Developer: Robote Games
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini Retina

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★½☆☆
Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Trambo is the black metal of low-fi trial platformers. This game from Finland is harsh, lacks great production values, contains a lot of black, and is definitely not for everyone – but those who are fans will love it a lot.

trambo7Players control the eponymous Trambo, who must get to the end of each level, starting at Space Bootcamp, while avoiding the descending giant Finnish deathray. Trambo can’t jump, so he must rely on skillful platform navigation and midair movement to not only survive in one piece, but to also collect deathray-defying power-ups and the three stars in each level.

Trambo makes an interesting design decision by forcing players to get three stars on each of its initial set of levels before advancing. I would normally say that this is rather annoying, but in this case, I think it does a good job of making sure players are ready for the difficulty that is ahead of them. It also gets players to be cautious, look for alternate paths that might lead them to stars, or even just to look out for the items that they need to get in order to survive. Really, it’s quite an effective teaching mechanism. The controls being simply left and right movement means that the game is fairly accurate – no worrying about jumping here!

trambo8The game’s visuals are minimal enough to be deficient, practically: all the landscapes are a solid black. Some snow/ice is white, and that it is in fact said wintery material is not immediately apparent just by playing. The backgrounds are simple gradients. It’s not a beautiful game, but it’s never distracting, so I guess it does its job in that sense. Though, the giant deathray coming from above is more like an all-encompassing black cloud of death, which is still pretty metal.

Really, Trambo is low-fi all around, but it still represents a solid challenge. I definitely recommend it for those not afraid of a difficult game but also of one that’s not completely polished.


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