Trauma comes across as more of an art project than a “traditional” videogame. Through live action cutscenes we learn that the protagonist has been hospitalized after a car accident. Through a series interactive photographs and point and click adventuring, we abstractly learn about her past life, from the death of her parents to her recent work on a college thesis.
Each of the four stages represent a dream rooted in the victim’s reality. Hunting for new areas to click is necessary for finding all the items that eventually make puzzles solvable. Drawing certain shapes – such as a line to turn left or a curve to turn around – leads to new places and creates a sense of discovery. And that’s about it for the gameplay.
There one main puzzle in each stage, although they’re not exactly difficult and simply involve drawing a shape that was shown earlier in the stage at the right moment. The destination is easy to reach but the journey itself is compelling. The atmospheric music and excellent voice acting makes the eerily still world come to life in a sense.
There is something relaxing about navigating through the photos. The controls are excellent, and drawing out shapes to navigate is not only needed to access some places but totally intuitive. Being able to quickly turn around also reduces unnecessary clicking. The seamless loading of each screen also helps.
Most will find little value here despite the low $6.99 price tag as Trauma can be completed in about 40 minutes. Unlocking all the additional outcomes takes about two hours total. It’s not a traditional game in any sense, but it’s still a compelling experience that’s unlike anything else out there. I recommend this one if you think the concept sounds even remotely interesting.
Trauma was released in 2011 by Polish programmer Krystian Majewski. It’s available on Windows, Mac and Linux for $6.99.