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Within the past few years, there have been quite a few games released that the community has dubbed as "walking simulators". Unfortunately, this label is often thrown on games that feature no combat, but manage to include other gameplay mechanics such as puzzle solving. While some find the genre to be dull, I really enjoy exploring the environments in such games, as well as piecing together the often abstract stories with hints found in notes and other collectibles throughout the game. A game that fits into this category perfectly is INFRA, which is an adventure game with puzzle elements that takes place in a deteriorating world.

INFRA is a game that features absolutely no violence. While other exploration-based games often feature death and enemies that you must avoid, there is none of that present here. The game is simply about staying alive while exploring abandoned and unsafe buildings and piecing together a story of deception and corruption that will slowly come together over what is said to be an eleven hour experience.

The game was initially started as a project using the Source Engine back in 2011. After some development time, it was decided that the project was becoming large enough to consider becoming a standalone game, rather than a mod. After being put on Greenlit, INFRA reached the top 4, which prompted the developers to found Loiste Interactive and begin looking for funding to create the game that they've always dreamed of. As of now, the developers have raised enough money to begin working on INFRA full-time.

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INFRA places you in the role of a structural analyst who is making his or her way through abandoned factories and dangerous industrial locations. These locations have been abandoned for quite some time, so the integrity and stability of them is unknown, which could lead to some very interesting occurrences. As you make your way through the game's 26 levels, each featuring multiple paths and many hidden secrets, you'll be tasked with taking photographs of the buildings' structural weaknesses.

On top of photographing decrepit buildings, you'll often run into environmental puzzles. One of my favorite games growing up was Myst, so I'm hoping that some of the puzzles are similar to what we've seen from that game. I always loved the obscure and challenging puzzles of that particular genre, and I have fond memories of playing with a notebook by my side. While it's difficult to assume that we will be seeing puzzles of that caliber, it's nice to see that they've attempted to add some sort of gameplay other than exploration to give the game a nice change of pace occasionally.

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From the demo I was given access to, it was easy to tell that a lot of effort is being put into the game. The puzzles were satisfyingly challenging, and described as some of the simpler ones in the game. We can expect some nice difficulty increases as the game progresses, which is nice. The environments were quite nice-looking, even though the graphics and resolution options are not completely set up yet. I had a great time exploring the detailed environments searching for clues about what exactly happened. During one particular sequence, I was tasked with opening some gates in order to release pressure to prevent the building from collapsing. The tension of the alarm beeping, the gates opening, and the ceiling caving in was fantastic, and really got my heart pumping. If there are more sequences such as this in the game, I can easily say that I heartily recommend looking into INFRA.

INFRA is one of the latest entries into the atmospheric adventure genre, and is looking very compelling. From its pleasant graphics, to its intriguing story concept, I can easily see myself being quickly immersed in such a world. Being able to explore deteriorating infrastructure sounds quite interesting, and I'm hoping we'll even be able to see some dynamic destruction occur, such as pieces of the ceiling falling, or stairs collapsing as we walk up them. I think that this could really add some good personality to INFRA. All in all, I feel like it's great that they are taking the genre into a whole new setting, and from what I've played so far, I can easily say that I'm looking forward to the currently-scheduled October release. For the next few days, you can contribute to their campaign over on IndieGogo, which will allow them to continue devoting all of their time to this project.