Indie Corner: Phantom Trigger
With videos games, you can escape from the reality and you can be or do anything you want. I think that’s why people like them so much. Very few games remind us of the cold reality that is life. But there are always exceptions…
In Phantom Trigger you play as Stan, just an average guy who I assume works a normal day job. One morning he comes down to eat breakfast but while he tries to guess what his beloved wife is making him for breakfast, he has a stroke. This is where it gets surrealistic. Upon passing out Stan enters a dream-like state where he is in a completely different reality. People call him the outsider and tell him to go into portals.
During the whole game you constantly swap between the dream-like state where nothing seems to make sense, and the harsh reality where you go through Stan’s illness. One moment you are slaying groups of monsters and the other moment you are back to being a human discussing your treatment with your doctor. The story is pretty dark and sometimes hard to follow due to the constant changing of worlds, but it’s just so intriguing to know more about Stan.
I have so many questions: is what I see chronologic? Is Stan Dead? Or is Stan just delusional?
The story is not the only thing that kept me playing this game, the gameplay is so good and fitting for this game. It’s a hack and slash game with puzzles and RPG elements. The controls are pretty basic: there is one button to dash your way through the dungeons and the other 3 buttons are each a different weapon. By using the weapon you get experience and up on leveling the weapons you learn different combos. The combos are not that difficult but are very essential to slay large groups of monsters. The game looks like a very minimalistic hack and slash but once you learn the combos you learn that there is a lot of depth to this game.
The puzzles are fun but rather easy and finding certain objectives goes easily but the combat itself can be very challenging. Some monsters are easy to fight but sometimes you’re just so outnumbered that you really have to play well and use the right combos to finish them off. The game has a normal and a hard mode that you can easily change at every time in the pause menu but I think that they should have added an easy mode for casual gamers. It can be very hard at times and it would be a shame if people never know what happens with Stan just because the difficulty level is just too high for them.
The design is what truly makes Phantom Trigger so unique, it is very minimalistic but 8-bit style. The difference between realities was done very well. Normal life is very boring with colors and does not splash out but the “dreamworld is very colorful and mesmerizing and perfectly captures the player in the surrealistic world of Stan his subconscious, which makes this game really stand out.
Phantom Trigger is a surrealistic hack and slash game, both gameplay and style are on point and the story is one of the best tragedies in an indie game that I have experienced.