Trigger Time Review: A Good Mix Between Survival and Puzzle Solving
As an action gamer enthusiast, I love to immerse myself in that tense moment where it's do-or-die -- either my enemy or me. My survival instincts kick into high gear and push me to move forward and try harder in a game.
When I entered Trigger Time, a top-down shoot-em-up from Shephf Games, I was looking for that same survival drive and heart-pounding experience. And after playing about three hours of the game, I find myself becoming addicted -- but not solely because of the survival instinct it stimulates.
This indie action game has a lot to offer, from awesome weapons to engaging puzzles.
Controls And Perspective
You enter Trigger Time as a marine soldier who has received orders to infiltrate the Professor Nathan’s laboratory and destroy his research. Using standard W/A/S/D movement controls and shooting with your mouse, you can cycle through a number of weapons and try out different strategies to take down any and all enemies you encounter.
The top-down perspective in this game allows you to get a better sense of your surroundings and the enemies you're facing, but without sacrificing any of the action that makes a shmup exciting. Whenever those baddies come at you from multiple directions, you can respond quickly and maneuver your way to a better position that'll let you blow them all away.
Because I'm primarily a console gamer, I struggle with playing games like this on PC. But in the case of Trigger Time, I didn't have nearly as hard of a time as I usually do. This game has full controller support, but feels so natural to play without it that I didn't find myself wanting one.
Different, Complex Puzzles
As you work your way through the nine levels available in Trigger Time, you'll encounter a number of different types of puzzles that are based off physics facts. You'll have to solve them to move forward, of course, but the game will give you a set amount of hints based on the difficulty level you've chosen. Easy offers a fair number of hints, normal offers a few, and hard offers none at all.
These puzzles add a lot of variety to the game, making it about more than just shooting. Solving a puzzle also comes with a different kind of satisfaction than what you get from defeating enemies. By balancing action with problem-solving, this game feels well-rounded and has a lot more to offer players than pure bullethell madness.
At times, some of the puzzles were quite difficult to solve. I enjoy puzzlers, but sometimes found myself staring at my screen in search of what to do next. I was playing on normal difficulty, so I didn't get hints for every single puzzle. And while that did make the game more challenging, it sometimes kept me from progressing as quickly as I wanted.
In Trigger Time, you have eight primary weapons and three secondary weapons at your disposal -- including include shotguns, rocket launchers, and explosive mines. Along with those weapons, you can use a gravity gun that acts as a weapon or a tool to solve puzzles.
Your weapons don't progress with you through levels, but it's fairly easy to get a sense of what sorts of weapons you can expect to see introduced or reintroduced at the start of each level. No matter what weapon you end up using for a level, it'll offer epic firepower that feels satisfying whenever you use it.
But I do have to give special mention to one exemplary weapon -- the gravity gun. You can use it to capture and throw metallic objects or small enemy robots. This is by far the most unique weapon in the game, and it outshines all the other. I ended up using it more than any other secondary weapon just because it was so fun to play with, and added an even more action-packed feel to this game.
Trigger TIme is not necessarily as “story-driven” as it claims to be. The story does help move the game forward and tries to draw connections between the characters and the enemies they're fighting. But most of the time, I found myself be skipping through cutscenes to get to the firefights.
With its unique perspective, tons of weapons, and some challenging puzzles, there's a lot to keep you moving forward to see this game through to the very end. It's sure to be a fun and addicting experience for anyone who loves shoot-em-ups.
Trigger Time is currently available on Steam for $4.99.
Note: A copy of this game was provided by the developer for the purposes of this review.