Some people want to help the world with their genius, others do it for the science. Yet when your invention runs rampant, who comes in to clean up the mess? That's your own damn job.
Vessel is a physics based Puzzle Platformer by Strange Loop Games. You are M. Arkwright, the mind behind the Fluro, a device that gives shape, life, and a very simple intelligence to water. Use of these watery automatons has revolutionized industry in Arkwright's Steampunk world. Of course, if you have such ambitious projects you require a massive laboratory. Fluros are subservient to whoever plants their 'seed' and Arkwright's inventions are all he needs to keep his equipment in peak condition. However, as his research into his next project continues to evolve, so do his inventions. The so-thought docile Fluros have taken to their work a little too well and multiple forms have been sighted making more fluros and wreaking havoc in the lab's machinery, as well as the nearby factory, orchard, and mines. Problem is, Arkwright only created one kind of Fluro...
Perhaps curiosity got the better of Arkwright as he goes to investigate the disturbances.
This game provides examples of:
- The Atoner: Arkwright's journal entries tell us that he wishes to contain the fluro outbreak before it grows out of control.
- This is also the reason he decides to use the Accelerator on himself; since it was him who created the Fluros, it falls on him to be the test subject for whatever effects the Accelerator will cause.
- Boss Battle: The Factory and the Mines both end with a fight against a giant lava monster.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Chaser Fluros will chase Arkwright and spill themselves over him if they get close enough, Drinker Fluros will seek out and consume more of their fluid, Light Fluros seek out light sources and Dark Fluros flee from light sources.
- Gone Horribly Right: The fluros were created to do jobs instead of men. They are now running amok.
- The Fluros in the Orchard were altered for increased efficiency. They ended up over-running the place, and even fused with plant matter to the point that the trees will drop Fluros as fruit.
- Green Rocks: Protoplasm, an eerie, glowing liquid found hovering in mid-air in obscure locations, which magically morphs itself into upgrades for Arkwright's equipment. It also allows Arkwright to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence in the ending.
- Instant A.I.: Just Add Water!: Fluro began to adapt to their environment, gaining new abilities beyond what Arkwright had programmed in his prototype.
- Kill It with Water: This can be done to almost all fluro types but most useful against 'drinker' fluro by causing it to oversaturate itself, and against any fluro made of lava for obvious reasons.
- Mad Scientist: Arkwright. He's not as malevolent or flamboyant as other examples of the trope, but his obsession with the Fluros becomes more and more obvious as the game progresses. He's awfully quick to decide they're more advanced than humanity and try to become one.
- No OSHA Compliance: Good god, The Factory. For a building apparently dealing in molten rock, they sure have a lot of it just flying from pipe to pipe, without really caring if it happens to hit the floor or anybody there.
- Non-Indicative Name: The word "Vessel" never appears in the game, and the closest anything gets to being related to the word is that Arkwright carries a water tank on his back.
- Recursive Creators: All it takes to make a fluro is a seed (or a machine) and any kind of liquid. Cue multiple puzzles and some boss battles that consist of wading through an endless number of fluros that endlessly replenish their numbers.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red and blue fluro. Put them together and see why they are not friends.
- Scenery Porn: Not only is the whole game very pretty, back at the lab there's a balcony you can stand on to just look out at the city.
- Spikes of Doom: The stalagmites in the mines. Notable because normally, you can't take damage from falling from any height; there's even an achievement for jumping down a mine shaft. If you fall all the way down that shaft without hitting any stalagmites, you're fine.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Depending on the type of fluro, there are lots of different ways they can be destroyed. They can be crushed, evaporated (lava + water), exploded (red goo + blue goo), corroded (glow goo + lava), disintegrated (dark fluros in light), and essentially starved to death (depriving light fluros of light). Or you can just walk through them.
- What happens when you make a dark fluro out of glow goo? It lives out its short, tortured existence in unbearable pain before disintegrating. You get an achievement for this.
- Yin-Yang Bomb: According to Arkwright, combining red and blue fruit pulp creates a substance that's similar to protoplasm...at least, it would if the reaction was stable. After completing the mines, Arkwright uses vaporized glow-goo in order to stabilize the reaction and generate protoplasm in the Accelerator.