A downloadable game for Windows

Fragile Equilibrium is a game about the imperfection and impermanence of life. It is a reflection on transience, a balancing act between progress and regrowth, a reminder to find beauty in decay and inevitable destruction. Using old-school “shmup” mechanics and forms, [FE] invites the player to explore a world of quick actions, forced decisions, and subtle strategy: but with each decision, the player falls ever out of balance.

As balance decays so does the world, eroding over time and out of space, binding the player to a smaller area, pressing in upon the mind. Built upon multi-layered interactions, a Wabi Sabi aesthetic idealism, and a rich, broken world of yesterdays fantasies, [FE] asks the player to reflect upon their play, their world, their nostalgia, and themselves. Find your balance, live a life well played.

As a work of art, [FE] is a thinly veiled allegory for dealing with depression and anxiety: it is intended specifically to create in the player the sense of being 'squeezed', a slowly building pressure and feeling of being trapped, and to lead players to reflect on balancing their forward progress with a constant need to reconsider, rebuild, and refocus on internally facing (i.e. inward facing) issues and obstacles. It challenges players to find a Fragile Equilibrium in their own play, as a metaphor for conveying issues of instability.

Fragile Equilibrium is copyright MAGIC Spell Studios, LLC, 2018-2019.  All rights Reserved.  Fragile Equilibrium was produced in residence at the Rochester Institute of Technology and the RIT MAGIC Center under the direction of Professor Andrew Phelps.  MAGIC Spell Studios and the associated logo are trademarks of MAGIC Spell Studios, LLC.

Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
AuthorAndy Phelps
Made withAdobe Photoshop, Unity, Maya
Tagsart-game, artgames, Shoot 'Em Up, Unity
Average sessionA few minutes
InputsXbox controller

Install instructions

To run the game download the zip file, unzip, and double click the FE icon in the main folder.  While the game is playable with keyboard and mouse, it is highly recommended to use a game controller as it was designed for such.  The game should auto detect  any controller that is the 'first controller' on the machine, and was built to spec for an XBOX controller on PC.   

NOTE: January 1 2019 Patch build with minor fixes from December 2018 release.


Fragile Equilibrium.zip 766 MB


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Fragile Equilibrium feels in every way a game of balance. From the inspiration behind it, to the decay mechanic,  to the energetic gaming paired with peaceful music, this feels like a perfect example of setting a theme. And without cutting any corners, because the visuals are all pretty rad, especially when parts of the world go flying. 

Good job on this, devs.

Glad you liked it!  We certainly worked really hard on the 'balance' metaphor throughout, as it's the core of the entire idea.  Good to know it came through :)

Part 2!

I like where this is going.

Part 3!

I may not be good at it, but it's a fun and enjoyable game.

there's more to those level 3 lanterns than meets the eye... although we were interested to see your approach to them!

Wish granted. Here's the finale, where I actually have a run in with them!

Overall, this was a pretty great game. I'm not good at shooters, but still had fun.

This game is fantastic

Glad you like it!