Vessel: Fanciful Fluids

cogs are essential, more cogs please

It’s been a long time since we had any coverage of Vessel, Strange Loop Games’ intriguing 2D puzzle-adventure. That all changes right now. With the game due for release this winter, the team have released a new trailer to show how far things have come in the last eighteen months. Already a finalist in IGF’s technical excellence category for 2010, the game’s artwork and complex fluid physics look superb. Open your ears as well as your eyes because the music is delightful too.

The way the raindrops bounce and trickle got me straight away. I could write out a long list of the various things I was reminded of but I think that would be unfair. All that matters is they’re all positive and the game looks like it has enough ideas to stand alone. As the video shows more of the fluid physics, I found myself imagining entire puzzle designs based around the tech. It’s exciting. Much more exciting than being shown a pretend explosion that’s more realistic than an explosion.

Apart from looking exceptionally clever, Vessel also looks rather beautiful. The world is interesting and the sense of melancholy prevents it all from seeming too cute. I’m not sure if the Fluros, those liquid fellows, are going to come out of the experience unscathed. They’ve been given life, that much is certain, and now they’re causing all manner of mischief. But will they be tamed or destroyed? I dread to think.

The only thing I’m not entirely sold on is the main character. He looks the part, with his handsome sideburns, but his animations are a little clunky at times. It’s only noticeable because everything else looks so fantastic and I’m probably just being curmudgeonly. When faced with something that has this much potential, I should be more thankful.


  1. SkiDesignS says:

    I agree, with all the work that’s gone into everything else, the animations could look a bit better. I’m also not too keen on the plastic wrap look of the fluids, but the game looks fun, and I’ll definitely keep an eye on it.

  2. Prime says:

    Fluid simulation/physics is something that has been cruelly neglected by games. I’m purchasing this just to see that running on my very own PC.

  3. Sheng-ji says:

    This could be the game that sunshine mario should have been

    • rayne117 says:

      SMS was a great game on it’s own two legs.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      I was disappointed, poor camera, controls and samey puzzles. Only my opinion of course and I know mine is frequently very different to everyone else’s!

  4. Squire says:

    Looks lovely, and I second/third the comment on the animations, hopefully they can add something in for him “manipulating” solid fixed objects in the world, like the wheel near the end. He just smacks his head off it and it starts turning ha, not that “head/body-to-object-smacking” hasnt been in games since mario, it just seems a bit naff compared to the rest of it.

    I love water globules.

    • Sinomatic says:

      I’m intrigued by the water physics, but the animation of the guy, rightly or wrongly, gave me a sudden flashback to Pigeon Street (link to

      Still, I can see me picking this up down the line.

  5. Ross Angus says:

    I hope to Horace that the tutorial approaches Valve quality: my brain is numb, after watching that.

  6. Saul says:

    Awesome. I got to watch a guy playing this of the weekend at Freeplay. It’s very pretty.

  7. max pain says:

    When I saw the image I immediately thought this is the next project from Lazy8 Studios (Cogs).

  8. fenriz says:

    the puzzles don’t convince me, they seem to be a bit infantile.

  9. Lemming says:

    Thanks for this, I need the loo now.

  10. JohnnyMaverik says:

    Animations could use a little work but they aren’t terrible, just not quite as above par as the rest (probably just about average IMO). It all looks pretty neat at any rate.

  11. MadTinkerer says:

    I want this so much. Hope it’s on Steam.

  12. mkjlin says:

    link to hot sell goods all over the world

  13. RagingLion says:

    My deepest of thanks goes to Vessel for their first trailer from ages ago which introduced me to the music of Jon Hopkins. One of the musical finds I’m most grateful for so far.