Physics-based puzzler Gadgeteer has launched a free beta demo on Steam alongside a contest to see who can build the coolest chain reaction. As a VR puzzler, Gadgeteer stands out for allowing you to build your own Rube Goldberg-style reaction machines, positing direct physical interaction and creativity at the center of its approach to solving problems, toying around in its sandbox mode, and moving through its campaign.
While it has existed in a pre-alpha or alpha state for some time, managing to land on PC Gamer’s top anticipated VR games of 2019 list, it has only now emerged back into the limelight as it hurtles towards an (estimated) April release window.
In fact, you can play the free beta right now by downloading it on Steam, and enter to win the beta contest. Developer Metanaut is currently hosting a giveaway contest; the top three “chain reaction builders” will win a copy of the full version of Gadgeteer as well as a Klutz LEGO Chain Reactions Kit. Note that the contest entry window ends on March 26.
Metanaut has stated in an official press release that the launch build of Gadgeteer will come with the following features:
- Build with freedom. No restrictions on where and how you build your incredible machines.
- Create, edit, destroy with 3 powerful toolheads.
- Chain together 50+ unique gadgets to build your crazy machines.
Painlessly undo your mistakes.
- Two ways to play: Puzzle / Story and Sandbox.
- Solve 60 puzzles using your creativity and wit.
- Never step on a LEGO brick again!
While its story mode seems contained within narrative limits, the inclusion of a sandbox mode that promises shareable builds could give this title a much longer shelf life for players who burn through its initial 60 puzzles.
Games allowing for custom made levels can sometimes take on a life of their own, fueled by community creativity and sharing. This can be seen both outside of VR (with games like LittleBigPlanet) and even inside VR (with games like Rec Room). Gadgeteer’s sandbox mode has potential to hook a community of passionate players building custom maps for one another.
Expect more information on final details regarding Gadgeteer’s official release over the next several months.