the only thing left are speculations. Besides the end, the story did not catch me at all.

Everything else however is amazing! Great graphics, fitting soundtrack, fun gameplay! Although a Turn result might not actually reflect what was planned, experimenting with the different actions is a lot of fun.

Additionally, Transistors short playing time makes it a perfect candidate for a game just in between.

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