Sawbuck Gamer


You’ve Got Company

It’s hard to get a moment to yourself in Fixation.

By Steve Heisler • May 11, 2012

Billed as a sequel to The Company Of Myself, Fixation is a mystery-tinged puzzle game that gradually reveals its true nature as you play. You begin with “Chapter One: The House.” You’re a woman in a pink pantsuit, chatting with your friends about things that seem inconsequential. As you move through the rooms of the house, oddities crop up. A fallen dresser turns into a platform. A light switch opens a wall. A puff of smoke from your perpetually lit cigarette blocks a laser. (Yeah, your house has lasers in it—way to go!) Soon, you’re no longer in a house but in a dark cave, being trailed by a stranger.

Fixation is like the anti-film noir: The damsel is definitely not in distress, and the “shady” characters are eager to talk to you, at length, about their boyfriend troubles. At first, the chatter can be off-putting, since the last thing you need while solving a puzzle is all that distracting noise. In the cave, for example, you have to blow smoke rings in a certain pattern to create a path forward. But the path isn’t just for you; it’s for the guy tailing you as well. Ostensibly, his company is unwanted, but you have to keep him around. Because he wants to talk to you. A lot.

Puzzles can be twitchy, as they require that you move around with the arrow keys while shooting smoke using the mouse, and the combination of these two input methods can induce cognitive gridlock. Thankfully, the promise of discovering the next new strangeness as you move from room to room is enough of a driving force to ignore any wrist/mind pains.

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7 Responses to “You’ve Got Company”

  1. JosephLillo says:

    I really liked this game. Just enough of a pain in the ass to keep me playing and interested. Funny that, while The Company of Myself kept me engaged in the storyline, I couldn’t care less about the stories in Fixation, until the very end. You’ll know when you see it.

    Also, the Extra Hard Upstairs Puzzle is actually pretty easy. Hint: you’re not supposed to stand still after you blow the ring.

    • LimeadeYouth says:

      This was pretty cool, and it really did do a good job on the puzzling aspects.

      The dialogue/stories weren’t that necessary, but I thought they did a good job setting tone. They reminded me of a coworker I used to know so I imagined everything in her detached hipster voice.

  2. Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

    I just tried this out and meh. Seems like another boring “arty” flash game to me. I wouldn’t even mind if it was fun to play, but i was just bored. 

    Also “Puzzles can be twitchy, as they require that you move around with the arrow keys while shooting smoke using the mouse, and the combination of these two input methods can induce cognitive gridlock.” Sounds like someone doesn’t play much PC games. WASD + mouse = bliss

  3. The_Misanthrope says:

    A timed switch puzzle that requires me to backtrack through ground I’ve already covered.  Screw you, game!  I’m willing to forgive the Dark Castle-style controls (that references dates me a bit!), but only if it’s limited in its scope.  Is there more finesse to this smoke-blowing thing later in the game or is it just a complicated “Use/Throw Switch” mechanic?

  4. Effigy_Power says:

    All I learned is that smoking is useful, lifesaving and opens all doors.
    Are we sure this wasn’t sponsored by the Tobacco Growers Association or something?

  5. Aaron Riccio says:

    Okay, spoilers ahead, but does anybody want to try and help me figure out the ending to this game? I’m sure I’m missing something obvious, but is the girl that you play as nothing more than a metaphorical cigarette herself? With the guy at the end finally moving on to a happier place by getting rid of her, i.e., breaking his fixation/dependence? And if so, who the heck are those other two characters — the girl’s roommate and asshole boyfriend?

    I rather enjoyed the gameplay, though. The use of rain, non-smoking areas, mirrored-lasers, and more were nice twists, though they were hardly pushed to their puzzle-solving limits. (Probably a good thing, given the frustration some people are expressing with the control scheme.)

  6. Idiots says:

    There are much deeper meanings, starting with The Company of Myself.