I love a good puzzle game. I especially love a good puzzle game that does something new and interesting. Portal, and the subsequent Portal 2, were knockouts that kept me coming back for more time and time again. When I sat down last month to take a look at Rat King Entertainment’s first effort, TRI, I instantly felt the same joy and intrigue as the first time I picked up a portal gun. I’ve had the pleasure of playing it lately, and it makes Portal look like a walk through the park.
So what is TRI all about? Well, using the force of the TRI, you must courageously rescue a fox and repair the world. I mean…that’s actually probably not the best way to describe it.
Let’s try this again. You find yourself entering the realm of the Odd Gods, where a strange apparition explains to you that one of the two fox gods has gone missing. Using the power of an object known as the TRI, you must navigate your way through an at-times Escheresque landscape, searching for fox idol statues. Each level requires three statues to progress, and the levels can be…expansive.
So what is the TRI
force power? The TRI allows you to create triangular (Get it? TRIangular? Right?) platforms by establishing the three points within a limited distance from each other. These platforms are used to navigate the ups, downs, and every which ways of the levels, as well as modify how certain elements function (lasers and ghosts, woo!). It’s not quite so simple as it sounds, though. A triangle that’s too steep is insurmountable. Because of the size limitations placed on the triangles, often times many triangles must be placed in order to build a path.
An additional power of the TRI lets you adjust your gravity, so that “down” is always in the direction of the triangle you’re currently standing on. This means that with clever triangle placement (which is necessary), you can walk up a wall, across the ceiling, and through the skylight into the room above you. The number of triangles that you can build is only limited by your hardware capabilities; there’s no hard limit in the game. You are able to sprint, and you take no fall damage, so you can feel free to dash and jump around to your heart’s content.
The levels, as I said, are expansive. With 16 total stages, each ranging anywhere from 10 minutes to well over an hour, depending on various factors, there’s quite a bit of content here. The visual style is an interesting combination of corners and muted colors with sporadic splashes of brightness, and the music is haunting and fitting. I wouldn’t necessarily listen to the soundtrack while on the train, but it’s fantastic while trying to figure out a particularly difficult platform.
TRI is definitely not an easy game. It may start off innocent and sweet, but it becomes a test of your ingenuity and patience very quickly. For people who enjoy this kind of difficulty in a puzzler, TRI is right up your alley. For those who like a little more of a casual, relaxing puzzler, this may not be your cup of tea. You can enter a vision mode that lets you see the general direction of a fox statue, but there’s no guide back to the ending point of the level, so quite a bit of time can be spent just trying to rediscover something you passed early on in the level.
TRI is available now on PC, Mac, and Linux.