Platformers have been around for nearly as long as video games themselves have existed. The idea of navigating a dangerous area through a series of jumps provides gamers with challenges which test their skills, and it has evolved over the decades.
Trifox takes aim at the retro style platformers of the past, which relied less on skill in managing tough jumps, but instead harkens to the era of mascot platformers that made the PlayStation 2 the legend it is known as today.
Will Trifox be able to bring forward a famous point in time to the present? Or was such an endevor better left off in the past? Find out in our review!
Developer: Glowfish Interactive
Publisher: Big Sugar
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows PC (Reviewed)
Release Date: October 14, 2022,
Price: $19.99 USD
The storyline for Trifox is beyond simple. Players will assume the role of a fox who gets his remote stolen by the bad guys, so he embarks on a quest to get it back. And that’s essentially it. It’s nonsensical and while there are moments and cutscenes to show off the villains, the plot is more or less nonexistent.
While older platformers weren’t known for their riveting storylines, they weren’t this barebones either. So the game is lacking when it comes to telling any sort of a story past the bare minimum to give an explanation for why you’re doing what you’re doing, if even that.
Fortunately, the game is held up by its deep gameplay, which is where you’ll spend the overwhelming bulk of time in Trifox. It’s a standard platformer inspired by the classics, but adds in a good number of gimmicks to keep things interesting and unique.
The main feature is the ability to customize the fox with three types of classes to bring different loadouts into each level. These skills you can unlock using coins collected mainly revolve around combat, which is where players will spend most of their time during the game.
The three different styles of warrior, mage, and mechanic are each distinct with what their abilities brings. Whether it be close quarters combat, wide area of effect spells, or numerous gadgets to be placed at your disposal, it’s likely anyone will find something they enjoy to mix and match.
Unfortunately, despite the high level of variety when it comes to combat abilities, most battles play out similarly where you’ll be using your various skills to kite enemies around, dodge their attacks, all while sending out whatever attacks you have equipped.
There’s not much challenge in the game, though there is good fun in experimenting new abilities to find what suits your style best. The ease, at least for the game’s default difficulty, allow players to not worry hard on what’s the best tool for each specific job.
The same goes for the few platforming sections you’ll actually have to do, as this plus most puzzles in Trifox are extremely simple. None of this is inherently bad, as the game does target itself for young children, but adult gamers could find themselves getting bored by the lack of challenge.
Fortunately, one could always tweak the game’s difficulty at any time if they find things too easy or hard. You’re not locked in after starting a new game.
Though another disappointing factor when it comes to the game’s ease for adults is the game’s short length. It only took me a few hours to beat the game from start to finish, with few issues beyond the game’s final boss.
There is a fair bit of content by replaying levels to uncover secret items for completionists, but even that would only likely put total playtime up to about 10 hours. However at the listed price of $19.99, Trifox is not a bad value either.
As a game inspired by older classic titles on hardware such as the PlayStation 1, Trifox also attempts to use some of the older graphical style with mixed results. Models just look like regular models with a low poly shader slapped on. Environments also don’t feel varied enough from stage to stage.
On the other hand, the game’s lighting effects are beautiful and some places have some awe inspiring appearances thanks to good lighting. It’s a shame that most of the game’s presentation couldn’t match this level of quality, as it would’ve done a great job taking a classic formula and mixing it with modern technological improvements.
Trifox is a solid indie platformer which emulates some of the best parts of classics during the PS1 and PS2 era. It imitates them sometimes a bit too much, which ultimately hold the game back in some ways. Still, it brings a wide array of options to allow for fresh gameplay and replayability, not to mention it is still very charming despite the limitations.
If you’re a parent who has kids who love video games, then Trifox is an amazing choice to introduce them to classic style platformers in more of a modern package.
If you don’t and are looking into this as a fan of old school platformers, then Trifox is still a good fun option to go for. Only keep in mind that the game’s short length and relative ease could be a turn off if you’re looking for a challenge.
Trifox was reviewed on PC using a code provided by Big Sugar. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. Trifox is available now on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows PC (via Steam, GOG, and Epic Games Store).