Helping a traumatized woman sorting out her dreams, memories and unfinished thoughts is the short outline of this game. If you are up for a game which makes you reflect, is artistic but yet maybe more realistic than other games, you should give Trauma a try.
Dream based story
The story in Trauma can be summarized in a few sentences or as the whole life story of the main character; it all depends on how deep you want to dive in her dreams and how careful you want to puzzle her life together. You play as a young traumatized woman whose dreams you are to sort out; at least that is how I understand the background concept. Her dreams are like dreams normally are: very strange at first but after a while you get a grip of at least some things that are happening and how to control them. In the dreams there are fragments of her real life, but also of the mental prison that the trauma has put her in. The goal of the game is to somehow break out of this “prison”.
Gameplay and style
The dream world is built up of static images. The images are pictures of real places, although sometimes enhanced to make them look “dreamy”, e.g. by adding visual effects or mixing several images at once. To move around in the game you either face/look at a nearby image or draw a symbol for some kind of movement. Drawing symbols are also how you interact with objects in the dreams, hence controlling the dreams and revealing more of the woman’s memories and thoughts.
The symbols for moving around and interacting with the dreams can be seen on small photos found at different places in the dreams. These photos acts as some kind of collector’s items; you don’t have to find all of them but they keep you coming back and look for them, trust me. There are even different endings to the dreams, which add to the life span of the game. Continuing the talk about the photos it can be said that some have hints on them, pointing you a bit how to solve other puzzles in the game. Finally there are also some photos which reveals parts of the woman’s life; these are important since they add small, but important fragments to the history of the main character, making you understand her world and background.
Trauma has an ambient style when it comes to sound. The music is distant and low but anyway powerful in adding to the feeling of dreaminess of the game world. Since most other sounds are not so overwhelming hence when the main character have her monologues or comments on your (her) progress in the game it adds a lot to her personality. Her voice is rather contemplating, even puzzling at times.
Surreal depth based on dreams and reality
The dreamy images, the odd puzzles, and the sometimes weird history of the main character creates a surreal feeling when playing Trauma; although this is quite expected since you are “playing” the character’s dreams. You do get to see the real world, outside the dreams a few times. In the real world you are lying in a hospital, almost motionless in your bed. In the hospital sequences you are having a conversation with a doctor. The monologues in the dreams and the dialogues with the doctor are rather philosophical, creating a depth in the game.
Trauma is not your average game where you run around with action sequences hiding around each corner. Here you will instead move slowly, pondering over a photo or wonder about the latest half-cryptic monologue the traumatized character just had. The game is very artistic, with a surreal but cool story, and challenging bits and pieces. From time to time it even challenges the world that the game takes place in. Break your own boundaries and give it a try!
- Platform(s): Online [version tested], Windows & Macintosh
- Developer: Krystian Majewski
- Version: Release
- Artistic but not hard to understand
- Mind challenging in a dreamy way
Official website where you can play the game.