Developer: Kristian Majewski
Publisher: Kristian Majewski
Adventure - PC
HDD, 1 Save File
Continuing with my Indie PC gaming kick, I picked up TRAUMA as part of the Humble Frozen Synapse Bundle. It's a throwback to the old point-and-click adventure games, but with a little bit of a modern twist.
The game begins with a woman awakening in a hospital bed. Her memories are jumbled, first with a recollection of driving and then random bizarre imagery follows. And hence the game begins.
Like all point-and-click adventures, you will use only the mouse. Click on specific locations of the screen and you will either investigate an object or move to a different location. The interface of this game has a photograph theme, where mousing over key spots shows a translucent photo, letting you know you can move. This is extremely helpful so you're not just clicking in random locations. The game also gives you visual indicators when mousing over key objects too.
The twist to it all is that it adds some interactivity, by giving you powers only accessible through mouse movements. For instance, you can move Right just by "drawing" horizontal lines on the screen from left to right. Moving right can just as easily be accomplished simply by clicking on a navigation spot, but this is just one example of the interactivity. There are some abilities you obtain that can only be accessed by drawing with your mouse.
What's really enjoyable about the game is the whole theme of discovery. It's an adventure game, so you're trying to discover what's going on in the story, discover how to progress, discover different paths. But it also includes a collectathon element, where photographs are scattered throughout each scenario. The photographs fill in a little bit of backstory, but they can also teach you some of the mouse maneuvers in the game. Everything works together really well.
I won't say that TRAUMA is game of the year material or anything. But as far as point-and-click adventures go, I rather enjoyed it. It's mysterious and atmospheric, offers some interactivity with the mouse movements, and wraps it all in a package that emphasizes discovery. Oh, and it's pretty short too ( < 3 hours?), which is a plus in my book. Don't think I'd buy it alone, but as part of a bundle, it's a pleasant surprise.