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A point-and-click/hidden object hybrid, Trauma tells a story of survival and recovery by a young woman fresh from a car accident that killed her parents. Much like the process of healing, Trauma isn't a linear journey. Using a interface of photos stitched together in an unnervingly surreal manner, the player journeys through the fragmented dreams and vague memories of the unnamed woman, searching for key objects that provide a glimpse into her new life. Navigating is easy, using sweeping gestures of the mouse to shift, pan and change perspective throughout four unique environments.
There is no single path that will lead you through Trauma and as a result you will be constantly learning new ways to “play” the game. The woman’s disembodied voice guides you through all of the nuanced chapters, which you can access, complete and return to in any order you desire. To further complicate things, there is one definitive ending to each chapter, in addition to three other means to prematurely end the experience, returning you to the main menu. The intended ending rewards you with an eerie animation that spawns unexpectedly from the still environment, breaking the illusion of normalcy and reminding you that the narrator is not by your side. Instead, you are an outsider treading through her dreams.
Occasional objects rendered into the environment act as points of interest, intentionally out of place amongst the real-world setting. Walking about you will notice a drain on a wall, glittering stars blanketing a tree or a group of boulders peppering an urban plaza. Discovering hidden Polaroid photos will trigger memories and teach the player how to interact with these key objects. Other Polaroid images are more personal, yielding details about the narrator - about her childhood, her idols, her dreams for the future, and her sluggish recovery.
Trauma is a powerful, shortform game full of metaphor and meaning, and fully deserving of a few hours of undivided attention.
[Additional Game Details]
Platform: Flash, Web Browser Release: Spring 2010 Price: Free Website: Link