Developer: Glowfish Interactive
Publisher: Big Sugar
Genre(s): Platformer, Action, Adventure
Platform: Nintendo Switch (also available on Xbox and Steam)
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 13/10/2022
A code was provided for review purposes
Three in One?
Trifox is a top-down action-adventure title where I played as a fox on a journey to reclaim his stolen television remote. I was excited to dive into this title after noticing similarities between it and the Skylanders series in the trailer. Did my excitement hold out for the duration of the game? Find out in this Rapid Review.
As I began my adventure, I was shown a brief cutscene detailing the story. The premise was nothing special. It did not develop characters, enhance the world, and bluntly, it did not excite me. In fact, though there were brief cutscenes that showed different villains and creatures in my world, I found these frustrating and overly cryptic. While I would have enjoyed a cohesive story, I was not overly disappointed with the lack of one, as I primarily play action-adventure titles like Trifox for the gameplay.
I was initially eager to begin my journey. My main character felt good to control and I had a dash ability to move through levels quickly. The movement of the character is responsive too. I was able to navigate each area with ease. I also appreciated that the main character had a double jump. This helped mitigate the difficulties I typically have judging distance in a three-dimensional plane. The developers of Trifox make it even easier to find my footing with a clear silhouette underneath my character too. The moving mechanics in the world of Trifox were very effective.
Unfortunately, the attacking capabilities were less invigorating. I began with a simple hammer. It was functional but slow and awkward to use. Thankfully, there were a plethora of different upgrades to unlock. I could use turrets, drones, and multiple other weapons. The variety was impressive. I enjoyed experimenting with each new ability. Though I liked trying out new mechanics, when using any of the weapons, I maintained the same play style. This disappointed me, as the weapons did not encourage me to master new skills or reanalyze how I should play the game. Despite having multiple weapons to choose from, few of them bolstered new strategies or gameplay styles.
This same philosophy carried over into the enemy design too. While there are a host of unique enemies to face off against, I combatted each similarly. Regardless of whether I was facing off against enemies with rocket launchers, sub-machineguns, or magic wands, the way I played through each level was largely the same. This in turn made the levels far more monotonous than I wanted them to be. Instead of blazing through new areas with new experiences, I was navigating new areas but experiencing the same gameplay. Trifox consistently disappointed me by failing to encourage growth.
Level with Me
Even the stage designs were not all that great. Aesthetically, many are pleasing. I explored caves and navigated different grassy sections. The concepts were fine in that regard. However, the locales do not stand out when considering the gameplay. Barring a few alterations, the game played identically whether I navigated ice, grass, or a dungeon. While there were some new elements introduced in many stages, the core gameplay was not impacted much by the inclusions. For example, there were a variety of different platforms. Many were stagnant. Some moved automatically. Others only moved when certain switches were pushed. The stages included different assets to alter the gameplay, but Trifox did not do enough to maintain my interest. Each section felt similar, and even when I explored new areas, the lack of gameplay implications severely hindered my enjoyment.
The game even includes puzzles in many of the levels. Trifox had me using switches, moving rocks to clog vents, and standing on different runes to progress. While this did add variety to the title, many of the puzzles were incredibly basic and did not encourage me to consider my actions. Often, I just found myself walking through the motions of a puzzle area without even thinking. I was never tricked and I did not need to change any of my initial decisions either. Unfortunately, this was yet another part of Trifox that I did not like.
On the other hand, Trifox included hidden gems to collect. These were difficult to find, yet I enjoyed looking for them. I often needed to look very closely at the environment to notice where they could be hidden. While they did not heavily impact the gameplay or increase the difficulty, looking for and finding these hidden items was fun.
What Does the Fox Say?
Unfortunately, despite many solid elements, Trifox did not do enough to maintain my interest, and the lack of gameplay variety made the game stagnate quickly. I enjoyed the locations and enemy designs by themselves, but the game mechanics did not excite me or keep me invested in the game.
To supplement the core gameplay of Trifox, there were music and sound effects. Both of these worked well, and I enjoyed listening to the music in each area. While the sound effects were charming overall, there were some instances where the sound would lag. Though this was not a large deal, these errors were frustrating and disruptive.
The visuals of the game also were sufficient. The enemies are well-designed, and I enjoy the appearance of my character and the world around me. Unfortunately, the visuals in Trifox have one crucial error that severely hindered my enjoyment. The ground is frequently a very similar colour to the enemy bullets. This meant I had a difficult time dodging enemy bullets. While this was a significant issue, I was still able to enjoy the visual style of the game.
I also wanted to comment on the performance. Largely, Trifox performed well. However, the game crashed on me a couple of times and there were some levels where I experienced a noticeable slowdown. On a broad scale, the game performed well, but these issues were noticeable.
Overall, I was disappointed with Trifox. I enjoyed some aspects of it and liked many of the ideas that the developers intended. Unfortunately, they were not implemented in a way that left an impact on me. The game stagnates, and it does not do much to rise from the plateau. While it does have charm, I do not recommend Trifox.
Rapid Reviews Rating
2.5 out of 5
You can purchase Trifox on the Nintendo eShop here
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.