Grief Trigger by Indignation
Two years have gone by since his father passed away, and Azrael’s life hasn’t been the same. Grief Trigger delves into their relationship, their memories, and Azrael’s attempt to come to terms with the loss.
Unfortunately, Azrael can’t remember key memories of his father. It turns out that ANTs – Automatic Negative Thoughts – have stolen them. Now it’s up to Azrael to destroy the ANTs and get his memories back.
The goal of the game is to go around town and enter Grief Triggers to destroy ANTs. Each area of the map has one Grief Trigger, but there isn’t much else to do around town. I wish the game would have made exploration more rewarding; it would have made the overall experience feel more fleshed out.
Once you enter a Grief Trigger, you’ll need to memorize the ANTs’ moving patterns and time your attacks accordingly. Then you’ll enter a mini-game. This cycle repeats itself within each Grief Trigger with slowly escalating difficulty until you either survive long enough or destroy the ANT early.
The mechanic of memorizing and then attacking the ANT feels very undercooked. It doesn’t feel rewarding and actually gets in the way of the mini-games. And Grief Trigger rarely changes the ANT battles. Each sequence feels the same.
That being said, Grief Trigger does mix things up by offering a wide variety of mini-games. It made each ANT battle feel unique and made me want to see what the game would throw at me next.
Fighting to Remember
Each battle consists of a variety of things ranging from dodging projectiles, memorization, timing-based mazes, and sequence-based contraptions. Some of them are tricky, so there is at least some challenge. The dodging-based ones felt more tedious than rewarding, and the game often leans on these, but most of the rest were enjoyable experiences.
After defeating an ANT, Azrael recovers a memory of his father, unlocking a narrated cut-scene. These are well done, and it’s evident that these memories are inspired by real people and events.
I do wish there were more cut-scenes to flesh out the narrative further and add more weight and nuance to the story of Azrael’s relationship with his father. As it stands, the narrative feels more like a slice-of-life than a traditionally structured story.
The Color of Memory
The game has a nice colorful art style. Locations feel lived in for the most part, like a bustling restaurant with plenty of NPCs and a believable design, or the town’s park, which has plenty of familiar structures and is inviting despite overcast skies. Every environment feels inspired by real locations.
Small details within each environment make Grief Trigger feel more atmospheric. It has an overall gloomy feel but still exudes a hopeful vibe.
Grief Trigger is a simple game in many ways: its mini-games are fairly basic, its structure is straightforward, and its environments lack interactivity. Its overall positive message and the world it creates, however, uplift it from its serviceable gameplay. If you’re looking for a slice-of-life experience about someone dealing with grief, give this game a shot.
Grief Trigger is available via Steam.
Watch the official trailer for Grief Trigger below: