Forget everything you know about vocabulary when you play Trigonon. Words like ‘thoughts,’ ‘intuition,’ ‘energy,’ and ‘memory’ take on entirely new meanings in this game.
For instance, try to make sense of the following paragraph that introduces stage 18: ‘Negative Memories can destroy nearby Memories of any kind. When a Positive Memory or an Intuition is destroyed by a Negative Memory, they don’t provide neither Positive Energy or additional Barriers.’ Yikes.
Of course, you’re not just dropped into the thicket of Trigononian jargon– each new gameplay element is introduced and given room to breathe as you progress through the game. So if you’ve played long enough to reach level 18, you’ll get the gist of what they’re trying to say. The real problem is that you probably won’t be compelled to get that far.
Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’.
Trigonon is a puzzle game about perpetually rolling marbles. At the start of each level, you’ll find one or more marbles bumping back and forth between two walls. Your job is to angle and place bumpers in such a way that the marbles will ricochet into the level’s goal. Many new gameplay ideas are added as you progress, but that’s all you need to know to understand why the game fails.
The bumpers you have to place in the levels are bulky things, and the areas you’re allowed to drop them are tiny. That means you have to adjust each bumper pixel by pixel to put it in the right spot, which quickly becomes tiresome. Slip up even a little, and your marble rolls off in the wrong direction. Also, the bumpers are supposed to snap to 45 degree angles, which in theory should make it easy to direct the balls around corners. Unfortunately, this ‘snap-to’ effect is unreliable. When it doesn’t work, it also causes your balls to run offtrack, which usually requires you to replay the level from scratch.
Compounding the annoyance, you almost never have extra bumpers available. And since you can’t move bumpers you’ve already placed, when you mess up you have to start the level over. On top of all that, you have a time limit. If you fail to complete the level within the time limit, you can’t proceed to the next level. For some reason, going past the time limit doesn’t end your run, so you’ll usually end up wasting your time finishing the level because you didn’t realize it was too late.
Trigonon isn’t a total bust. It has great production values, with appealing art and electronic music. The developers have clearly put a lot of thought into adding new puzzle elements throughout the game’s 40 levels, like portals and exploding blocks. The problem is that the basic gameplay mechanic– placing bumpers to direct the balls– is implemented poorly, making the rest of the game simply not fun to play.
It’s possible that these problems could be fixed in an update, but if you’re looking for an enjoyable action-puzzle game in the meantime, look elsewhere.